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Actresses Cotillard, Watts, Hathaway, Weisz, Field, Hunt & Adams Talk Fear, Fame, Nudity & Gender at THR Roundtable

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 20, 2012 at 2:40PM

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.
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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.

This article is related to: Headliners, Marion Cotillard, Naomi Watts, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt, Lincoln, Rust and Bone, Les Miserables, The Impossible, Interviews, Interviews , Awards, Academy Awards, Awards, Oscars, Video, Video


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.