The People’s Princess is coming to life on the silver screen, and we finally get a look at Diana being brought to life by Academy Award nominated actress, Naomi Watts.
The international trailer for Diana, a biopic focused on the relationship between the princess of Wales and a heart and lung surgeon Hasnat Khan (set for UK release Sept. 20, with the US release pending) was met with mixed reactions. The movie itself will span the final two years of Diana’s life, detailing the relationship between the heart surgeon and the princess in the period immediately following Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles.
From what we see of the trailer it looks like Olivier Hirschbiegel’s film will portray the princess in the way most people who had grown up hearing about her will recognize, while revealing a side of her that many may not be as familiar with.
"She is a fascinating woman who led an extraordinary but short life. The most fun part of it is the research. It was daunting because everyone feels they know her so well so you want to get it perfect. It’s not an impression, it’s an interpretation."
According to the filmmakers, the movie charts how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed the princess to achieve her defining successes, thus evolving into the major international campaigner and humanitarian she became beloved for. However Watts’ is honoured to portray such an iconic role, albeit initially unsure about taking on such a challenge, and had immersed herself in footage and footage of everyone’s favourite royal.
In an interview Watts stated that she definitely had moments where she felt Diana’s presence. And that she dreamed about the princess a lot, at first.
"I kept wondering to myself: ‘Would she have liked it? So I found myself constantly asking for her permission to carry on. I had saturated myself with Diana and her life and I felt this enormous responsibility of playing this iconic woman. It felt like I was spending a lot of time with her. There was one particular moment when I felt her permission was granted. That won’t sound right in print, I know."
Watts acknowledges that everyone is going to have an opinion on how Diana should be portrayed, and that she found this a very daunting prospect; however in weighing up the pros and cons she found that in the end the best roles came with a risk and decided that she couldn’t let the opportunity pass.
Diana is scheduled to hit theaters in the U.K. on September 20, with a U.S. release set for October 10.