Naomi Watts is about to become British royalty... on the big screen.
Britain's Ecosse Films confirmed today that the British-born, Australian-raised (who knew?) actress will play Princess Diana - not Jessica Chastain as originally rumored - in the Oliver Hirschbiegel directed "Caught in Flight," based on Stephen Jeffreys' (The Libertine) screenplay.
The film will focus on the last two tragic - albeit juicy - years of her life, particularly her intense, secret romance with the man she called the love of her life, heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Kahn. Or at least that's what media reports are saying. Filmmakers said the film will chronicle "how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed her to achieve her defining successes evolving into a major international campaigner and humanitarian," which sounds much more noble.
And, while Naomi Watts' serious acting chops tip the gilded scales in her favor, as does the fact she's a mother to two beautiful boys just like the late Lady Di, and she can give audiences that vulnerable/va-va-voom mashup needed to portray one of the most iconic women in pop culture history; is she the right choice to play the People's Princess?
Rival filmmaker Stephen Evans named Charlize Theron and Carey Mulligan as his top picks to play the Queen of Hearts in "Diana," a film he plans on making that's based on accounts from her longtime personal bodyguard Ken Wharfe.
Charlize definitely has height on her side - Princess Diana was nearly 6 feet tall - but that can't be the only factor in deciding who will take on the tiara-ed role. A few others to consider:
Joely Richardson and Kate Winslet might be the more obvious choices to portray the late princess, but this striking Aussie actress has something decidedly "Diana-ey" about her. Maybe it's the blonde hair or her Cheshire Cat grin... or the fact she's already played royalty - Elizabeth I of England - in 1998's biopic film, "Elizabeth. "
The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter made a surprisingly good television debut in 2009 as downtrodden Anne of Cleves in the Showtime series, "The Tudors." If you watched, you know she rocked it, which means the perpetually barefoot chanteuse could charm audiences with an earthy, soulful interpretation of the princess. Besides, she's already good friends with the Princes William and Harry, giving her an insider's edge.
It's easy to imagine the aforementioned leading ladies in this role, but there's no doubt this lesser known beauty could do the part some serious justice. Her portrayal of the fresh-faced, ultimately doomed Jane Seymour in Showtime's "The Tudors," made her a season standout; as did her brief role as a stewardess turned secret agent in the short-lived ABC series, "Pan Am."
No she's not British. And while it might seem like an odd choice at first, she's leggy, tall, and brings a sense of wide-eyed innocence and snark-studded intelligence to the roles she plays - think back on Pulp Fiction's zoned-out Mia Wallace and her upcoming role as sexy aristocrat Madeleine Forestier in "Bel Ami." Meow.
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- Princess Diana
- Naomi Watts