“I’d wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be me standing there nude and everyone laughing at me,” the actress says in a new interview.
Nicole Kidman was allowed final say as to what nude scenes would go into the final cut of Eyes Wide Shut, she revealed in a recent interview.
Speaking with the New York Times Magazine for an in-depth interview published Monday, the Oscar-winning actress discussed her time working with Stanley Kubrick on the 1999 erotic, psychological drama.
One of the conditions she agreed to (contractually) with the late director was that she could view all her nude scenes after they were shot and then had approval over what went into the final cut of the film.
“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,” she said. “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 [Cruise’s] character is having those jealous images.”
In the film, the then-married Kidman and Cruise played a couple exploring their own lives, marriage and infidelity.
“Sexuality is over here in a box, and we don’t deal with it,” Kidman told the magazine. “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.”
Kidman talked at length about working with Kubrick on the deeply intimate picture and what life was like during the shoot, which was supposed to last only a few months and turned into two years.
“We loved working with him,” she said. “We had two kids and were living in a trailer on the lot primarily, making spaghetti because Stanley liked to eat with us sometimes. We were working with the greatest filmmaker and learning about our lives and enjoying our lives on set.”
Kidman continued, “We would say, ‘When is it going to end?’ We went over there thinking it was going to be three months. It turned into a year, a year and a half. But you go, ‘As long as I surrender to what this is, I’m going to have an incredible time.’ Stanley, he wasn’t torturous. He was arduous in that he would shoot a lot. But I’d sit on the floor of his office and talk, and we’d watch animal videos. He said animals were so much nicer than human beings. Though I do remember we were watching a wildlife thing where you saw the lion going after an antelope, and he could hardly watch it. Interesting, isn’t it?”