Late actress Fay Wray was unsure about Naomi Watts taking on her character in the new movie remake of King Kong—because she found her "a little too skinny."
Wray, who passed away last year, starred in the original 1933 giant ape movie as heroine Ann Darrow, and met briefly with Watts before filming began on the new Peter Jackson version.
But Wray's daughter Victoria Riskin admits her mother was concerned about the star's weight.
She says, "They had dinner together with Peter and his wife. My mother told me she thought Naomi was a lovely person... though maybe too skinny. She thought that would be all right."
And Riskin was thrilled by the way director Jackson approached the project.
She adds, "I've seen the original probably a dozen times. There was a little moment where Naomi read her lines when they're getting on the ship, and the lines were exactly as they were in the first film.
"Overall, I think Naomi's performance had the same intelligence, charm and pluck that my mother had."
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Show business trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter announced its annual list of the 100 most powerful women in Hollywood on Tuesday. Topping this year's list is Paramount Pictures' Sherry Lansing, who became the studio's first female chairman in 1992.
"When Sherry Lansing wants to peruse a project that is potentially risky, her tendency to share the financial burden with other studios helps counterbalance the risk," said Christy Grosz, managing editor of the trade's Women in Entertainment issue. "It's the business savvy and goodwill within the entertainment community that pushed her to the top of this year's Power 100."
The Reporter began ranking the 50 most powerful women in 1991, but expanded it last year to include 100 women to celebrate the list's 10-year anniversary.
Stacey Snider, who runs Universal Pictures, ranked No. 2. She occupied the No. 1 spot last year.
Rounding out the top 5 were Amy Pascal, vice chairman of Sony Pictures, ranking third; Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Entertainment at No. 4; and Michele Anthony, executive vice president, Sony Music Entertainment, at No. 5.
Pascal greenlit the 2002 actioner Spider-Man--one of the highest grossing films in Hollywood history. Laura Ziskin produced the film, as well as the 2002 Academy Awards.
Celebrities on the list include Oprah Winfrey (8), Julia Roberts (12), Madonna (60), author J.K. Rowling (64) and twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (98).
"No longer are female stars just 'the talent.' They could very well be the path to parity for all women working in entertainment," Grosz said, adding that Roberts' ability to open a movie, command a big paycheck and run her own production company gives her the clout to hire whomever she chooses.
Women leading the four Hollywood guilds also made the list, including Kathleen Kennedy, president of the Producers Guild of America (46), Melissa Gilbert, president of the Screen Actors Guild of America (89), Martha Coolidge, president of the Directors Guild of America (96), and Victoria Riskin, president of the Writers Guild of America (97).
Criteria for the Power 100 include each woman's position within her company, her force of personality and how much money she controls.
Despite the increasing number of women in Hollywood's executive ranks, however, the Reporter notes that the percentage of female writers dropped from 14 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2001. Female directors dropped from 11 percent in 2000 to 6 percent in 2001.
The current president of the Writers Guild of America, ER and West Wing producer John Wells, will not seek re-election in September. Likewise, the WGA's current vice president, Dan Petrie Jr.--who himself once held the position of president--will give up his post alongside Wells. Michael Mahern and Victoria Riskin are running for the presidency, according to the WGA's Web site. Riskin, a member of the WGA's board of directors, would become the WGA's first female president in 60 years if elected. Charles D. Holland and Don M. Mankiewicz are up for the vice presidency. There are 16 candidates running for the board of directors' eight open seats, including Polly Platt and Gregory Widen. The elections will be held Sept. 20.