Naomi Watts may be the consumate Hollywood pro, but we were charmed when we caught up with her at the Cannes Film Festival, that she still gets jazzed over a premiere. There to promote her new film Sea of Trees—she plays Matthew McConaughey's wife–which showed at the international festival, she loved the mix of seaside setting and film. "I had actually only seen it on a small screen in an edit suite, so seeing it with an audience, not to mention here in Cannes, was a whole new experience," she told us. There's more of course. A L'Oreal Paris ambassador, Watts sounds off on what it's actually like working with McConaughey and shares a few beauty tips too.
How was it filming with Matthew McConaughey?
Such a delight—he’s an incredible actor. We didn’t have the luxury to rehearse before filming, so we wrote letters to each other in character. It was great because when we arrived we felt like husband and wife.
Switching gears, can we talk beauty? Who taught you about hair and makeup growing up?
Honestly, I think I taught myself! My mom has never been a big groomer. She’s was strikingly beautiful, and still is, but she wasn’t someone who was constantly having facials. She’s very low-maintenance. But I wish she would’ve given me a few beauty tips, like stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen!
So when was your first beauty experiment?
I was 14 or 15 and it was right after I moved from England to Australia. I started wearing blue eye kohl in the inside of my eyes. Then I eventually advanced from that and started giving myself smoky eyes, using 3 different colors of eye shadow!
Now that rainbow-colored shadows are behind you, what’s your go-to beauty product?
L’Oreal’s Colour Riche lipstick. It’s incredible. I wear a shade called Mauved. It's a dusty pink and great for everyday.
Is there any type of makeup you wore in the past that you feel like you can no longer pull off?
I don’t like strong eyes anymore. It just no longer works for me. I think you have to change things as you age. I used to always love red lipstick, but now if it’s not the right shade, it can cause trouble. I can’t do a cherry red or anything with an orange tone. It has to be blue-based. No warmth for me.
What about a beauty icon—who do you admire?
There are many. I grew up really admiring Julie Christie. Not only her beauty, but also her work. Don’t Look Now was probably my first real film experience, when I thought to myself, "Wow, this is what I want to do." I also think Meryl Streep and Susan Sarandon are such great beauties. And Julianne Moore—I would definitely like to look exactly like her.
What does the word “beauty” mean to you?
Well…beauty has to go beyond the surface. Because you can look at an incredible picture of someone and if you don’t connect with them, that image of beauty doesn’t hold. But if it’s someone who’s a little odd looking and if you connect with them, you can fall into their beauty and it will hold forever. I also think so much of beauty has to do with confidence. I know that when I’m feeling my best inside, I look my best on the outside.