Known for her spine-chilling roles in classic horror films like “Mulholland Drive,” “The Ring” and most recently, Netflix’s haunting true crime thriller, “The Watcher,” Naomi Watts has never been one to shy away from a scary or taboo subject. And now, the 54-year-old Oscar-nominated actress has turned her fearless eye to another topic that is often shrouded in secrecy: menopause.
Stripes, her new 11-piece menopausal beauty collection launched in collaboration with biotech company Amyris, was inspired by Watts’ own early experience of menopause, which opened her eyes to the stigma surrounding this once-verboten topic. “I began my hormonal transition into perimenopause in my late thirties and menopause in my early forties. It was such a lonely and shameful experience. There was no community and no one to talk to.”
Spurred on by her experience at Onda, a clean beauty retailer she co-founded in 2014, the actress created Stripes not only to provide products that address the changing needs of menopausal skin, but also to provide a “home where women could find a sense of community and the information they need to help them make informed decisions about their wellbeing.”
Here, the actress speaks to CNN Underscored about her experience with menopause and skin care.
Spoiler alert: Sex isn’t over. The actress shares more about her menopause journey as well as her new venture, Stripes, a community created for people in all stages of menopause, ahead.
Naomi Watts, 54, has a new venture she’s passionate about. Providing both educational resources and science-backed products, Stripes is a community for people in all stages of menopause. Here, she tells us about her menopause symptoms, Hollywood’s reaction, and the products that help.
Before going through menopause, was it something you had ever thought about?
No! I didn’t know much. I faintly recall my mom saying that she went into early menopause and had her last period at 45—but there was little conversation around it. I didn’t know you could experience anywhere from three to 10 years of symptoms and that before you were officially in menopause there was something called perimenopause. So when I started going through it, I was shocked.
When did you start thinking about menopause?
In my late 30s. I met my partner, and we both agreed we wanted to start a family. I wasn’t getting pregnant. I had a friend who was in her 50s, and she suggested I get a blood panel done. They measured my hormones and found that my follicle-stimulating hormone was quite elevated—they want it to be under 10, and I was in the 20s. I was told it indicated that I may be close to menopause. Panic set in. I did finally get pregnant and then had a second baby shortly after, at the age of 40. Right after that, the night sweats increased and I was pretty much in perimenopause.
As The Watcher made its debut on Netflix a couple weeks ago, I went ahead adding HD screencaptures of Naomi Watts from the show.
Stripes got its party launch and I love just how radiant our Naomi Watts looked. Simply beautiful! Enjoy the photos.
The actress and beauty founder was told her career would be ‘over’ by 40. Instead, she’s entering her sexy, post-menopause era, happier and busier than ever.
Naomi Watts playfully peeks between the yarn on a Stella McCartney floral crochet sweater and uses the fringe hanging from a royal blue Christopher Kane dress as props for her shimmies and poses before the camera. She receives no direction and doesn’t need it. To a soundtrack of ‘90s alternative rock hits, she owns InStyle’s photo studio — twists, winks, gets the shot, and moves onto the next. A tie-dye graphic T-shirt and big tulle skirt from the late Virgil Abloh’s final Off-White collection plays across decades, and Watts does too. She’s every bit the starlet — the camera absolutely loves her — but she has the self-assurance, focus, and drive no one knows like a working mom in her prime, which, for Watts, is right now at age 54.
When the 4 Non Blondes hit “What’s Up” comes on over the speakers, the whole scene is very ‘90s alt-girl, but rather than quintessential Gen-X angst, Watts exudes joy. She giggles between high kicks, sending the tutu aloft while wearing green suede Christian Louboutin boots with a five-inch plexi platform heel. Naturally, everyone on set lets out a cheer.
Linda Perry may have written the song when she was 25 and curious “what’s going on,” but the feelings of disillusionment and confusion are easily translatable to what many women experience as they approach menopause. This is precisely what Watts is here to unpack. “Perimenopause is a transitional time, but once you’re on the other side of menopause you get to reclaim yourself,” she says on Zoom a few days after the shoot.
