Naomi Watts Talks ‘Birds’ & ‘Funny Games’ Remakes

Today B-D stringer SpookyDan attended a press conference (I guess Watts is too busy to go one-on-one) where he had the chance to chat with Naomi Watts about the upcoming remake of Funny Games, which hits theaters this Friday. In addition, Watts updated the room with the status of the remake of The Birds, which is being produced by Platinum Dunes. Read on for the skinny.
With her acknowledgment of the script having some traction (by Stiles White, Juliet Snowden, Leslie Dixson), and her being involved in the early stages of the script, it’s safe to say that Naomi Watts is pretty secure in playing the lead in the Platinum Dunes’ remake of THE BIRDS. “It’s a work in progress at this point, I think it’s a wonderful film,” she tells us. “There are great things in it that interested me… the script isn’t completely there yet, it probably won’t happen until next year.” We might have to wait until next year, but maybe it’ll mean a better film? “I have seen the first draft and it’s good, and with the second draft I am sure they will come to me as the script develops.” She mentioned that while she was shooting I HEART HUCKABEES she had the pleasure of meeting the star of the original Hitchcock film Tippi Hedren, “I have met with Tippi Hedren, David Brussles introduced us and I was fascinated with her because people have often said we are alike.” We spoke with Platinum Dunes about the proposed remake a few weeks back, and they are very excited about it, built they are tight lipped about the production for now.

FUNNY GAMES is being released on March 14 in limited theaters. Personally I hated this film, and believe that most people will hate it as well. Part of the reason I disliked it so much was that director Michael Haneke screws with your head, and takes his time doing it. It is certainly a love hate kind of film. Oddly Watts herself had a similar experience with it before she signed on to play the matriarch victim of a home invasion film. “When I saw it, I was excited and angered, I felt so messed with! As I was wrestling with the decision about getting involved I called a couple of other directors to get their opinion of if I should work with him. They all said YES you must work with him (director Michael Haneke)! He brings out the best in actors and makes you realize your best performance. It was the most challenging film I have ever worked on. And I would absolutely work with him again.

In the film a wealthy family on visit their vacation home only to be held captive by these two complete assholes, that torture and play games with their heads. It’s a rough film that doesn’t have to focus on gore and blood to expose the downside of a hostage situation (is there an upside?) “Clearly this material is so heavy and intense. I happen to know two people who have had similar experiences, that is a very scary thing to even know two people who have been in a hostage situation. I think Michael’s point is that violence is hideous in every aspect. Michael really likes to go for authenticity; you just had to go there because he is not one for cheating a scene to make it work. At some point you feel like your eyes are popping out of your head after crying for 3 hours, and other times there was just no tears left,” explains Watts.

Love it or Hate it. The film will find its way into our hearts and minds next weekend. I feel certain that this film will have many people talking. A colleague of mine said to me, as we were watching it, “I love it! It’s like the anti-HOSTEL!” to which I replied, “let me out so I can go see HOSTEL again because this sucks!