Naomi Watts Recalls “Mortifying” Audition With A Well-Known Actor

“It was very awkward.”

Naomi Watts attends the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Naomi Watts is sharing details of a “very awkward” movie audition. During a roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter alongside Jodie Foster, Brie Larson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, Ana Sawai, and Sofía Vergara, the actor said she was once asked to make out with a “very well-known actor” for a chemistry test.

“I was auditioning, and I didn’t get the job, so clearly I did not do a good make-out,” Watts shared. “It was mortifying because we didn’t hear a ‘cut,’ and it just kept going. Then they were like, ‘OK, OK.’ And we both were like, ‘Oh, sorry, we didn’t hear.’ I did feel a bit rattled.”

The actor described chemistry tests as “impossible” and said she was “shockingly bad” at auditions during the beginning of her career.

“I could feel the energy in the room where people were like, ‘Hurry this along.’ I’d even go, ‘Yeah, don’t worry, I’m out of your way in one second. You don’t even have to look me in the eye and shake my hand.’”

Naomi Watts. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Later in the roundtable discussion, Watts recalled trying out for Mulholland Drive with director David Lynch, revealing that she’d never experienced a movie audition like it.

“He said, ‘Tell me about yourself.’ And I fell into it, this conversation,” Watts said. “I was like, ‘Wait, really? You want to take time with me? You want to know sh*t about me and how I was raised and all of that?’ And then I got the job. I didn’t even have to audition.”

Obviously, Watts isn’t the only Hollywood star to have awkward chemistry tests. Speaking to V Magazine in April, Anne Hathaway revealed that “it was considered normal” in the 2000s for actors to make out with potential co-stars at auditions.

“I was told, ‘We have 10 guys coming today, and you’re cast. Aren’t you excited to make out with all of them?’” she said. “And I thought, ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ because I wasn’t excited. I thought it sounded gross.”