Emily Anita Watson was born on January 14, 1967. She is an Academy Award-nominated English actress known for her acclaimed debut film performance in Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves.
Emily was born in Islington, London, England, the daughter of an architect father and an English professor mother. She was raised in the Anglican religion. Watson trained at Drama Studio London. She married Jack Waters, whom she had met at the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1995; their daughter, Juliet, was born in autumn 2005.
The following year Watson took time off from the cinema to play two roles in Sam Mendes's dovetailed stage productions of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, first at Mendes's Donmar Warehouse in London and later at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Her performance was widely acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and garnered her an Olivier Award nomination.
In 2004 Emily received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Peter Sellers's first wife, Anne Howe, in the HBO movie, "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers".
2005 saw her starring in four films: "Wah-Wah", Richard E. Grant's autobiographical directorial debut, for which she attended the UK premiere at the Edinburgh Festival; "Separate Lies", directed by Gosford Park writer Julian Fellowes; Tim Burton's animated film "Corpse Bride", alongside Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, and Nick Cave's Australian-set western, "The Proposition".
Emily is a committed supporter of the British children's charity, the NSPCC. In 2004 girl was inducted into the society's hall of fame for spearheading the successful campaign to appoint a Children's Commissioner for England. Receiving her award in the crowded House of Commons, she spoke out against the possibility that the Children's Commissioner become a figurehead with little real power.
Emily has often had as much impact with the roles she did not get as with those she did. Most notably, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet wrote the character Amelie for her (Amelie was originally named Emily) but she eventually turned the role down due to difficulties speaking French and a desire not to be away from home. The role went on to make an international star of Audrey Tautou. She was also the first choice to play Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur's film Elizabeth, the role that ultimately made a star of Cate Blanchett.