For Variety’s new series of Actors on Actors Nicole did a video chat with her good friend Russell Crowe.
Russell Crowe came to prestige television for the first time this season with “The Loudest Voice,” a limited series about the life of Fox News creator Roger Ailes. No stranger to the medium is his old friend Nicole Kidman, whose second season of “Big Little Lies” saw her storyline of domestic abuse resonate even after her abuser had died. They talked to each other over video chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors issue.
Russell Crowe: I have to be totally honest. I haven’t seen the second series yet. So my reference point is the first series. That’s some extremely fine writing.
Nicole Kidman: Liane [Moriarty] came up with a catalyst to get the second series going, this character of Mary Louise. Meryl Streep comes in playing my mother-in-law. And that’s my storyline. You’ll have to watch it.
Crowe: How many films have you done with Meryl Streep?
Kidman: Three. Well, count this as a film. And we just finished a film together. There’s a lot more to come.
Crowe: I’ve had maybe two conversations with her ever, but I think she’s so special. Tell me about working with Meryl Streep.
Kidman: She’s very similar to how we work, in the sense that she melts into it. Every take is different. She’s like quicksilver. You would love her. And having just worked with her back-to-back — I did “Big Little Lies” where she’s in the cardigan, and she’s my pious mother-in-law. And then we’ve just done a big musical together, which was the complete opposite of “Big Little Lies,” where we are singing and dancing and being absolutely ridiculous. It was called “The Prom,” and Ryan Murphy directed it. We still have three more days to shoot.
Crowe: It’s a different director, you said, for the second series?
Kidman: Yeah. Jean-Marc Vallée was directing “Sharp Objects” with Amy Adams, and he was exhausted. It’s a huge feat to direct those seven hours. Because you, on “Loudest Voice,” had how many directors?
Kidman: I’ve only ever done limited series with one director. So I don’t know the idea of a different director coming in and directing a couple of episodes. I just finished another series [“The Undoing”], and that was Susanne Bier. And she directed all six hours.
Crowe: I don’t see how anybody can go into a series like that and be comfortable with directors coming and going. It’s a kink in the parabola. It’s not necessarily great. It can cross over work that you’ve done earlier. Because the next person coming in isn’t seeing things in the same way.Continue Reading
Nicole is one of the artists featured in the Los Angeles Times Emmy’s Drama Roundtable.
Weeks before the Black Lives Matter protests broke out around the globe in the wake of the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, inclusivity, the feeling of “otherness” and the struggle for an essential humanity were already on the minds of the eight actors gathered via video conference for The Envelope’s annual Drama Roundtable conversation.
“All of us play these characters that society could perceive of as ‘other’ and decide to limit the way that we deal with each other’s depth as human beings and complexity. That is our job as storytellers, to make people take pause and realize that human beings, no matter who we are, we’re complicated and rich and deep,” said Kerry Washington during the May 17 chat with L.A. Times culture columnist LZ Granderson. “And whether we look like you or don’t look like you, there are elements to our story that are unique and precious,” the “Little Fires Everywhere” actress added.
Regina King stars as Angela Abar and her alter ego Sister Night in “Watchmen,” a series that launches its story with the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Okla., before shifting into a fictional aftermath. “What was really attractive to me about the character is this — which I think is something that so many humans experience and don’t realize they’re experiencing — is this trauma that she’s inherited,” King said. “So much of her life right now is informed by that trauma [from the massacre of Black residents and business owners]. She’s kind of created this world where being an outsider is actually a safe space to be.”
Sandra Oh noted that even when her ethnicity is not the point of her casting, she tries “to infuse more pieces of me into my character’s ethnicity and cultural background. We carry our culture, we carry our history,” the “Killing Eve” star noted.
“I was reading President Obama’s commencement speech, and it was talking about being alive to one another’s struggles at this time” added “Succession” actor Jeremy Strong. “It feels like what you guys are talking about and the way that you’re doing that through storytelling is a way that we [as actors] might be able to contribute to that, by making that struggle alive for the audience.”
Cate Blanchett, who stars in the limited series “Mrs. America,” Hugh Jackman, from the television movie “Bad Education,” Nicole Kidman of “Big Little Lies” and Cynthia Erivo of “The Outsider” joined in the conversation that veered from uncovering secrets to the pandemic to polarizing stories. Their conversation here has been edited for clarity and length.Continue Reading
Collider spoke with director Ryan Murphy about the film The Prom
I stan Ryan Murphy, movie director. While the prolific creator is primarily known for his work in television (Glee, American Horror Story, American Crime Story, et. al), I found his 2014 HBO adaptation of play The Normal Heart to be excellently emotional work. Now, Murphy is adapting another Broadway show into a Netflix film. And in a recent interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub for his new Netflix limited series Hollywood, Murphy shared the latest status on this film, called The Prom.
Thankfully, Murphy seems to have finished nearly all of his principal photography before the pandemic hit, especially with lead performers like Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, and others. Because of this, Murphy believes they can still hit their planned release window:
“All of the leads had wrapped. The last scene that I shot was Nicole Kidman’s last scene. Meryl had finished and James Corden had finished, and Andrew Rannells and Nicole had all finished. The only thing that I had is I had two days of second unit pickup… I hope this summer I can go back and quickly pick them up… The movie was supposed to come out right around Christmas, was the plan. November, Thanksgiving, Christmas in that window. Hopefully, I’ll be able to still do that.”
