May 06, 2011 22:18:00 GMT
Naomi Watts stepped in to honour her actor partner Liev Schreiber at the opening of the Israel Film Festival in New York after their author pal Jonathan Safran Foer was forced to pull out of the event
Jonathan Safran Foer was due to present the 2011 IFF Cinematic Achievement Award Honoree prize to the "Salt" star Liev Schreiber on Thursday, but the duty was handed to Naomi Watts when the writer's kids fell ill hours before the ceremony.
The Australian beauty gushed about Schreiber as she took to the stage, telling the audience, "I'm sorry that our friend Jonathan Safran Foer can't be here. His kids have food poisoning... I'm sad that he can't be here but I'm glad that I can because I don't know of anyone who would rather give him this award which he so obviously deserves..."
"He really cares about a lot of things that are deeply important to him and Israel is one of them. We went there (Israel) a couple of years back. This is a man who cares about where he came and the roots of who he is, and so being able to share that experience with him was a great pleasure. He is a true talent. I could go on and on and be here all night speaking about this man who is my partner in crime and the father of my children. He is a wonderful human being, congratulations honey."
Foer befriended Schreiber in 2005 when the actor decided to turn the author's book "Everything Is Illuminated" into a film, marking his debut as a director and screenwriter.