The film directed by David Lynch with Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring.
Article added on March 30, 2002
Mulholland Drive: Naomi Watts and
Laura Elena Harring.
Mulholland Drive: Naomi Watts and
Laura Elena Harring.
Director David Lynch.
Naomi Watts biography
Naomi Watts was born in England in 1968. She is the daughter of Peter Watts who worked as sound engineer and tour manager
for Pink Floyd until 1974. Naomi moved to Australia with her family when she
was 14. She saw her mother, an actress, on stage. This inspired her to
take up an acting career. But first, she worked as assistant
fashion editor for a fashion magazine in Sydney, Australia. Meanwhile, she took
acting lessons and successfully auditioned for a part in Flirting,
a movie starring Nicole Kidman; Watts, Kidman and Russell Crowe know each
other well since they all grew up in Sydney.
Naomi Watts moved to Los Angeles after a
few roles in television and film. She had a part in Tank
Girl, Persons Unknown, Dangerous Beauty, Strange
Planet, Down. For NBC, she played in the TV movie Hunt for
the Unicorn Killer. She had the lead role in the CBS TV movie The
Christmas Wish. She was a series regular on the CBS drama Sleepwalkers,
based on the Stephen King thriller. She was part of the BBC miniseries The
Wyvern Mystery. She helped develop Ellie Parker, a 16-minute film about an actress trying to break into Hollywood which was
screened at the Sundance Film Festival and which starred Jennifer Syme.
Naomi Watts filmography
The Ring, 2002. Get the DVD from Amazon.com.
Mulholland Drive, 2001.
Ellie Parker, 2001.
The Wyvern Mystery, 2000, TV mini series.
Strange Planet, 1999.
The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer, 1999, TV.
The Christmas Wish, 1998, TV.
Babe: Pig in the City, 1998, voice.
Dangerous Beauty, 1998. Get it on DVD from Amazon.com.
Sleepwalkers, 1997, TV series.
Under the Lighthouse Dancing, 1997.
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, 1996.
Timepiece, 1996, TV.
Persons Unknown, 1996.
Bermuda Triangle, 1996, TV.
Tank Girl, 1995. Get it on DVD from Amazon.com.
The Custodian, 1993.
Wide Sargasso Sea, 1993.
Brides of Christ, 1991, TV mini series.
Home and Away, 1991, TV series.
For Love Alone, 1986.
Mulholland Drive was
originally designed as an ABC TV pilot. As ABC renounced the project,
David Lynch bought the rights back and made it into a feature film. Additional
scenes were shot for the movie, including two lesbian love scenes between Naomi
Watts and Laura Elena Harring.
High above Los Angeles, a limousine glides through the Hollywood Hills at
night, carrying an attractive, anonymous woman (Laura Elena Harring) who
survives an assassination attempt and a terrible car crash, but loses her
memory. After wandering through the streets she happens to find refuge in
the house of a woman who has just left to go on a voyage.
The woman has no time to rest because soon afterwards, the young and
joyful aspiring actress Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) enters the house. She has
just come from Canada. Her aunt has put her house at her disposal. At
first, Betty takes the mysterious woman for a friend of her aunt. The
unknown female has not yet overcome her amnesia. After a look at a Gilda
poster in a room she quickly names herself "Rita" after actress
In the meantime, strange things happen elsewhere. At the parking space of
a restaurant, somebody comes face to face with evil. A not very professional killer manages to have a series of
people killed. The director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) at first refuses
to cast a certain Camilla Rhodes for the female lead in his next film, but
is forced by some dubious financiers to do so. In between, he finds his
wife with a craftsman (Billy Ray Cyrus) in bed. He begins to realize that he
is not the omnipotent artist and man.
Betty lets Rita live in her aunt's apartment, despite warnings by her
landlady, Coco Lenoix (Ann Miller). Betty persuades Rita to begin a
quest for her identity and her memory. They find out that her
real name is Diana Selwyn and a mysterious blue key seems to promise the
answers to their questions. At the end of their quest, they find the body
of an unidentifiable female. The shock brings the two women closer
together for a night of romance. At the mysterious "Silencio"
theatre, they follow strange performances (It is all a tape. It is an
illusion) which further questions certainties about reality and
imagination, time and space. And finally, they find a blue box in which
Rita's blue key fits perfectly.
The second part of the film throws a different light on past events and
identities. Does it tell the story that led to the assassination attempt
at Mulholland Drive? Or is it rather the true story of Betty which means
that the first part was only a product of her fantasy and the opening of
the blue box brought her back to reality? You have to find out yourself.
David Lynch's rough diamond Mulholland Drive contains some minor
regrettable inconsistencies - not the way the first and the second part of
the film fit together, but for instance the fact that Detective Harry
McKnigh played by Robert Forster (who probably had his best performance so
far in Tarantino's Jackie
Brown) frustratingly does not show up again after
his early scene. That is one of the rare moments where one realizes that Mullholand
Drive started as a TV pilot and some pieces seem to be missing. For
the rest, it is another masterpiece by David Lynch who explores the
mysteries of reality and vision, identity and multiple personalities,
Hollywood fame and the dark sides of the movie business.
In Mullholand Drive, the star of Naomi Watts (Betty Elms) rises to
the Mount Olympus of female acting. Unbelievably, she did not get an Oscar
nomination for her outstanding performance. Her best moment comes in a
casting scene in which Betty Elms successfully gets a part in a movie; the
difference between this and the rehearsal scene at her aunt's flat together with
Rita is striking.
In his closing credits, David Lynch dedicates Mulholland Drive to
Jennifer Syme (1972-2001), the ex-girlfriend of Keanu Reeves who had given
birth to their stillborn child at the end of 1999 before they broke up and who
worked for a record company when she tragically died in April 2000
crashing her Jeep Cherokee into a row of parked cars in Los Angeles.
Jennifer Syme had worked for David Lynch as an assistant and had had the
part of the "Junkie Girl" in his movie Lost Highway.
Laura Elena Harring was born in Mexico and raised in
Texas. At 18, she went as a social
worker to India. She studied in Switzerland. Back in
America, she won the Miss El Paso
and Miss USA contests in 1985. Two years later, she played Raul
Julia's young wife in the TV movie The Alamo 13 Days to Glory. She had guest appearances on Baywatch and Frasier.
She played in Silent Night,
Deadly Night 3 (1989), Exit to Eden (1994) and Little Nicky
(2000). She had guest appearances in the soap operas General Hospital and Sunset
Beach (as "Paula Stevens"). She was part of the Fox Family
Channel television movie The Elian Gonzalez Story, of the New Line
Cinema Comedy Little Nicky, starring Adam Sandler. and John Q
with Denzel Washington. Laura Elena Harring was
formerly married to Count Edward von Bismarck of Germany.