Naomi Watts is defending Diana after the film was panned by British critics.
The film focuses on the last two years of Princess Diana’s life after her divorce from Prince Charles. The biopic explores her relationships with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed, who was with her when she died on August 31, 1997. Diana premiered September 5 in London, and is scheduled for a September 20 release in the UK and a November 1 release in the US.
Watts said she hoped Princess Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, wouldn’t be offended by the biopic.
“I’ll never know what they think because I don’t know them. But if they see it, I hope they’ll feel we’ve been respectful,” the 44-year-old told Sky News at the film’s premiere.
Watts also confessed that she was initially unsure about taking the role.
“It was the biggest risk that one could possibly take and a huge challenge,” she said. “I had a lot of hesitation about saying yes, but once I did I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.”
Naomi Watts previously spoke about her reluctance to take on the role because of how the princes might feel, saying she turned down the role twice before accepting the third time.
“The biggest reason that made me pause was how the princes were going to be feel about this,” she said. “There was actually quite an eerie moment in London when I did see Prince William in a restaurant, and I got very nervous, because if I caught his eye I didn’t want to interpret a look and think he had a negative feeling about this idea, so I made sure not to look.”
Watts added, “I was a little bit torn, but once I’d said no, I wasn’t completely at peace. Sometimes when you say no, you feel free, but it just wasn’t the case.”
So far, the film has been panned by critics, who have called it “atrocious and intrusive” and “cheap.” The Royal Family has said they have no intention of seeing the film.