Naomi Watts' Big Movie News Is Blooming Wonderful
And we can't wait.
It took a flying visit to Australia, and an appearance at Australia's GQ Awards this week, for Hollywood superstar Naomi Watts to finally break her silence and reveal one of her next big movie projects -- 'Penguin Bloom', one of Australia's best selling memoirs.
Watts has fallen in love with this authentic Aussie story of courage and hope by Sydney's northern beaches photographer Cameron Bloom and New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Grieve.
It's the intensely powerful and moving true story of a little injured magpie called Penguin, who Cameron believes saved his wife Sam and his family.
Sam -- a 47-year-old Sydney's northern beaches mum -- broke her back when a railing collapsed while on a family holiday in Thailand in 2013.
The unimaginable devastation and depression that followed was not only extremely confronting for Sam, but also her three boys and loving husband Cam.
"If it wasn't for Penguin, Sam may not be here to share this story," says Cam.
Penguin was a little orphaned magpie that her middle son Noah found lying injured on the grass, after being blown out of her nest, and was lucky to survive the horrendous fall.
"So my wife, Sam, let Noah bring the chick home -- we built her a simple nest, fashioned from an old cane laundry basket, and kept her warm with a tiny blanket.
Our sons immediately named her Penguin, due to her black and white plumage. Sam and I decided that she could live with us until she was fully healed and became strong enough to fend for herself," Cameron said.
Penguin soon healed and, through that process, Sam found her own purpose and strength to carry on.
As a Patron for Spinal Cure for more than 20 years, I know that suffering a spinal cord injury is devastating for nearly everyone. It changes your life and the lives of everyone around you, who loves you.
Sam tells me that nothing much could lift her from the shadows of darkness that initially engulfed her; knowing that her life ahead was one without the use of her legs and that made it all the more terrifying.
That her love affair with nature, being outdoors, keeping healthy and well, swimming and playing with her boys, had all been taken away so cruelly, and in an instant.
Suffering ongoing and intense neurological pain, years of rehab and a life she never imagined nor wanted, Sam could see her destiny, but facing it each and every day was just too daunting.
Until she met Penguin.
Sam's rehab is ongoing and those dark days linger less, but the joy this little magpie has brought to the family is pure gold.
And while Penguin has since flown the coup, mysteriously her impeccable timing for birthdays and special occasions are legendary.
These days Sam is not just a mother and a survivor, but a competitor.
She has set herself a challenge to be able to walk again by the time she is 50.
In the meantime, her relentless and indomitable spirit has seen her selected in the Australian Adaptive Surfing Team and will compete at the World Titles in San Diego this December.
“I’m honoured to represent my country again and look forward to trying my hardest. I’m supported by an amazing team, including my major sponsor Blackmores and I’m so thankful for their support in getting me there".
She proudly calls herself a Spinal Cure Australia ambassador, and has joined the Speakers circuit, helping all she can to raise desperately needed funds to find a cure for Spinal Cord Injury.
The experts tell me that curing Spinal Cord injury is not a matter of if, but when.
Sam, like so many others, is pinning her hopes on some exciting new research developments that include neural spinal stimulation, with projects currently underway in Australia.
“Sustaining a spinal cord injury was the worst thing that ever happened to me but when we find a cure it will be the greatest day for millions of people around the world. I’m very committed to the cause".
Sam's heartwarming story of a family dealing with tragedy is likely to appeal to many.
When it comes to having her story told on the big screen, Sam says, "It's pretty cool. All I hope is that they keep it real and honest".
“It will be fun hanging out, teaching her what it’s like,” Sam said.
“But I want her to see how hard it is to even dress yourself if you have a spinal cord injury.”
“I think it will be a challenge for her.”
Featured image: GQ
Instagram: @samjbloom @penguinthemagpie