Naomi Watts’ had both an abundance and a gap of source material for her most recent acting project.
The Aussie plays outed formerly undercover C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame in real-life drama “Fair Game,” performing alongside Sean Penn as husband Joe Wilson. Watts was able to email and even meet with Plame as shooting began for the Doug Liman-helmed flick, but, as she pointed out in her interview with HitFix, Plame still had a contract of secrecy with her former government agency.
Still, though, there were the books, too, published Wilson and Plame — who was outed by members of the Bush Administration as they built a case for war in Iraq earlier last decade. But “Fair Game,” to Watts, has less to do with the political season and more “the story of their marriage.”
“It’s not about ‘this is my chance to take a stance or opinion.’ It’s about the essence of the character,” Watts said, in lieu of her co-star Penn’s strong political activism within entertainment. “That was the case with Valerie. The fact that it was rooted in truth made it very compelling.”
Watts says that it wasn’t necessarily her dream to play a C.I.A. agent.
“Thos movies are always entertaining… they’re not generally the kind of movies I’m excited about seeing or playing in. I’m more interested in the personal drama,” she said. “But that’s why I love this story is that it’s really formed around [Plame and Wilson’s] relationship and how they managed to survive their marriage and hold on to it. And despite the fact that he wanted to go forward [with whistleblowing] and that was just against every instinct in her being — she’s a woman lived in privacy and secrecy all her life and to suddenly be thrown into this public arena was a shocking adjustment to make.”
“Fair Game” is out Nov. 5.