Princess Diana: Biopic Star Naomi Watts Takes Heat

    September 7, 2013
    Kristen M. Foster
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The biopic is simply titled Diana and it premiered Thursday to controversy that probably ought to have been expected. The star portraying the iconic princess of Wales is Naomi Watts, and Watts seems to be catching most of the lightening. Diana’s death is still very raw and her life, or rumors about it, beforehand drew paparazzi and controversy like few others.

The film about Diana, whose death in Paris in 1997 is being reinvestigated by British officials as of mid-August, is based on the book Diana: Her Last Love, by Kate Snell. The book and subsequent film suggest that Diana started dating Dodi Fayed—pursued by the press along with Diana when the car they were in slammed into a pillar in a Seine-side tunnel, killing both—in order to make Hasnat Khan jealous.

Who is Hasnat Khan you say? He is the London-based Pakistani surgeon who is rumored to be Diana’s true love and one she nicknamed, “Mr. Wonderful.” Khan says he does not intend to see the film and pans it as, “completely wrong.” He has remained silent on the topic of a relationship with the princess.

Watts, a British-Australian actress known for roles in King Kong, Mulholland Drive and recently The Impossible, admits that she was taking a risk by accepting the role. She hopes Diana’s sons with Prince Charles, William and Harry, “will feel that we have done it in a respectful and sensitive way… we try to honor the depiction of her character in the best possible way.”

During a BBC radio interview, with presenter Simon Mayo, Watts stormed out when a question offended her. Watts is getting extra scrutiny for her resemblance to the “People’s Princess,” or lack thereof according to critics, getting flack for wearing a prosthetic nose for the movie. You be the judge…


The royal family apparently gave some help in terms of film locations but otherwise has ignored the movie. Scenes were filmed in Kensington Gardens, a favorite jogging locale for Diana, but a family spokesman says the Gardens are not under their jurisdiction.

Watts confesses to channeling Diana during filming, saying she was regularly asking her permission to continue: “I felt like I was spending a lot of time with her. There was one particular moment when I felt her permission was granted.”

Here are a few reviews from the British critics off Rotten Tomatoes:


[Images from Official Diana Movie Facebook.]

  • steandric

    You British critics have been very harsh and unfair on Ms. Watts all these years and not even given her a single break, but on other actresses also playing British prominent figures like Margaret Thatcher, the Queen, the stammered King George, Elizabeth, the big-nose Virginia Woolf…..and who else etc. against whom you people have or just chosen to have nothing much to say, even relaxed and near adoring on their roles and performances but on this one, you people just won’t let go with your shallowness and meanness. Shame on you!

  • tourist

    Reportedly, the film was speculative,if not totally erroneous,in many places. That alone does a disservice to Princess Diana, not to mention concentrating on her ‘love life’ rather than her good works which is/was what she was celebrated and loved for would have cautioned me away from taking the role. But, hey, as long as Naomi got the ‘green light’ on the project from the great beyond, who am I to say. Diana always was the charitable sort.