Naomi Watts on The Wolf Hour & Joining the Game of Thrones Prequel

Posted 2019/12/0450

[This interview was conducted at Sundance 2019. We are re-posting it in honor of The Wolf Hour’s December 6th release.]

Naomi Watts is about to have her hands full with that Game of Thrones prequel series, but she also kept quite busy at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival because not only did she have Luce playing in Park City, but she also debuted another movie called The Wolf Hour. She stars in director Alistair Banks Griffin‘s second feature as June Leigh. It’s July 1977 and the once famous novelist has completely shut herself off, never leaving the confines of her New York City apartment where her paranoia builds courtesy of a mysterious individual who keeps ringing her apartment buzzer. Help comes in the form of a very select group of individuals June associates with, including her good friend Margot played by Jennifer Ehle, but it isn’t easy breaking through June’s extreme isolation.

With The Wolf Hour making its big debut at the Sundance Film Festival, Watts, Ehle and Griffin took some time to swing by the Collider Studio to talk a little bit about the film. The trio gives us a brief rundown of The Wolf Hour, shares what they turn to to avoid slipping into something similar to June’s descent into isolation, and Watts was kind enough to share a teeny, tiny bit about what drew her to the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series. You can hear about all of that in the video interview at the top of this article. There’s also a breakdown of the full conversation below if you’d like to jump around.


Image via Kia Motors

I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.

Libations were also flowing at the Collider Studio with parties hosted by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort lead by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners active during the day included mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first “virtual reserve.”

Naomi Watts, Alistair Banks Griffin, Jennifer Ehle:

  • Griffin on the journey from his first feature, Two Gates of Sleep, to The Wolf Hour.
  • What is The Wolf Hour about?
  • Watts on why her character winds up in this position and how she prepared for the role; how she relates to June.
  • Ehle on who she turns to to help her out of tough spots.
  • Griffin on assembling his cast, and how he got Watts to sign on.
  • Watts on how she chooses her roles; studio blockbusters vs. smaller independent projects.
  • Is there a piece of June she’ll take with her?
  • Watts on the choice to sign on to the Game of Thrones prequel series.

Here’s the official Sundance description of The Wolf Hour:

It’s July 1977, and New York City is awash with escalating violence. A citywide blackout is triggering fires, looting, and countless arrests, and the Son of Sam murders are riddling the city with panic. June, once a celebrated counterculture figure, attempts to retreat from the chaos by shutting herself inside the yellowed walls of her grandmother’s South Bronx apartment. But her doorbell is ringing incessantly, the heat is unbearable, and creeping paranoia and fear are taking hold. Visitors, some invited, some unsolicited, arrive one by one, and June must determine whom she can trust and whether she can find a path back to her former self.