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Naomi Watts Chases Hollywood Dreams Along “Mulholland Drive”

Australian actress Naomi Watts (Tank Girl) portrays a wholesome young starlet eager to fulfill her Hollywood dreams in David Lynch’s latest noir fantasia, Mulholland Drive. Betty Elms, fresh off the plane from Canada, finds herself temporarily diverted from her earnest, sparkling hopes for movie stardom by the unexpected appearance of Rita (Laura Elena Harring), the amnesia-stricken survivor of a traumatic car accident. Out of the plum goodness of her heart, surely made of solid gold, Betty guides Rita on her quest for self-discovery. This path gradually leads them to dark revelations that shake the foundations of their unexpectedly fragile reality.

Those who have not seen Mulholland Drive should be advised that our interview with Ms. Watts (daughter of a Pink Floyd sound engineer) divulges certain details of the plot that first-time viewers may not wish to uncover. Though Lynch’s tapestry suggests multiple interpretations and demands repeated viewings, this interview considers one possibility suggested by Ms. Watts and implied by several critics in their reviews. Our discussion is by no means the only reading, but provides a unique response to the material from an actor translating Lynch’s abstractions into grounded, character-driven motivation. Read no further if you don’t want to know the key narrative shift of Mulholland Drive.

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