Nicole did an interview with New York Times Magazine that was published today where she talks about not only her new series The Undoing but some of her old projects like Eyes Wide Shut, Big Little Lies, etc.
In HBO’s mini-series “The Undoing,” a psychological thriller that premieres Oct. 25, Nicole Kidman plays Grace Fraser, a Manhattan therapist whose impeccably ordered life is suddenly shattered by violence and lust. In her stores of heat and cool, her emotional and sexual ambiguities, Grace — her name unironic, until it isn’t — is a kind of woman we’ve seen Kidman play before. A kind of woman we never tire of seeing her play. A kind of woman in which the 53-year-old actress keeps finding adventurous new depths. “I’ve fought that emotional intensity at times and tried to protect myself from it,” Kidman said. “Now I’m at the point where I’m like, no. Digest it. Maybe don’t even understand it. But always have it flow.”
So this question is probably too broad, but — I don’t want the light stuff. I like to get heavy quickly.
OK, great. What do you make of the relationship between you and your audience over the years? I probably wouldn’t have done a lot of the work I’ve done if I’d thought that out. I would have been like, people will think I’m a complete weirdo. That’s a frightening prospect, the idea of tempering things in relation to what people think. And of course now in society there’s an enormous amount of judgment. There has to be, as an actor, the possibility to not have it work. Sometimes it connects and people go, “I know you. I know that.” With Celeste I would walk down the street, and people wanted to hold me or protect me. The role connected me with the world in a beautiful way. But if I were attached to that, I then couldn’t go and play somebody that isn’t as relatable.
Celeste in “Big Little Lies” — as well as Grace in “The Undoing” — is a part that requires some sexual boldness, which is common for you but not many other actors at your level. Does the increased judgment you just pointed to mean boldness about sex might become rarer in Hollywood? Look at “Normal People,” though. That was exquisite work from those two actors. I’ve had situations as an actress where, oh my gosh, it was not what I thought it would be. I was probably at the forefront of this: When I went to work with Stanley Kubrick, he was like, I’m going to want full frontal nudity, and I was like, Ahh, I don’t know. So we came up with a great agreement, which was contractual. He would show me the scenes with the nudity before they made it into the film. Then I could feel completely safe. I didn’t say no to any of it. I’d wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be me standing there nude and everyone laughing at me. I was protected, so I got to explore a complicated marriage and the way in which Tom’s character is having those jealous images. I would never think of not wanting the storytelling to be told properly. Having them say, “Once you’re OK with it, great, that’s it” — what a fantastic place to be in as a woman. Please write that correctly, because otherwise, it will be misinterpreted.
Which part? The way in which the contractual agreement that I have with a director allows me to do nudity and sex scenes because I feel safe. Sexuality is over here in a box, and we don’t deal with it. I’m happy to deal with it, but there needs to be a place where you can go, I’m not going to be exploited. Then I’ll go down the road with you. I love the relationship between a director and an actor. When it’s pure, it’s exquisite. And the other actors, when you’re all there doing the work, it’s exquisite.
Is it more exquisite than life outside acting? It used to be. Probably changed mid-30s. I started working at 14. I had my first kiss onstage. I was living out my life artistically.
Did you realize at some point that living your life through your work was possibly unhealthy? I don’t know if it was unhealthy.
Read the rest of the article here.