Naomi Ellen Watts (born 28 September 1968) is an English actress and film producer.
She made her screen debut in the Australian drama film For Love Alone (1986) and then appeared in the Australian television series Hey Dad..! (1990), Brides of Christ (1991) and Home and Away (1991) and alongside Nicole Kidman and Thandie Newton in the coming-of-age comedy-drama film Flirting (1991). After moving to America, Watts appeared in films, including Tank Girl (1995), Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) and Dangerous Beauty (1998) and had the lead role in the television series Sleepwalkers (1997–1998).
After years as a struggling actress, Watts came to attention in David Lynch’s psychological thriller Mulholland Drive (2001). The following year she enjoyed box-office success with The Ring (2002), the remake of a successful Japanese horror film. She then received nominations at the Academy Awards and the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards in the Best Actress categories for her portrayal of Cristina Peck in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s neo-noir 21 Grams (2003). Her subsequent films include David O. Russell’s comedy I Heart Huckabees (2004), the 2005 remake of King Kong, the crime-thriller Eastern Promises (2007) and the Tom Tykwer-directed thriller The International (2009). Since then, Watts has portrayed Valerie Plame Wilson in the biographical drama Fair Game (2010) and Helen Gandy in Clint Eastwood’s biographical drama J. Edgar (2011). For her leading role as Maria Bennett in the disaster film The Impossible (2012), she received second nominations for the Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress and a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
In 2002, Watts was included in People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. In 2006, she became a goodwill ambassador for Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, which helps to raise awareness of AIDS-related issues. She has participated in several fundraisers for the cause, and she is presented as an inaugural member of AIDS Red Ribbon Awards. She will also appear in filmmaker Gracie Otto’s upcoming documentary film Chalky about British film and theatre producer Michael White, who is a close friend of Watts’. Watts played rebel leader Evelyn Johnson-Eaton in the sequel The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015). The film was a commercial success, grossing $274.5 million worldwide, but received mainly mixed reviews from critics. Watts reprised her role in the series’ final two installments, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, released on 18 March 2016, and The Divergent Series: Ascendant, scheduled to be released on 9 June 2017. Watts then starred in Gus Van Sant’s mystery drama The Sea of Trees, opposite Matthew McConaughey. The film premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where it competed for the Palme d’Or. The film was heavily panned by both critics and audiences, who reportedly booed and laughed during its screening. Critic Richard Mowe stated the audience reaction should “give the film’s creative team pause for reflection about exactly where they went so badly awry.” Justin Chang of Variety also criticised the film, but commended Watts’ performance for being “solidly moving and sometimes awesomely passive-aggressive.” Watts was confirmed to be involved in the revival of the TV series Twin Peaks that will air in 2017. In 2017, Watts will star in the television drama Gypsy and will also serve as an executive producer on the series.