Nicole Kidman returns to Toronto, this time in the role of both actor and producer for her latest project, “Rabbit Hole.” The film, in which she co-stars with Aaron Eckhart, looks at a suburban married couple who experience a tremendous loss.
“Rabbit Hole” is based on the play by David Lindsay-Abaire, who also adapted it for the screen. The play received a positive review when it premiered at Manhattan Theater Club in 2006 and caught the attention of Ms. Kidman and her producing partner, Per Saari, who decided to option it.
Ms. Kidman and Mr. Eckhart shared some thoughts about the new film and the process of working with their director, John Cameron Mitchell.
Q. Nicole, how did you get John Cameron Mitchell to direct?
A. Nicole Kidman: John’s name came up through a friend of mine and it just kind of happened. I’m very spontaneous as a person. I just sort of react instinctually to things and I had a conversation with him over the phone but I already thought, if this goes well, it’s his. He’s very raw. He’s very expressive. And I just really clicked with him. And then I called Aaron and begged Aaron.
Q. Aaron, what was it like on the set of the film, which mostly takes place in one house?
A. Aaron Eckhart: The budget of the film, because it’s a small movie, forced us to be closer as a unit. We all kind of lived in a house together, in a way. We shared close quarters. We were around each other 12 hours a day every single day. So we really got to know each other.
Ms. Kidman: Within a day, we were suddenly discussing very, very personal things. It was safe.
Mr. Eckhart: Also, I think it comes with the quality of the actors that you’re working with. They know instinctively how to put themselves in intimate situations and make those situations believable. That’s the mark of a good actor.
Q. How did John work with you on the scenes in the film?
A. Ms. Kidman: He worked separately with us, actually. Because we were shooting in the house that we knew so well, we had the upstairs and the downstairs. And then we would just come together and we would find it and it was different every time. And the great thing was that we had a director and a cinematographer that shot it in a particular way that it could be different. The blocking didn’t need to be the same every time.
Q. What was the most rewarding element of this film?
A. Ms. Kidman: Getting it made. Because these days, it’s so hard. This was made in a time where it’s so hard to raise money, let alone money for this sort of subject matter. But I think it’s really important that these kind of things are made. My favorite kind of films are “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Ordinary People” and films that are very, very intimate human dramas and it’s hard to get them made. When Aaron said yes, the film got put together and off we went. So he had no idea how much was riding on his decision.
Q. And this is the first place it is playing publicly, seeking distribution?
A. Ms. Kidman: We waited to show it here. And took a chance. Hopefully that works out for the film. But I believe each film has its own story and its own path. And you can’t force things. This was the way they wanted to do it. It’s a little bit like playing Russian Roulette. But at the same time, I’m just so grateful that people are responding to it.