Naomi Watts Has An Oscar Fave

Actress Naomi Watts stars in "The International" with co-star Clive Owen. CBS/The Early Show

From "21 Grams" to "King Kong," Naomi Watts mixes critical raves with commercial blockbusters. Now she returns to the big screen alongside Clive Owen in the financial thriller "The International," which opens today.

Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith spoke with her about being a mom, working on the big screen as well as the loss of Heath Ledger.

Asked about Ledger's chances for an Oscar for his role in "The Dark Knight," she said, "Oh, of course. I mean, I hope he'll win. He did some brilliant work, and he has done many beautiful performances … very, very sad.

"But also, Sean Penn, I think in 'Milk' -- extraordinary transformation. I hope he gets it," she said.

In "The International," Watts plays a New York district attorney who is working with Owen, who is an Interpol agent. Watts is about to bust this giant banking cartel funneling money to bad guys.

There are all kinds of crimes involved in the film from stealing and money laundering to fueling terrorists.

"What is it like to work with him (Owen)? He's been here many times before. And he's such an interesting guy. He's so intense," Smith said.

"He's not to me in real life. On the screen, yeah," Watts said.

"Pussy cat?" Smith asked.

"He is a total pussy cat, incredibly funny, great kind of British schoolboy silly sense of humor and likes to be teased, can laugh at himself. But incredibly focused and well committed to his work. I loved working with him," she said.

"You have this interesting pattern, though, because you have a baby, make a movie, have a baby, make a movie, right?" Smith asked.

"Yeah, it has been going on for a couple of years now, I know. But this is the only movie I've done since I've been a mother," Watts said.

Although being a mother and starring in movies makes for a demanding schedule, she looks better than ever.

After starring in "King Kong" it took a little while for Watts to sort of find herself.

"Well, I've been on a long stretch of doing sort of three, four, sometimes five movies a year. I think after "Mulholland Drive," I was lucky enough to have some options because I hadn't had any for so long. It was, like, 'Yes, yes, yes,' I'll take them while I get them," she said.

Watts admits she changed her approach to work for a while.

"And then after 'King Kong,' I kind of was burned out and needed a bit of a rest. And then I met Liev (Schrieber). And it was good timing to slow down … and then the babies started coming," Watts said.

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