Feature Interviews K to O > Nicole Kidman (2005 Interview)
By Brad Balfour
PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
April 17, 2005.
With her previous film
released being the odd and controversial Birth, Oscar winner Nicole
Kidman has proven to be unpredictable, very much her own person, not
unlike the character she plays in her most recent film, The Interpreter,
directed by Sydney Pollack-which premiered at the 4th annual Tribeca Film
Festival. Even in interviews, she proclaims her independence from the
Hollywood mentality and lifestyle and in this film her character displays
a conviction and determination that seems very Nicole Kidman-like.
You're very high on
The Interpreter; what was it like working on this film?
I got to work with Mr.
(Sean) Penn, who was great. It's a thriller set at the U.N. so we got to
shoot there for a month. We were sitting in the General Assembly and after
a few weeks we were a little blasť about it. Can you believe that? I was
like lying down, falling asleep on one of the chairs, and I went, "Whoa,
I'm in the General Assembly." When we did The Peacemaker we weren't even
allowed inside. For this, we were inside.
Since your divorce [from
Tom Cruise] you've taken on far more risky films and roles than you had
I wasn't interested,
really, beforehand in exposing myself. I was in an intense relationship. I
didn't need to have any other way of expressing myself. It didn't interest
me. Now, [acting] is something that I give to in a very full way. I think
working with [noted director Stanley] Kubrick, he really took me and shook
me up. He would say to me, "Nicole, you have to honor this and honor your
art and not squander it," which I'm so grateful for. [Director] Jane
Campion said it to me; Stanley
said it to me. When someone you admire to that degree-that you believe
in-wants that from you, then you listen. Stanley really encouraged me to
be bold. So I hope that I still get to do that.
choices seem very smart. Is that simply instinctual?
It's just completely
instinctual. I mean, I do have people around me who say, "Don't do that"
or "Do do this." But ultimately it's my [decision]. I make huge mistakes.
I think I'm sort of weaving my way through, navigating my way through.
Can you just snap out of
a role, or out of a scene immediately? Or does the character stay with you
when you get home?
I think you exist in a
limbo. Afterwards...? It depends. It's different every time. There are
times when I get physically ill. There are other times when I just have to
run away and be completely by myself or with my kids and just put
everything perspective. There are other times when... I wish there was a
rhyme or reason to it. That's why when I make the choices I make I never
have any idea what I want to do next.
You seem so much
stronger and happier now than at the time of say Portrait of a Lady. Are you stronger and happier?
I'm happy at the moment.
I'm very happy at the moment. I don't know how strong. I can feel terribly
weak, but I would hope that there's an inner strength. I have two kids.
You have to be [strong] when you're responsible for two other lives.
You seem to be working
Yeah, but last year, I
had two months in Australia, where I went and just swam and did some fun
things. I disappeared. I left a message on my cell phone saying, "I am
absolutely un-contactable. Don't even try." And I put on my email, "Will
not be available until..." That's a great thing to do and I really advise
it. We're all so available now.
There seems to be such a
hubbub about you, you've become so huge. Do you feel like your life is
yours or does it get too overwhelming?
There are times when I
get amazed at it. I went to Paris and stayed in the Coco Chanel Suite by
myself, in the bed, and I went, "Oh, my gosh." I called my sister and
said, "I wish you were here. We could really enjoy this." But at the same
time I have a little cottage just outside of Sydney where I go, and I
spend the happiest times of my life there. I can walk on the beach and be
with my kids. If I didn't have that, then I would feel quite different.
There's something about when you're alone and you're not sharing it with
somebody else, when you don't have a partner, so that then you're kind of
struggling at times to go, "Whew, I've just got to keep it up." I've got
very, very close friends and I've got a great, very together family who
are willing to get on a plane and be with me. That's rare. When you just
say, "Hey, I need someone to hold my hand" [someone will be there]. It
sounds really, really simplistic, but sometimes the power of that is
said before that every time you're seen with a guy you feel sorry for him
because suddenly he is thought of as your boyfriend...[and under the media
microscope as a result.]
I don't know if I feel
sorry for them! I feel like, gosh, it's like he's got to feel his way
through. I'm very exposed in the movies I do yet I'm incredibly private in
my own life. And so that is a very strange dichotomy
to exist within. But at the same time I love to act. It's something that's
in my blood that I need to do. For this period of time I really need it.
It's almost saved my life at times. I understand it for what it is and I'm
willing to give an enormous amount to it, and I hope I find someone who is
strong enough to understand that.
Do you see your career
enduring like Catherine Deneuve's, who, like you, is considered a great
beauty and a great actress?
If I'm lucky enough. So
much of it is if you protect yourself enough that you're still able to
give a part of yourself. That sounds like a very strange statement. If I'm
able to do that [I will probably last a long time], otherwise I think it
just might get to be too much and I'd not be able to do my best.
You seem as comfortable
in jeans and you do in glamorous gowns. How important are clothes to you?
You've worn beautiful clothes in [your recent film] Birth. Do you ever go to the couture shows in
No, I don't. I love the
beauty of clothes. In terms of a character, I just do whatever is
necessary for the character. Basically, I put my trust in the costume
designer, because I want to work with the director and the costume
designer and create a character. But in my own life, I like getting
dressed up sometimes. I don't mind putting on something lovely. I went to
Paris for the Chanel No. 5 campaign. It got a little crazy. I remember
looking over and there were people looking at me, going, 'Is this your
life?' It got a little out of control. Karl Lagerfeld was saying, 'Will
everyone sit down!'
Are you working for
No. I did the campaign.
Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, you're the face of Chanel." No. I just did the
No. 5 thing, which I did for Baz [Luhrmann, the Australian director who
made Moulin Rouge with Kidman].
People seem incredibly
excited about your starring in the film version of Bewitched.
Everybody is obsessed
with Bewitched. I get asked so many questions about it. I'm glad.
It's a lot of fun. [My co-star] Will Ferrell is just a sweetheart.
Do you feel like you're
stepping into a bit of [American] cultural history?
In a weird way, yeah.
It's got a life that's far more than I knew about. They have little
Bewitched dolls. Really, it's huge. I loved the TV show. I grew up
watching it; that's why I wanted to do it. [It was on at] six o'clock every weeknight for many, many years. I've seen almost
At last year's Venice Film
Festival, Lauren Bacall [who starred with Kidman in both
Dogville and Birth] stirred up a controversy by saying something
like, you can't be called a legend. You have to be older. It sounded as if
she was just making a comment about the reality of things.
I didn't even know what
the controversy was. She said she never made the comments. Whatever. It
doesn't even matter. Lauren and I are very close. And, in fact, they can
write anything, but I said, 'It doesn't alter our relationship
whatsoever." I've had the worst things written about me, great things
written about me, and everything else in between. She said, "But, no, it really
upsets me that I would be misrepresented." I think all she said was, "She's not a legend." I
totally agree with that. I'll never be a legend. It's embarrassing.
Another rumor that has
surfaced at times was that you have an eating disorder. Where does that
I don't know. I'm the
same weight I was when I was 21. I haven't changed at all.
Do you remember your
first stage role as the bleating sheep [in an elementary school Christmas
I thought you said, "The Bleeding Sheep." I was never in that film! Weird
title. But I remember being a kid and being in a Christmas pageant. Life
was easy then.
Did you have a favorite
book as a kid?
The Narnia tales [by the
late C.S. Lewis]. I loved them.
CLICK HERE TO SEE
WHAT NICOLE KIDMAN HAD TO SAY TO US IN 2011!