Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman has scored positive reviews, and a Golden Globe nomination, for her role as a mother dealing with the death of her child in the independent film “Rabbit Hole.”
The film was released last week in major U.S. theaters and expands around the country starting on Christmas day.
“Rabbit Hole” is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire. Kidman stars alongside Aaron Eckhart as grieving couple Becca and Howie. Kidman also produced the film, marking it the inaugural project from her company, Blossom Films.
Kidman, who lives in Nashville with her country star husband Keith Urban and their daughter Sunday Rose, spoke Reuters about the film, her family and being a mother.
Q: How did you come across the play?
A: “I read the review of ‘Rabbit Hole’ in the New York Times. Living in Nashville, I get the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. That’s my contact with the city because that’s where I used to live and I’m a theater buff. When I read the review, I thought, ‘Gosh, that sounds like rich material.’”
Q: As a mother, you felt for Becca’s pain?
A: “When we first optioned the play, I wasn’t pregnant. This has been years in the making, so there wasn’t a thought of being pregnant. I thought I’d never get pregnant. But I get what she goes through. I get her relationship with her mother, her sister, God. I get the way in which she is so angry.”
Q: How did you prepare to play a woman who goes through something no parent should ever have to face?
A: “I read stuff. I tried to go to a grief group but I was told ‘No, you’re not allowed. You can only step into these rooms if you lost a child.’ I totally get it, yet for whatever reason, that rawness was available to me. Maybe it was from giving birth (to daughter Sunday Rose) 11 months prior.”
Q: The subject must have made for a difficult shoot.
A: “It was more like there was a big thrust to honor the people who are going through this right now. There’s almost something lifting you up, going ‘Come on, if someone can actually be living this, I can be living this.’”
Q: How has motherhood impacted your career?
A: “Time is the most precious thing. I’m very particular about how I spend it. I’m more reluctant to leave my family. Keith and I are very tight, and we’re never separated. If we are, it’s no more than three days.”
Q: How is motherhood today different than it was when you were raising Connor and Isabella (with ex-husband Tom Cruise)?
A: “I raised two kids when I was in my 20s, but that was a different thing. I was a kid and still so young mentally and emotionally — a totally different mom.”
Q: And now?
A: “There is something about mothering late in life. A lot of it is I want to stay alive for Sunday. There is plenty of deep fear and emotion. Sunday has healed an enormous amount in me. It’s a very private thing, but she just has.”
Q: What’s Sunday like now?
A: “She’s two and a half and in what we call ‘the raccoon’ stage because she’s into everything. She’s into this, she’s into that. She’s just really hard to wrangle at this stage.”
Q: Were you like that as a kid?
A: “I don’t think so. I was more placid. But Keith rode BMX bikes and grew up in a pretty rambunctious family. Sunday’s got a lot of her dad’s face and a lot of his DNA.”
Q: You and Keith were both raised in Australia and you’re now living the country life in the United States. Does Sunday have any of your Aussie roots in her?
A: “Our daughter is a Tennessee girl, but she still says ‘G’day mate.’ She says both ‘Hi y’all’ and ‘G’day mate.’”
Q: Any plans on expanding the family?
A: “We’re hoping for another one!”