TBH, a Murphy-directed movie musical based on the hit Broadway musical about out-of-touch theater stars who flock to a small town to force their high school to allow a gay couple to attend prom, with this bonkers cast, sounds like the perfect holiday season pick-me-up, particularly after this dreadfully quarantined summer we’re all having. Murphy was immediately attracted to the progressive nature of the material, saying, “I love the message of it. I really related to the protagonist. Emma is from Indiana and is not allowed to go to her prom because she’s gay. And I’m from Indiana and I wasn’t allowed to take a man or a male compadre to my prom. I related to it, so I believed in the message.”
And for fans of The Prom wondering what tunes from the show made it? Murphy gave us this big update:
We used all the songs and then we’ve written one new song for it, one new original piece for The Prom. That was really fun to work on and it’s a great ballad, and it’s really a moving song about acceptance and prejudice. I think a lot of people will love it. Yeah, we kept every song and we added one, which is a lot, but it’s fun, worth it.
Like many other movie musicals, the team has added a new song to the roster of existing material — often a play at an Oscar for Best Original Song. It’s also surprising to hear they’re keeping every single song from the original show in — usually a few tunes get cut when stage musicals are turned into films (i.e. “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” somehow not making it into Sweeney Todd). This sounds like it’ll be quite the tune-filled affair — and here’s hoping the new song blends in with the rest well enough.
As for how Murphy got this star-studded cast to sing these well-known (and one original) song? Well, all he had to do was ask:
“I’ve never done this in my career, but I called up three people I’ve always wanted to work with, which was Meryl Streep and James Corden and Nicole Kidman. And I said, ‘I want to do this. I believe in it. I want to work with you. Do you want to do it?’ And all three of them went to see [the play] within that week, I think, and they all called and instantly said, ‘Yes, I will do it.’ The fact that I could get Meryl Streep to love it and be into it and believe in it as much as I did, I just couldn’t believe that I got Meryl Streep to say yes in a one week window.
I was so excited for the message, and then I think I was right about how powerful it is because all of those actors said yes instantly, which has never happened once in my career. And it turned out to be the most fun to shoot. I mean, there’s so many takes. We had to stop because we were all just dying laughing because it was so funny. And they’re all just so good in it. Meryl’s amazing and James and Nicole, Andrew and all the new kids in it.”
With any luck, The Prom will be available on Netflix this holiday season.
Some images from the new feature by WSJ Magazine.
– Nicole Kidman Online > PHOTO SHOOTS > Outtakes > 2020 > 002
Nicole is featured on the cover of WSJ Magazine. And here is a video they did:
Three decades in Hollywood and the Oscar-winning actor says her immersion into characters still isn’t easy. “I haven’t been taught it… [acting] does take a toll on my health, and it takes a toll on my spirit. I’m always trying to dig in. The unfortunate part of it is that the feelings are intense.”
It was the calm after the storm one spring morning in Nashville, Tennessee. Overnight, a tornado had torn through the city’s east side and out through the surrounding towns. In between reports on the advance of Covid-19, still seemingly a continent away, the TV news kept flashing to an “I Believe in Nashville” mural that remained standing next to stairs now leading to nowhere. But it was sunny and bright, with a light breeze that seemed to ask, “Who, me?”
Meanwhile, not too far south of the tornado’s path, Nicole Kidman had risen at her usual 6 a.m., put on a black sweater with a cameo bow at the neck, a long black skirt with high, lacy slits and dainty Mary Jane kitten heels and, after making oatmeal for her two youngest daughters, Sunday and Faith, headed to a photo shoot. Throughout her four-decade-long career, Kidman has demonstrated an impressive array of dramatic abilities—including an Oscar-winning turn as Virginia Woolf in 2002’s The Hours and her Golden Globe–winning role on HBO’s hit series Big Little Lies as battered, conflicted wife Celeste Wright—but making a late entrance is not one of them.
Thank you TVLine for this exciting news!
Janelle Brown’s novel Pretty Things hasn’t even been released yet, but its TV adaptation just snagged an Emmy winner.
Nicole Kidman has signed on to star in and executive-produce the potential series, which is in development at Amazon after the streamer won rights to the novel.
Set for release on April 21, Pretty Things follows two very different women — a grifter and an heiress, both described as brilliant and damaged — who try to survive “the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play,” per the official description. Kidman will fill one of the two lead roles, but it’s not yet clear which character she will play.
Brown will also serve as an executive producer with Kidman, as will Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale), who is set to direct.
Pretty Things is one of several TV projects that Kidman has in the works. She’ll next be seen in the HBO drama The Undoing (which recently pushed its premiere date to the fall, due to the coronavirus pandemic), and she’ll star in Hulu’s series adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers, a novel by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty. Kidman is also involved with Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom, though Netflix has also suspended production on that project due to coronavirus concerns.
Yesterday HBO released the May premiere date of their new limited series The Undoing. Later that day Nicole attended a press conference in Beverly Hills for the show.