LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After a slew of dramas including “The Impossible” and “Diana,” actress Naomi Watts said she was looking for something that would “feel lighter.”
Watts, 46, found herself drawn to comedies such as Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young,” a look at the disconnect between Generation X and Millennials through two New York couples - Cornelia and Josh (Watts and Ben Stiller), and Jamie and Darby (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried).
Ahead of the film’s theatrical release on Friday, Watts spoke to Reuters about her character. Following are excerpts from the interview.
Q: What attracted you to this role?
A: This feels a little bit familiar, and the juxtaposition of each couple, how different they were in the stages of their lives and how they were approaching everything, their work - it felt like a funny dynamic to be a part of.
Q: How is this story relatable to people?
A: It’s really a human drama-slash-comedy that could take place in any part of the world. There’s endless fascination with youth culture and in the same regard, the young are fascinated with us but possibly for less pure reasons. Even though (Jamie and Darby) present themselves as this very purist couple, I think they, particularly Adam Driver’s character, were using us as a form of a meal ticket.
Q: Did you overcome any challenges to play Cornelia?
A: Not really, I loved her instantly. The first read I just thought, ‘Wow, she’s great and she’s smart and she’s made choices that she thinks she’s all good and squared on,’ but she ends up changing, so there were no issues with me playing her.
I never felt, ‘Oh, I don’t like this.’ I mean, you’ll often take on characters and you’ll think ‘Oh God, I wish she hadn’t done this and done that,’ but in Cornelia’s case I pretty much loved her in every direction.
Q: Do you see yourself working in more comedy?
A: I’d love to. I think it’s harder to find good comedies and the formulaic ones don’t interest me as much, it’s more the situational and the ones that are more believable. Or slapstick, I like that.
“St. Vincent” felt pretty broad but it was really fun to do that and with Bill Murray, of course, and Melissa McCarthy, and (Oscar-winning) “Birdman” being a black comedy - now maybe I‘m on people’s radar for that.
Reporting by Alicia Avila for Reuters TV; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Tom Brown