In addition to starring in Amazon Studios’ Goodnight Mommy, a remake of the 2014 Austrian psychological horror film of the same name, and Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Watcher, a true crime story about a New Jersey stalking case, the actress has been hard at work on Stripes, a beauty brand she’s launched to tackle the stigma surrounding menopause.
Watts was inspired to create the line, which she likes to say targets menopause-related symptoms from “scalp to vag,” because she spent years feeling shame about going into early perimenopause at 36 and battling the dry, itchy skin and myriad other symptoms that came with it.
“When I was shooting the TV show Gypsy, I was really having a lot of symptoms at that point in time and, luckily, I told my makeup artist that I was having problems sleeping,” Watts says. “She’s around the same age, and I just needed one person to understand what I was going through. She identified with what I was experiencing and totally wrapped her arms around me. That meant the world to me that she understood having to work up to 16 hour days while dealing with symptoms.”
Read the full article/interview in our press library.
A Naomi Watts a day takes the doctor away. Nope? I think it works. Every time she goes out we feel much better, don’t we?
Enjoy the HQ photos of our gorgeous lady at the ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration.
What would you do if you started receiving eerie, anonymous letters in your dream home?
“I don’t think I’d just suddenly leave,” Naomi Watts tells ELLE.com, empathizing with her character Nora Brannock in Netflix’s The Watcher. In the thriller series, Nora and her family move into a stunning new house only to be sent threatening letters from a mysterious author who knows them by name and refers to the kids as “young blood.”
Watts’ co-star Jennifer Coolidge, however, would opt for a more defensive approach—one that includes “a bunch of rottweilers and pit bulls and german shepherds to surround the house.” The Emmy winner portrays Karen Calhoun, a realtor and old friend of Nora’s who seems to be hiding a secret. Though she’s able to sell the Brannocks the house in the show, in real life, Coolidge thinks the family should’ve had some serious protection.
“I feel that’s what’s missing, is just some really vicious dogs that could really save your life when someone is being so awful,” she says. “And then you think of what an awful thing that is to do to a family, and you should have no mercy for someone like that.”
This twisted saga is based on the haunting true experiences of the Broaddus family, who received similar letters from someone called The Watcher after they bought a house in Westfield, New Jersey, according to a New York Magazine story published in 2018. While multiple neighbors were deemed suspects, ultimately, after years of police probes and private investigations, Reddit theories and neighborhood gossip, the real Watcher was never identified. And the Broadduses found a new home.
“I think what makes this story so relatable is you can imagine this family who’s dreamed about this place, and they’ve had all kinds of plans in place, and even though there’s risk involved, they’ve done it anyway,” Watts says. “And they finally got their dream. And to have these bizarre letters and then bizarre people swirling their dream, they’re not gonna let go easily. You can relate to that kind of story.”
Soon, Watts, who just starred in the horror film Goodnight Mommy, will portray Babe Paley in Feud: Capote’s Women, also from The Watcher producer Ryan Murphy. And Coolidge, who recently won an Emmy for her performance in The White Lotus, will return to the cult HBO series later this month. At 54 and 61 respectively, both booked-and-busy stars (and countless others across the industry) debunk the ageist comment Watts heard earlier in her career that it’s over for women in Hollywood once they turn 40. “I’ve gotten some great parts recently,” Coolidge says, “and I’m not 30 anymore.”
Read the whole article/interview in our press library.
Naomi Watts took part in the celebration of “The Watcher” in New York where yesterday aired a premiere and an after party. Enjoy the photos!
The gem that is instagram to make you find out Naomi Watts did a shoot last thing the summer for this Fall issue of The Purist. Enjoy the Digital Scans I added to the gallery!
Colorful, radiant and simply gorgeous Naomi Watts started her “The Watcher” promotion stopping by Jimmy Fallon last night.
Enjoy the HQ photos and video interview.