Nicole Kidman shares about her history with friend and co-star Russell Crowe with Vanity Fair.
The Boy Erased and Destroyer star says a long history can make for a great on-screen relationship.
Australia is a country of 24 million people—yet when a handful of them come over to the United States and become movie stars, it seems that they all know each other. There are the brothers Hemsworth, of course, but also Nicole Kidman’s famous friendship with Naomi Watts, whom she met when Kidman’s sister was dating Watts‘s ex. Less famous for now, but maybe not for long, is the long friendship between Kidman and Russell Crowe, with whom she stars in the upcoming drama Boy Erased. As she told Vanity Fair’s executive West Coast editor, Krista Smith, in a conversation at the Toronto International Film Festival, that bond meant that, to play a married couple, “The marriage itself can exist with no rehearsal, no time, no effort, because we know each other so well. That’s a blessing as an actor, you can bring all of that to the performance without having to work for it. It’s just there.”
And just how far back does that friendship go? “My memory of Russell is in a place in Darlinghurst [a suburb of Sydney] at my boyfriend’s house, and Russell came to a party where we invited I think 500 people. And I attempted to cook paella. And I didn’t cook the rice, so it was crunchy. Not good. Throw it out, bring out the beer.”
Kidman had two outstanding performances to celebrate at Toronto this year. In addition to Boy Erased, she stars in the Karyn Kusama-directed crime thriller Destroyer, virtually unrecognizable as a Los Angeles cop still coping with the trauma of an undercover case from decades ago. The transformation is remarkable, but Kidman is hesitant to explain too much about how it happened. “I’m so reluctant to talk about what it takes to prepare for a character,“ she said. “In this day and age, you still want to believe. Now this desire for information by everybody, I think, takes away some of the bubble.”
She continued, with a laugh,“I don’t mean to sound so up myself—that’s an Aussie expression. I suppose I still try to protect the sacredness of what it is. Half the time you don’t even know how you get a performance, or I don’t. It’s sort of scrounging around in the depths of who I am and then feeding off other things. There’s some kismet and some magic.”