Naomi Watts‘ childhood of moving around and adapting herself to new situations prepared her for a successful career as an actress, but it wasn’t easy.
The actress was just 7 years old when her father Peter Watts, a sound engineer for Pink Floyd, died in 1976 of an apparent overdose from heroin at age 31.
It wasn’t until very recently that she even saw a clear image of her father smiling, when a fan of the rock band gave a photo to her, she told The Guardian in a new interview.
“You’ve got to understand, I’ve got maybe three photos of my dad, and maybe two memories,” Watts said. “And all of the photos of him are either out of focus or he’s a tiny speck in the background.”
She also revealed how the rock band helped her family in the aftermath of his passing.
“When he died, my dad hadn’t saved money, and I guess my mum didn’t have any,” she said. “So they, the band, very kindly… ‘Trust fund’ doesn’t sound right at all. I think they gave my mum a few thousand dollars to help get things under way. A lump sum, to help. It was kind that they did that.”
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Watts, 48, is now starring in the new Netflix show Gypsy, in which she plays a cognitive behavioral therapist who infiltrates the private lives of her patients by creating new identities for herself.
She explained that the role connects with her memories of being a child who was constantly moving around as her mother made ends meet.
“I moved around a lot when I was a kid,” Watts said. “I mean, I went to nine different schools in England. Started off in Kent. Moved to Cambridge for a little while. We lived in Norfolk, we lived in Suffolk, in Wales – that was where my grandparents were. So, a lot of moving, a lot of new schools, a lot of reinventing myself. ‘How do I get into that group? How do I get accepted? Who should I be? Who do you want me to be?’ That’s part of where the Gypsy world taps into my life, that constant reinvention.”
The actress also shares that she’s drawn on her own experiences sitting on a therapist’s couch.
“I’ve definitely done periods of time in a therapist’s office. Got some proper help at points of crisis,” she said.