Director Oliver Hirschbiegel talks ‘Diana’

Director Oliver Hirschbiegel recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his new biopic “Diana.”

In “Diana,” which opens Friday, Nov. 8 at movie theaters throughout the Valley, Naomi Watts portrays Princess Diana who, in last two years of her life, embarks on a final rite of passage – a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews).

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Hirschbiegel by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the director discusses actress Naomi Watts’ transformation into Princess Diana and the movie’s message.

As a director, you can only do so much. What you do is you find the right actor. That is 50 percent of the work, really, and I always had Naomi [Watts] down as my first name ever. Then you meet and talk about certain aspects, you look at videos together, but then you have to send the actress off and she has to do her homework. So while I am prepping my work, she does the same thing over months. We congregate frequently but most of the stuff she has to do herself.

In this case, [Naomi] did something unusual. Usually, an actor goes from inside out. In this case, she started working on [Princess] Diana’s movements, her mannerisms, the way she looked and the way she talked. [Diana] had a very specific posh English accent and doing that helped [Naomi] get inside of the character and really become Diana. It was fascinating for me. Very few actors have the ability to go as deep.

It may sound a little simplistic but I think love is the message here. My hope is that people get what love means, what it could mean and what it meant in [Diana’s] life; then look at their own lives and question themselves, ‘Where am I standing in life? How far would I take it? What would I give up in my life in order to live the love with another person? Would I sacrifice things that are dear to me?’

I always wanted to do a love story and I thoroughly enjoyed doing this one so what I am taking with me is the want to do another one. This kind of film really is not made anymore. Love is just an aspect in romantic comedies and other dramas. So I would kind of like to follow this line a little for another film – not necessarily the next one but maybe the one after.” – Oliver Hirschbiegel

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at [email protected].

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