In an upcoming role, Naomi Watts plays a mother who was torn from her husband and children in the 2004 Tsunami that devastated Indonesia. Instead of explaining to her 4 and 5-year-old that “what mommy does isn’t real,” she decided to take her family along for the filming so they could see first-hand that the trauma she experiences on film is all part of the job. That shows some pretty sound parenting, if you ask me.
Watts and her partner Liev Schreiber took their sons Sasha, 5 and Kai, 4, to Thailand – to the set of the movie “The Impossible.” Watts plays real-life Spanish doctor Maria Belon, who was swept by the force of the waves from her husband and two younger sons, and treated in a Thai hospital. From the Huffington Post:
“Yeah, it’s not the best way to see mommy, is it?” Watts laughs in an interview. “They came first time on a day where I had minimal wounds – nothing too much. … And then by the third day they came, they were putting the chocolate powder all over me and painting some wounds on themselves and me. So they understood it.
Being that both parents are actors, I think it is really important that they expose their children to the world of make-believe that acting really is. I think it would be way more traumatizing to happen to see their mother or father in a role like this without any context or explanation. Not only will they learn that it’s make-believe when mommy and daddy do it, they’ll get the early lesson that what they see on the screen is not real-life. That’s a very important lesson for all of our kids.
It shows a tremendous amount of considerate parenting that the two are able to treat their 4 and 5 year olds as little beings who have the cognitive capacity to grasp the reality of what their parents do.
“I know it’s not completely normal. But this is the life that actors live. And we are playing dress-up some of the time.”