Emily Watson


  1. Cate Blanchett Elizabeth I, 1998.   Second choice after Catherine McCormack, until the Bandit Queen’s Shakhar Kapur saw a play in Sydney… and exploded Cate’s career.
  2. Audrey Tatou, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, France, 2001.    Paris realisateur Jean-Pierre Jeunet wrote Amélie – an Amélie having grown up in England – when thinking of the “naivete and positivity” of Emily’s character in Breaking The Waves, 1996. However, she was pregnant. She left her mark on the movie: Amélie was named after her.
  3. Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001.     Emily was (rightly) among the Brits (rightly) seen for Bridget:  Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslet.  No hard feelings. Emily and Renée later made Miss Potter, 2006.
  4. Jennifer Connelly, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   If the choice of the right actor to  portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital,  selecting his screen wife was even more so   – hence an Oscar for Connelly and not for Russell Crowe.  The other candidates included Julie Bowen, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Kirsten Dunst, Portia De Rossi, Claire Forlani, Rachel Griffiths, Teri Hatcher, Famke Janssen, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine McCormack, Mary McCormick, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Julia Ormond, Amanda Peet, Christina Ricci, Meg Ryan, Chloe Sevigny, Alicia Silverstone, Mira Sorvino, Hilary Swank, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz.  Poor Emily was rejected as “too British” – while Salma Hayek was seen because  Alicia Nash came from El Salvador… which must have meant the others were too American, Australian,  South African, etc. Director Ron Howard seemed to forget they were all actresses. Odd that, as he used to be one.
  5. Julianne Moore, The Hours, 2002.   Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow were seen for Laura Brown, planning to kill herself with pills. She was not alone. Two other women were determined on suicide in differing time zones and locales. Including Nicole Kidman with a famous fake nose as writer Virginia Wolf.   Before handing her the Best Actress Oscar on March 23, 2003, Denzel Washington said she’d won by a nose.  
  6. Harriet Walter, Atonement, 2007.  Both  Watson and Kristin Scott Thomas were asked to be the mother of sisters Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan.  “Obviously, they were trying to get the feel of a David Lean epic,” said his widow, Sandra, “but they failed. Without David, it’s not so easy.”
  7. Florence Pugh, Black Widow, 2019.  Scarlett Johansson was the titular Natsha Romanoff, of course. But there was a battle for Yelena Belova between the favourites, Saoirse Ronan, and Emma Watson. Plus newer-comers Australian Alice Englert (from Jane Campionl’s Top of the Lake serries) and the Israeli actress and model Dar Zuzovsky. The win for Oxford’s Pugh came at the end of a magical two years in films and TV: Lady Macbeth, King Lear, The Little Drummer Girl, Midsommer and Amy in Little Women.




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7