MULHOLLAND DRIVE star Naomi Watts was thrilled when she appeared on comedian Jay Leno's chat show on Thursday (12AUG04) - because he gave her a monkey to play with.

The England-born actress, who will star as gorilla target ANN DARROW in the anticipated remake of King Kong, cooed to Leno about her fondness of apes during her appearance on his show.

She told him, "There's something about monkeys. I've always had a special affection for monkeys.

"For one of my birthdays my boyfriend at the time said, 'What do you wanna do for your birthday?' and I said, 'I just wanna go to the zoo and look at the monkeys.'

"I love monkeys. They really express and we all have the animal in us. I've worked with dogs and stuff, but as I said, all types of monkeys, apes - even the ugly ones - I really like."

One of Leno's staff members then walked out from behind the scenes with a monkey, which was placed in a thrilled Watts' lap. The actress, ex-girlfriend of Heath Ledger, proceeded to feed her new friend grapes, while beaming, "Oh my God! I love him! Look, he likes me too!"

16/08/2004 08:48