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Emily Watson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 14 January 1967Islington, London, England, UK
Birth NameEmily Margaret Watson
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Emily Watson was born and raised in London, the daughter of Katharine (Venables), an English teacher, and Richard Watson, an architect. After a self-described sheltered upbringing, Watson attended university for three years in Bristol, studying English literature. She applied to drama school and was rejected on her first attempt.

After three years of working in clerical and waitress jobs she was finally accepted. In 1992, she took a position with the Royal Shakespeare Company where she met her future husband, Jack Waters. Continuing stage work, Watson landed her first screen role as Bess McNeill in Breaking the Waves (1996) after Helena Bonham Carter pulled out of the role. For this initial foray into movies, Watson was nominated for an Academy Award. She continued to gain success in Britain in the leading roles in Metroland (1997) and The Mill on the Floss (1997), but her first popular film in the United States came in 1997 when she played Daniel Day-Lewis's long-suffering love interest in The Boxer (1997).

In the next two years she won critical acclaim for her portrayal of cellist Jacqueline du Pré in Hilary and Jackie (1998) and landed a small part in the ensemble cast of Tim Robbins's Cradle Will Rock (1999). Critical acclaim and North American success came together for Watson in 1999 with the release of Angela's Ashes (1999), the film adaptation of Frank McCourt's bestselling book of the same name. She achieved top billing as Angela McCourt, the hardworking mother of several children and wife of a drunken husband in depression-era Ireland. After less-celebrated roles in 2000's Trixie (2000) and The Luzhin Defence (2000), Watson again returned to an ensemble cast in Robert Altman's Gosford Park (2001).

Watson's status as a leading actress in major Hollywood productions was cemented in 2002 with her roles in Red Dragon (2002), the third installment of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lechter series; the futuristic Equilibrium (2002); and, most notably, in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love (2002), playing opposite Adam Sandler. While returning to the stage in 2002 and 2003 on both sides of the Atlantic, Watson has expressed interest in again working with Anderson. Emily Watson lives in London, England, UK, with her husband, Jack Waters.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Jack Waters (1995 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (20)

Supports the English soccer team Arsenal.
Was considered for the lead role in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), along with fellow Brits Kate Winslet and Rachel Weisz, and American model-turned-actress Cameron Diaz.
Was spotted by Lars von Trier during a representation of Lillian Hellman's "The Children's Hour", in which she played a young student who falsely accuses her teacher of lesbianism.
Won the role of Bess in Breaking the Waves (1996) after Helena Bonham Carter dropped out at the last minute because of the film's explicit sexuality.
She graduated from high school, went to University for three years, got a 2.1 ranking [in the English education system], then she applied to drama school but was refused. So she started waitressing and doing secretarial stuff along with some fringe theater. Then she applied to drama school again and was accepted, and did a one-year course. Her first professional job was in the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1992.
Spent two years at the British Shakespeare School of Acting saying "News from town, my Lord." When Breaking the Waves (1996) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996, someone grabbed Emily's shoulders and said to her, "Your life is about to change forever." And indeed it has.
Her mother has a PhD in English, and is an English teacher.
She was Jean-Pierre Jeunet's first choice to play the title role in Amélie (2001), but dropped out for personal reasons. She did manage to leave her mark on the film however; Amelie is named after her.
She was nominated for 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress of 2002 for her performance in Uncle Vanya performed at the Donmar Warehouse.
Graduated from Bristol University with a degree in English
Daughter, Juliet, born November 2005.
Her performance as Bess McNeill is ranked #18 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Was approached to play Emily Tallis in Atonement (2007).
One of only a few performers to get an Oscar-nomination for their debut performance.
Second child, a boy named Dylan Waters, was born in 2009.
Born on the same day as heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde. She also shares birthday with LL Cool J, Faye Dunaway and Jason Bateman.
Performing "Twelfth Night" and "Uncle Vanya" in New York off Broadway. [January 2003]
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2015 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to drama. She is an actress in London SE10, England.
She was considered for the part of Mrs. Moravcová in Anthropoid (2016), eventually played by Alena Mihulová.
Is just 16 years older than Felicity Jones, who played her daughter in The Theory of Everything (2014).

