By Brent Lang, Sep 14, 2021 6:54am PT
It was an acting challenge that Naomi Watts couldn’t pass up.
In “Lakewood,” the Oscar-nominated star of such grueling exercises in cinematic heroics as “The Impossible” and “King Kong,” spends the bulk of the movie running through the forest, struggling with spotty cellphone reception while trying to make her way to her teenage son’s school, which is under lockdown with an active shooter.
It’s Watts and Watts alone on-screen for much of the film’s 84-minute run time. Not since Tom Hardy had a psychological meltdown via speakerphone in “Locke” has an actor been so isolated and exposed.
“It scared the shit out of me, and that’s always an interesting thing,” Watts tells Variety the morning after “Lakewood” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“I feed off other actors. You rely on your cast. As an actor, you don’t want to be out there on your own. You want to be interacting and reacting. Even if you have a well planned out idea, you need someone to jolt you into another rhythm or another place.”