For Naomi Watts, getting a role in the 1991 film Flirting not only helped her career but also led to her close bond with best friend Nicole Kidman.

“We already knew each other but that’s when our friendship forged,” says Watts.

The Book of Henry star sat down with PEOPLE’s editor-in-chief for the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview and discussed finding fame and friendship.

Through personal ups and downs, the two have remained close, and Watts, 48, attributes their 26-year friendship to “respect” for one another.

“We’ve gone through a lot together over a significant amount of time. That history binds you,” she says. “We have a strong respect and love for one another.”

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  • Watch The Jess Cagle Interview: Naomi Watts, available now on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to people.com/PEN, 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.

The two friends also have children around the same age: Watts has two boys (Alexander, 9, and Samuel, 8) and Kidman has two daughters (Sunday, 8 and Faith, 6).

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Watts, who also stars as a psychotherapist in the Netflix drama Gypsy, which premieres June 30, says if anyone spends time with her and Kidman, there is one thing she can guarantee.

“If you hang out with us, you’ll have fun,” says Watts. “I’ll promise you that.”

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