Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts talks 'The Impossible,' family's animal encounters
Naomi Watts says while filming "The Impossible," which earned her an Oscar nomination, she and partner Liev Schreiber underwent some terrifying ordeals involving animals, while their five-year-old son channeled his inner "carnivore" and slurped up raw oysters straight from the ocean.
In the film, which is based on a true story, the Australian actress and Scottish star Ewan McGregor play a couple and parents to three, who experience the devastating tsunami in Thailand in 2004. Watts filmed scenes and stayed with her family in the same hotel that her and the actor's real-life counterparts had visited, which was heavily damaged by the waters and debris.
Watts brought along Schreiber, who is also an actor, and their sons, Sasha and Sammy, who she says loved their visit.
"They would go to the beach every day and play with hermit crabs and collect them, like bucket loads of them," Watts told Jimmy Kimmel on his ABC late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on Wednesday, January 23.
"Sasha, my eldest son, has the most kind of sophisticated palate you can image for a five-year-old," Watts added. "He has literally taken an oyster from the sea and shucked it and [slurp]. He'll eat anything. He calls himself a carnivore."
However, she and Schreiber experienced less appetizing animal encounters.
"Well, there are lots of scary things in Thailand," Watts told Kimmel. "There are poisonous bugs, snakes. We were staying in this little kind of villa. Before you could go in you would take off your shoes and lay them in the basket. I came out and there was a snake coiled up in my ballet slipper."
"And I saw it and it had those bright colors that you know are just bad, poisonous," she said. "And I saw one it and went 'Ooh!' and I saw one of the housekeepers close by and I said, 'Oh could you, excuse me, could you tell someone and get them to remove it?' And she came up and looked and went 'Aah!,' like that, screaming and went, 'Go inside, lock the door!"
Watts said Schreiber had a scary encounter with a poisonous frog.
"[Thailand]'s sort of like Australia -- nothing's cute," she joked. "This was a frog and it was in Liev's shoe and he was going out running and you can't really see in a sneaker, can you? Your jogging shoe. You just put it on your foot. And he did and for probably the most masculine man I've ever laid eyes on, I've never heard such a, you know, girly sound. Sorry honey."
Watts said filming "The Impossible" was the most physically and emotionally demanding role she's ever had.
"We were roped into these giant flower pots and we were going up and down a track and they had water coming against us, water behind us, side pumps," she told Kimmel. "We were anchored into these flower pots and then you would hook your legs in so you could use your arms."
Watts is nominated for the Oscar for Best Leading Actress at the 2013 ceremony, along with Jessica Chastain of "Zero Dark Thirty," Jennifer Lawrence of "Silver Linings Playbook," Emmanuelle Riva of "Amour" and Quvenzhane Wallis of "Beasts of the Southern Wild." This is Watts' second Oscar nomination -- she received her first nod for her role in the 2003 film "21 Grams."
Watts said she plans to take both Schreiber and her mother, who maintains homes in England, France and Australia, to the Oscars. The 2013 awards ceremony will air live on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 on ABC, OTRC.com's parent company.
(Check out the interactive My Picks 2013 Official Oscar Ballot.)
Check out the full list of 2013 Oscar nominees here.
The actress has been keeping in touch with the woman who inspired her "Impossible" character, Spanish doctor Maria Belon, and said she contacted her on the day of the Oscar nominations, on January 10.
"She sent me an email," Watts told OTRC.com that day. "She writes beautifully. She always writes great letters and they always make me cry and of course this one was no exception. I received it a couple of hours ago and she said, 'I love, love, love, love you and now I love, love, love, love the Academy.'" (Check out the full interview with Naomi Watts.)
Watch the trailer for "The Impossible" and Naomi Watts' interview with Jimmy Kimmel below.