Naomi Watts has immense pressure on her right now, as critics get ready to dissect her role as the late Princess Diana
in an upcoming biopic. The first trailer, released this week, is drawing mixed reactions.
Jeff Labrecque of Entertainment Weekly said despite the lack of dialogue, the trailer goes to great lengths to pull at the heartstrings of Princess Diana fans, but shows very few shots of Watts as Diana.
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"Princess Diana was such a beloved icon that in the new trailer for the eponymous movie, 'Diana,' you don’t even see Naomi Watts' face until the clip is halfway finished. ... Instead, the video hopes to tap into that deep reservoir of goodwill — and obsession — that made Diana 'the most famous woman in the world.' Cue shaking hands, flashing lightbulbs, and glamorous red carpets," Labrecque wrote.
Meanwhile, Arienne Thompson of USA Today said that Watts was "spot on" in her portrayal of Diana
in the clips, comparing it to several other award-winning movie transformations.
"We've seen plenty of celebs transform themselves in all sorts of amazing ways for biopics. Jamie Foxx became Ray Charles. Forest Whitaker morphed into Idi Amin," Thompson said. "Helen Mirren was Queen Elizabeth. And, most recently, Michael Douglas embodied Liberace. Naomi Watts is about to give them all a run for their money though as she turns herself into the late Princess Diana for the upcoming eponymous flick."
The mixed reaction will probably not come as a surprise to Watts, who described her apprehension for the role
in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported there was a production delay after her co-star Naveen Andrews broke his leg during filming.
"We had to stop and now we are going back," Watts told the Times last October. "It’s like being terrified all over again. Nothing measures up to that kind of pressure."
Watts told the Wall Street Journal in February
that she did a great deal of research on Diana but was unable to speak with the royal family.
"There was a lot of warmth, an incredible mother, and a lot of intelligence," Watts said of Diana. "But (she was) someone that really did struggle toward the end of her life, with the level of interest that she had, that she became a little bit paranoid and isolated because of that."
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