Watts, THR
Naomi Watts at THR's cover shoot

This year's THR Actress Roundtable features a smattering of lead and supporting actress contenders: Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone"), Naomi Watts ("The Impossible"), Helen Hunt ("The Sessions"), Anne Hathaway ("Les Miserables"), Sally Field ("Lincoln"), Rachel Weisz ("The Deep Blue Sea") and Amy Adams ("The Master").

The women discussed career challenges, the roles they've had to turn down, fight for, and the ones they're hungry to play, and gender imbalance in the industry. Check out some highlights below as well as our interviews with Cotillard, Watts and Weisz.

What's the scariest thing about acting today?  Fields replies: "Getting to do the work," since quality roles are so hard to come by, and so competitive to get. She explains just how hard she had to fight for her role in "Lincoln," which she eventually won after Daniel Day-Lewis flew in from Ireland to do "the most bizarre improv in the history of time for about an hour," and Watts explains the time a "very fancy director we all know" fell asleep during her audition.

Watts likes feeling fear as part of her process, saying "I love bubbling nervousness, it makes me... feel that I'm more capable of reaching something, of going to a place I haven't gone before." Apparently, she often tries to pull out of a role at the last minute. "It's just my habit, my process," she says. Weisz agrees: "Fear is the steam that fires the combustion engine."

As for acting in the nude in "The Sessions," Helen Hunt says she was scared, but "my desire to be in something beautiful was bigger than my nerves."

Judging oneself is always tough. Hathaway admits: "I always think I'm terrible, so it's always a relief when I found out that I wasn't." She reveals that she considers a failure one role that she wanted to pull out of because she was in over her head. "I love this so much and I want to be as good as I possibly can. My biggest fear is overreaching." As for Hathaway's Oscar hosting gig, she thinks that playing to the house came across quite manic and "hyper-cheerleaderly," but she doesn't regret it.