Emily Watson

From Academic Kids

Emily Anita Watson (born January 14, 1967) is an English actress. She was born in Islington, London, UK; the daughter of an architect and an English professor. Although initially refused a place in drama school, in 1992, she entered the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she met her husband, Jack Waters. While there, she spent two years saying the line "News from town, my lord."


Film debut

She was a virtual unknown until director Lars von Trier chose her to star in his controversial Breaking the Waves after the first choice, Helena Bonham Carter, dropped out over the role's explicit sexuality.

Her performance in that film, her first in front of a camera, was hailed by critics. She won the Los Angeles, London and New York Critics Circle Awards, the US National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, and ultimately an Oscar nomination.

Subsequent career

She came to public notice again in another controversial role; playing cellist Jacqueline du Pre in Hilary and Jackie, and received another Oscar nomination for that performance, despite the fact that many of du Pre's friends and fans decried it as an inaccurate and unfair portrayal. She also played a leading role in Cradle Will Rock, a story of a theatre show in the 1930's directed by Tim Robbins. Though she won the title role of Frank McCourt's mother in the adaptation of his much-loved memoir, Angela's Ashes, the film underperformed. Later, she appeared as a member of Robert Altman's ensemble piece Gosford Park. 2002 was perhaps her highest profile year to date, seeing her star as Reba McClane in the adaptation of Thomas Harris's Silence of the Lambs prequel, Red Dragon, as the romantic interest of Adam Sandler in Paul Thomas Anderson's curious and quirky Punch-Drunk Love, and in the sci-fi action thriller Equilibrium alongside Christian Bale. The following year she took time off from the cinema to play two roles in Sam Mendes's dovetailed stage productions of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, which garnered her an Olivier Award nomination. In 2004 she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Peter Sellers's first wife, Anne Howe, in the HBO movie, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Future projects

Her upcoming projects include starring alongside Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in voice form in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, and in person in the biographical drama Shantaram. She will also star in Richard E. Grant's autobiographical film Wah-Wah, and in Nick Cave's Australian-set The Proposition.

Missed roles

Emily Watson has often had as much impact in the roles she didn't get as in the roles she did. Most notably, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet had her in mind when he created Amelie (originally named "Emily") she and was his first choice to play her, but dropped out due to difficulties working in French and a desire not to be away from home. The role went on to make an international star of Audrey Tautou. She was also the first choice to play Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur's film Elizabeth (movie), the role that ultimately made a star of Cate Blanchett.

Partial filmography

External links



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