Vogue Australia

WATTS IN BLOOM

Naomi Watts is talking about co-starring in her new movie with a magpie when she stops mid-sentence. “I just have to tell you something,” she says. Her tone is conspiratorial. I think she might be about to divulge a great secret but that’s not where she takes the conversation.

“I’m looking at a praying mantis that’s trying to get into my room! Can I show you?” To achieve the best-quality audio for our Zoom call, the video is off; for a moment now we switch it back on. Watts, wearing a cream sweater with stars, big spectacles and no apparent make-up, manoeuvres her laptop until its camera reveals the green insect on the other side of a windowpane beside her. “Can you see it there?” She’s excited. “At first I was like, it’s a stick moving in the wind but there’s no wind; they’re extraordinary creatures, aren’t they!” The actor paddles her arms up and down in front of her, mimicking the insect’s movements.

The bio-diversion confirms the impression I have been forming: Naomi Watts, 52 years old, English-born, Australian-raised, two-time Oscar best actress nominee (for 21 Grams and The Impossible), red-carpet regular, New York resident, habitué of the Hamptons, amicable co-parent of two young boys with her former partner actor Liev Schreiber, paparazzi target (most recently caught looking loved-up with The Morning Show’s Billy Crudup), is warm, candid and real … and has an affinity for some, if not all wildlife.

The actor’s new film, , based on the true story of the Bloom family of Sydney’s Northern Beaches – Cameron and Sam and their

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