UK & World News

  • 20 November 2012, 3:16

The Impossible: Charity Screening In London

Naomi Watts has said that making tsunami film The Impossible was the "most physically demanding thing I've ever done".

The 44-year-old actress stars with Ewan McGregor and rising star Tom Holland in the true story of Maria Belon and her family, who were holidaying in Thailand in 2004 when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck.

The stars of the film joined Ms Belon at a charity premiere screening at the BFI Imax cinema in London, held in aid of Indian Ocean Disaster Relief, which helps families affected by the disaster.

Watts, a mother of two, praised Ms Belon's determination to stay alive and save her sons.

She said: "Every mother wakes up with fear of her children's safety, so I just cannot imagine how she dealt with it. That was the thing that struck me - how courageous and heroic she was.

"I consider myself one of those people who are just hopeless in a crisis but she said she never felt more connected to her centre and every decision she made felt like the correct one.

"You kind of crave to have that. But it's hard."

Directed by Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona - director of the critically-acclaimed horror film The Orphanage - The Impossible follows Ms Belon, her husband and her three young sons in their fight for survival.

Ms Belon insisted it is a story of hope.

"You can never give up if you have life," she said. "You can never give up. That's how I got from the tsunami. If we are alive, we have hope."

McGregor said the film was not about glorifying heroes but telling the story of the disaster through one family's eyes.

He said: "The nature of putting a movie camera on something is it can make things look glamorous and heroic and if ever we felt that was happening, we would change it.

"People didn't survive because they were brave, people survived because they were lucky, and people died because they were unlucky."

Watts, who looked elegant in a black Tom Ford gown, has just finished filming Diana, a biopic about the late Princess of Wales, due out next year.

Asked about the role, she said: "Again it's a lot of pressure, but a great character and a fascinating woman."

The Impossible is due out in cinemas on January 1.