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Naomi Watts on The International

Published February 10, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of DreamWorks Pictures
The InternationalThe International

Naomi Watts plays New York Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman in The International, investigating a corrupt bank. She did her research to make sure she carries off the ADA vibe accurately in the thriller.

Naomi Watts Going International

"She's operating very much in a man's world and she has to be strong," Watts said. "I met with an ADA in New York before I started filming and she said there's no time for girliness, there's no time for that sort of running around in little cute suits and high heels. It's like we're on the job, we're dealing with this, and if you want to be taken seriously, particularly by the cops, and all the other men and women around you, there's no frills."

Likewise, her pairing with Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) is not a romantic flirtation. "They have a great working relationship. They're bouncing off each other all the time and they rely on one another and trust each other and although she operates very much from a above board background, she doesn't want to get too crazy and go off course, she wants to, you know, she is the law. So she's keeping him focused."

Watts came up with a backstory for Whitman, but the final film leaves that implied at best. "I would have loved to have done a whole lot more scenes and developed more of it, but the focus of the story is really told more through Clive. He's the protagonist and I'm supporting him, so if they dwelled on that then perhaps it would slow the story down. I think the conflict for her, of balancing both and being a good mom and being good at her work and being very connected to this case for such a long time, that was an appealing character for me. Someone who struggles with that conflict, because I'm about to start doing that myself."

The InternationalThe International

The InternationalThe International

In one scene, Watts' character investigates a lead by text messaging. The film focuses on the cell phone while her fingers type away. "I mean that's where we are. In the world everything is like this, so you can tap into that quite easily. Thankfully I have my own Blackberry that I'm completely addicted to and could type very fast and so I can keep the tension as well as type."

Banks and money are on everyone's minds right now and big Hollywood stars are no exception. "With what's going on right now I've made several calls to my business manager and said, 'What do we need to do here? Shall I bring around a few briefcases?' I mean, you just have no idea. Banks are very powerful things and they talk you into doing all kinds of things with your money despite what you're really capable of doing with your money and what you should be and that's how people get so hideously in debt. This particular bank, it's so ugly and grim and there's so many people involved it just doesn't stop. It's impossible to expose them. That's what I loved about the film, is that these two characters are standing up and going against something, despite their odds and the very people that should be policing them are fueling it, the whole system."

The International opens to theaters on February 13th.

For the trailer, poster and more movie info, go to the The International Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of DreamWorks Pictures

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