Hollywood beauty Naomi Watts has praised David O Russell's intimidating directing style, because it forced her to shed her inhibitions.

The screen star - who features in Russell's latest film I Heart Huckabees - was often left terrified by the movie-maker's tough attitude towards actors.

But Watts insists she seeks challenges on movie sets to keep her "alive" - and quickly realised Russell was the ideal man to work under.

She says, "He'll scream at you from off camera, 'Say it this way! Say another line! Okay, try this, try that.' You fly by the seat of your pants and that's a great way to work.

"It reminded me of being in acting class when you just get up and get rid of all your inhibitions and just be prepared top make an absolute fool of yourself.

"I definitely sometimes felt out of my depth but the challenge was to swim not sink! It kept me alive. Would I work with David again? Absolutely 100 per cent."

10/12/2004 17:13