Naomi Watts didn’t have ordinary parents: Her mother, Myfanwy Watts, was a model married to Peter Watts, the road manager and sound engineer for the rock band Pink Floyd.
Appearing on Tuesday’s The Drew Barrymore Show, The Watcher star shared that she wished her parents were “less cool” when she was younger.
“I wish my mom would come to school in a three-piece suit and carry some, I don’t know, nylon threads,” the 54-year-old actress said. “They were just never those people. My mom wore leather boots, platform shoes, leather pants, hair, you know how she rocks it.
She added, “I would say, ‘Please mom.’ I longed for normal, straight parents. They weren’t.’
In a prairie dress embroidered with red summer flowers, the 54-year-old star Barrymore impressed with her parents’ cool and their stylish professions.
“Well, your mother was a model,” Barrymore marveled, “and your father was a sound engineer for Pink Floyd?”
“Yes,” Watts replied. “Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.”
Drew went on to ask the acclaimed actress if she wished her parents were “less cool” growing up, and Naomi replied with an emphatic yes.
“Oh yes,” she replied.
Then Naomi said she wished her mother was Mrs. Brady rather than the Queen of Chic.
Naomi’s mother Myfanwy and father Peter also had son Ben Watts, a well-known photographer.
The couple divorced in 1962 but were reportedly in the midst of reconciliation when Naomi’s father tragically died of a heroin overdose in 1976.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia in 2015, Naomi’s mother spoke openly about Peter Watts’ sudden death.
“We were divorced at the time, but the sad thing is that we were having a second try at our marriage when it happened.”
Myfanwy shared that she and her children were caught off guard by his addiction. “We had absolutely no idea he was using heroin,” she said.
“It left scars,” revealed Naomi’s mother. “It was a shock. His death made Naomi incredibly determined. It had a profound effect on her, as it did on the whole family.” She went on to say that the formative tragedy was a silver lining in helping the two-time Oscar nominee connect emotionally with dramatic roles.
“It was a tremendous help to her,” Myfanwy said. “That emotion is buried there, she uses it, she can work with that.” Buried but not forgotten, the trauma of her father’s death still seems to make the star emotional, and she often refuses to talk about him in interviews.
“You have to understand,” the ‘The Impossible’ star told The Guardian in 2017, ‘I have maybe three photos of my dad and maybe two memories. And all the photos of him are either out of focus or he’s a tiny speck in the background.’
Heath Ledger’s former partner also told the Guardian that Pink Floyd helped the family after her father’s death. “When he died my father had no money saved and I guess my mother had none. So they, the band, very friendly… ‘trust fund’ doesn’t sound right at all. I think they gave my mom a few thousand dollars to get things started. A lump sum to help. It was nice that they did that.’
While it may still be painful to reflect on her past, the mother of two has overcome her childhood struggles to pursue a successful personal and professional life. She has been dating actor Billy Crudup, 54, since 2017 and shares daughter Sasha, 14, and son Kai, 13, with former partner Liev Schreiber, 55. Career-wise, Naomi is gearing up for the release ahead of her new crime series The Watcher, which premieres on Netflix on October 13.