Entertainment Weekly June 28 - July 5 2002

It Quick-Change Artist

AGE 33 WHY HER? She's the starlet who almost wasn't born. Cast as the lead in David Lynch's TV serles Mulholland Drive, Watts saw her big break vanish when ABC rejected the show...then reappear last year in the auteur's big-screen re-vamp. Her chameleonic segue from perky innocent to despairing psychotic suffused Drive with gravitas and lent the actress an appealing mystery. "I'm just full of contradictions," says the English-born Watts, who considers herself Australian (her family immigrated there when she was 14). "Maybe it's because I'm a Libra." WHY DIRECTORS LOVE HER "She's got guts" says Gore Verbinski, who directs her in her next big film, Ring. "She expects nothing from an audience and in doing so is able to create roles that transcend the accepted norms of a particular genre." INFLUENCE Debbie Harry. "When I was 8, I choreographed dance routines to my Blondie albums." CAREER LOW Children of the Corn IV. "I just wanted to work" ROLE MODEL Julianne Moore. "She has such a wonderful balance between commercial films and indie movies. As an actress, you can't tell what age she is or what class she's from. She covers the spectrum." NEXT Fall's DreamWorks thriller Ring, and 2003's Merchant Ivory opus Le Divorce.

Copyright 2002 Entertainment Weekly

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