It was the hugely successful and extremely terrifying film that made everyone scared to answer their phones. But Naomi Watts says agreeing to her role in The Ring was not an easy decision.

The Book of Henry star sat down with PEOPLE’s editor-in-chief for the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview to discuss her career and life, saying it took some convincing to get her to take on the role of newspaper reporter Rachel Keller in the 2002 horror film.

“I was having a real hard time with saying yes,” says Watts. “I remember having this conversation with my agent, and he was like, ‘I really, really think you should do this.’ I said, ‘I don’t think I can. I’m just not sure. I just don’t know.’ I was really pushing back on it. Then he actually raised his voice and said, ‘Just say yes. I’m telling you, trust me on this.’ ”

For more on Naomi Watts, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

Merrick Morton/Dreamworks
  • Watch The Jess Cagle Interview: Naomi Watts, available now on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to, or download the PEN app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device. And for more on Naomi Watts, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

She says meeting with director Gore Verbinski also helped sway her. “He blew me away in the meeting,” she admits.

Watts says she is now so glad she was in the film and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

“It turned out to be great! Who knew?”

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