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Penguin Bloom: Naomi Watts reveals she’s proud to be playing an ‘extraordinary’ Australian

Naomi Watts reveals she’s proud to be playing an ‘extraordinary’ Australian woman in the heartwarming real-life story Penguin Bloom

Naomi Watts will soon appear in a spellbinding movie based on the true story of a paralysed woman’s life-saving relationship with a magpie.

Speaking to Sunrise on Tuesday, the 52-year-old actress spoke of the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to tell Samantha Bloom’s story in the ‘most authentic’ way possible.

She said it was incredible working alongside – and portraying – the ‘extraordinary woman’, who struck up an unlikely friendship with a young and wounded magpie after an accident in Thailand left her paralysed from the chest down.

Starring role: Naomi Watts will soon appear in a spellbinding movie based on the true story of a paralysed woman’s life-saving relationship with a magpie

‘Obviously Sam is someone who’s suffered a lot, deeply, and so I just wanted to do the right thing by her,’ Naomi said.

‘I was nervous but she couldn’t have been more generous, and it was a beautiful friendship that formed as well.’ 

The Hollywood star explained that ‘multiple birds’, who were all ‘supremely trained’, were used to play Penguin the magpie in the movie.

‘We had a little bit of CGI and animatronics were needed, but they just kept performing,’ Naomi said.  

Project: Speaking to Sunrise on Tuesday, the 52-year-old spoke of the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to tell Samantha Bloom's (right) story in the 'most authentic' way possible

Project: Speaking to Sunrise on Tuesday, the 52-year-old spoke of the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to tell Samantha Bloom’s (right) story in the ‘most authentic’ way possible

‘It was unpredictable [working with magpies] and there was a lot of anticipation in the lead up to it,’ she added. 

‘I was thinking, “How can this be achievable?” And they pulled it off.’

Naomi said that filming the project at Samantha’s home in Sydney’s Northern Beaches was like visiting her old stomping ground.

‘I grew up on the Northern Beaches from the age of around 14 and definitely have great memories that take me back,’ she said.

True tale: Naomi (pictured as Samantha Bloom) said it was incredible working alongside - and portraying - the 'extraordinary woman', who struck up an unlikely friendship with a young and wounded magpie after an accident in Thailand left her paralysed from the chest down

True tale: Naomi (pictured as Samantha Bloom) said it was incredible working alongside – and portraying – the ‘extraordinary woman’, who struck up an unlikely friendship with a young and wounded magpie after an accident in Thailand left her paralysed from the chest down

Roots: Naomi said that filming the project at Samantha's home in Sydney's Northern Beaches was like visiting her old stomping ground

Roots: Naomi said that filming the project at Samantha’s home in Sydney’s Northern Beaches was like visiting her old stomping ground 

‘Making the film was an incredible experience and sharing that now with other people will also be incredibly liberating for me because I can say, “Oh, look, there’s the beach where I used to go,” and maybe, “That’s where I kissed my first boyfriend”.’

Naomi will star in Penguin Bloom alongside Andrew Lincoln, Jacki Weaver, Rachel House, Leeanna Walsman, Lisa Hensley, Griffin Murray-Johnston, Felix Cameron and Abe Clifford-Barr.

While the film doesn’t hit cinemas until January 21, you can read Samantha’s story in the 2016 book Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family.

Who to expect: While the film doesn't hit cinemas until January 21, you can read Samantha's story in the 2016 book Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family

Who to expect: While the film doesn’t hit cinemas until January 21, you can read Samantha’s story in the 2016 book Penguin Bloom: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family

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