Nicole Kidman stars as Isabel Bigelow (a.k.a. Samantha) in the film Bewitched, which hits theatres on Friday. Kidman said that although she pursued the role in the movie, she is typically hesitant in deciding to tackle any project.
She's earned an Oscar for best actress from playing writer Virginia Woolf in The Hours, can boast legions of fans worldwide and consistently hovers at the top of Hollywood's A-list. But for her new film Bewitched, based on the 1960s show starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Nicole Kidman found that winning praise meant putting her nose slightly out of joint.
"I needed a mirror and I needed the slo-mo on the video," she says of learning the mannerisms of a nose-wiggling witch.
"I would put (Montgomery's) nose in slow motion, then I would hold the mirror and I would try to mimic it. Then my mom would say, 'No, that wasn't very good, try it again.' "
After growing up watching the original show, the 38-year-old actress wanted to bring the beloved series to the big screen.
Aware of Kidman's interest, producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher contacted director Norah Ephron (When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless In Seattle) and her sister, writer Delia (The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants), who teamed to create Kidman's character Isabel Bigelow, a witch in search of a more normal life.
When her nose — remarkably similar to Montgomery's — is spotted in a book shop, Isabel reluctantly takes on the part of Samantha in a remake of the television series starring pompous, washed-up actor Jack Wyatt (Will Ferrell).
Kidman reveals that although she pursued Bewitched, she's typically hesitant when deciding to tackle any project.
"I always have doubt with everything," she says. "I think that's what motivates you in a sense.
"If you think you can do something there's a slight arrogance to that. I think it's always better to be, 'I'm not sure, teach me, and I'm willing to listen and I'm willing to learn.' "
That admission might come as a surprise, considering Kidman's enormous success in past projects such as Moulin Rouge and Cold Mountain.
But the two-time Golden Globe winner points out that at times, even she is awestruck by her fame.
"I was doing Blue Room in New York and I was driving past the billboard and saw the big Broadway sign," she recalls. "You don't get used to it, but at the same time you wonder who would have thought that you could come from a country as far away as Australia and have your name in lights on Broadway.
"It can happen. They say it can't, but it can."
Bewitched opens in theatres on Friday.
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