When Naomi Watts was cast as outed CIA agent Valerie Plame in “Fair Game,” director Doug Liman had one criticism of her. “Doug said, ‘You’re too soft and maternal, and you’re going to boot camp,’” she recalls. “I did some paramilitary training for three days.”

The reason she looked a bit maternal was of course because she had just given birth to her second son with husband Liev Schreiber. “I was allowed to have my baby every few hours to feed him while I was armed with a weapon. I did things that I’ll never get to do again — or wish to do — like setting off explosives, ramming cars without a seatbelt or a helmet.”

And while three days may not seem all that long, the grueling training she went through sounds gruesome. “They kicked me in the shins and threw me to the ground and I went, ‘Ow!’ and he said, ‘Don’t say “Ow” unless you need to go to the hospital.’”

Meeting her character

For Watts, playing not only a real person but also one still living proved particularly intriguing. But while she got to meet and work with Plame, she admits the schedule didn’t allow for a lot of politeness. “You don’t get her all at once. It takes time. And I’m kind of like that, too,” Watts says. “So we just were careful and easy and we slowly went into it, and then finally it was crunch time and I just presented her very confronting and personal questions.”