Personal Quotes (15)

"The first Oscarcast, I was definitely functioning in a surreal mode. It was like I was watching myself watch the ceremony. Yet I had a good time. Hey, wearing a beautiful dress and being surrounded by beautiful people is not a terrible way to spend an evening. And I had a great time at all the parties. The second Oscarcast, I just went and planned on enjoying myself. People think of me as such a serious actress, but I find myself behaving like a gadabout." - On her sudden success and America's award shows.
"I wasn't prepared for the way people responded to 'Breaking the Waves.' Suddenly, I was being interviewed and being asked all sorts of questions. All my life, I've loved movies, but I didn't foresee the glamour of the Academy Awards. In England, the awards are reported as straight news. In America, they're considered the height of glamour." - On her two 1999 roles, "Angela's Ashes" and "Cradle Will Rock", which had Oscar-potential.
I was a normal, rather dutiful child. I didn't even rebel as a teenager.
On her childhood preparing her for an acting career: "I was taught the value of imagination at an early age. I didn't have a television. I read a lot of books and developed a good sense of storytelling. I was happy as well, and I think that helped. The more secure you feel, the more unbalanced you can let yourself become."
On Hollywood's perception of women as beauty objects: "I'm lucky I don't do the kind of work where the main thing is that you're the girl and you look gorgeous. I don't look like that. I'm a funny-looking bugger. I don't feel that I can compete, and I wouldn't want to. Life's too short to spend seven hours a day in the gym and starving yourself."
On being at the Cannes Film Festival opening of "Breaking the Waves" without the film's director, Lars von Trier: "It was a bit of a baptism of fire, because I had never done any press before. I had never done a single interview in my life. I had never made a film before, I just knew nothing. And I arrived in this maelstrom of publicity with this extraordinary film, and of course Lars von Trier didn't come to Cannes so we - just the actors - were left to explain what on earth he meant by this extraordinary film. The first experience of Cannes, the first time I was here, is like seared in my brain like a firebrand. It was very intense. I remember as the light went down, someone leaned over and said, "Emily your life is about to change forever." You know the official music? Whenever I hear that music that they play when the film starts, my stomach starts to churn. But being with this film is more than great, because it's more about show business. There are ten of us here, and nobody is really carrying the film in that way."
The challenge in playing Bess [in Breaking the Waves] is that, in physical, psychological, intellectual, moral, ethical and political terms, she's a disaster - part saint, part clown. But she has an infinite capacity to love and believe. I tried to make the logic of that transcend those judgements.
On journalists constantly asking her if she'd like children, especially as she had been married for 10 years: "'Yeah, I was asked that every single time, and it did feel quite personal. Especially if you say that yes, you do want children. You have to say if you're actually trying for them. And you don't always especially want to tell the whole world how that's going.'"
[on controversy about her being willing to appear unclothed on screen] Screw it. Everyone in that room had probably seen me naked anyway. I don't care. It's not like I'm a great sex symbol. I'm just a normal woman.. I've fallen into situations which have required guts of me, and I've just gone, 'Okay, I'll be gutsy. I'll go for it because I don't know what else to do. I'd like to say I have a great master plan of courage, but I don't. I'm sort of following my nose through a maze, really.
[on Lars von Trier's expressed sympathy for Adolf Hitler] What an idiot! I think he's sort of developed a habit of shooting his mouth off, just to make people laugh and for effect, and here he shot his mouth off in a way that was totally inappropriate.
[on Breaking the Waves (1996)] It was my very first film. It was a very, very strong experience for me as an actor - but also as a person. There was a tsunami of attention that really affected my life. It opened a lot of doors, and I had a lot of great things come from it, but it also changed things. It's kind of a blessing and a curse to do something as full of notoriety as that.
I love my job, but to say why I do is quite hard. I can go a certain distance without doing it, and then I have to go back to work. It's like a hunger, or an appetite that you have to feed.
(on 'War Horse) We all have stories about the men who left for the war. My grandmother's older brother, whom she worshipped, was killed at Ypres. She never talked about it until she was eighty, and then she sobbed and sobbed as she told us she'd slept every day of her life with his letter from the trenches by her bed... They nailed it so beautifully: the officer class, the young untutored teenagers going off as cannon fodder. It's very moving and very beautiful.
[on co-starring with Daniel Day-Lewis in 'The Boxer'] I found it very demanding because of the way that he works. Our characters had been estranged, hadn't seen each other for fourteen years. It was very tense between them. So Daniel and I didn't speak - we agreed not to. I found it quite lonely and isolated and a bit scary. He has sort of an electric force about him and it's intimidating - but amazing to watch. It really was as it was in the story. It's a spare, brutal world where people don't express themselves.
As I got older and more experienced, I could look back and appreciate being able to work with someone who has the most integrity you can possibly have in this job. Daniel has integrity coming out of every pore. I remember asking at the very end, "Why do you work like that?". And he said - it was very sweet - "Well, I don't think I'm a good enough actor to be able to not do it this way."

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