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Naomi Watts Implies She Had ‘Explosive’ Diarrhea Before Filming Famous ‘Mulholland Drive’ Scene

Naomi Watts Implies She Had ‘Explosive’ Diarrhea Before Filming Famous ‘Mulholland Drive’ Scene
Naomi WattsTaylor Hill/FilmMagic

Naomi Watts’ famous masturbation scene in the 2001 David Lynch film Mulholland Drive is seared into the actress’ brain, but not for the reasons you might think.

Her unshakable memories center around what happened before shooting the scene, when some gastrointestinal distress nearly got in the way of filming.

Watts, 55, shared what no one was asking about in a conversation with Jonathan Bailey for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series. Bailey, 36, brought up a specific scene from his 2023 miniseries Fellow Travelers, and Watts could tell immediately where he was going with the topic.

“I had to do a scene that actually wasn’t included in the story, which ended up informing a lot of the character,” Bailey began. “It was me masturbating. And I remembered …”

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“Oh, ‘Mulholland Drive,’ yes. I was traumatized,” Watts said, finishing his sentence.

It turns out Bailey and Watts had wildly different experiences in filming their respective intimate scenes.

Naomi Watts Implies She Had ‘Explosive’ Diarrhea Before Filming Famous ‘Mulholland Drive’ Scene
Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring in ‘Mulholland Drive.’ Cover Images

“I just remember giggling quite a lot, and the line between feeling comfortable and feeling not, when the stakes are that high,” Bailey said.

As for Watts? “I remember having to go to the bathroom multiple times because I think I might have been having explosive something or other.”

“Euphoria?” Bailey suggested, coming close to the right word.

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“Literally. I was so in butterflies,” Watts said. “I was freaked out and David [Lynch] knew that, but he didn’t want to not get the scene. I kept sort of attempting it and going, ‘I can’t do this, David. I can’t do it.’ He was always off at the other side of the room in a black tent or something, and actually he made it very private for me.”

Naomi Watts Implies She Had ‘Explosive’ Diarrhea Before Filming Famous ‘Mulholland Drive’ Scene
Laura Elena Harring and Naomi Watts in ‘Mulholland Drive.’ Cover Images

Watts doesn’t say it explicitly, but any sixth grader with a potty mouth knows what she was talking about. Nature called and demanded answers.

She isn’t the first person to ever respond to a stressful situation by making a mad dash to the bathroom. She was, however, ultimately comforted by the privacy that Lynch was able to give her while shooting the scene. As Bailey points out, this was a time before intimacy coordinators.

“So I managed to feel a little bit safer because of that, but I just kept crying,” Watts recalled. “And he didn’t want an emotive scene; he wanted someone who was angry and trying to reconnect with an erotic moment.”

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