Nicole Kidman says, “People thought we were crazy for doing such a long film like Eyes Wide Shut which took forever to make. We could have done three other movies in the time it took us but we got the opportunity to work with [the late] Stanley Kubrick and I said yes without even reading the script.
“There are three directors you don’t say no to and Stanley Kubrick was top of the list. Of course, when Tom and I read the script and found out what the film was about... we both became pretty nervous. Less so me, as I’m only in the first half hour, which is nothing considering the film runs for 159 minutes.
“There was a lot of stuff we shot for the movie that I don’t think I would have done for any other director. But I really believed in Stanley’s talent and I wanted him to be able to explore that.
"By the end of the shoot we felt as if we’d been everywhere an actor can possibly go. We’d lived on that film set. We even occasionally slept in the studio bed when it was too late to get home even though we’d rented a house a few minutes away from the studio.” Kidman laughs.
Girl Next Door
The first thing you notice about Nicole Kidman, 32, is her lingering laugh. And how staggeringly normal she is.
She seems tiny until she stands up and pale to the point of bleached porcelain. Clad in a blue cardie and a little floral skirt, the trademark red cloud of hair pulled back messily into a ponytail, there’s little evidence of the glamorous woman on the arm of screen heart-throb Tom Cruise, her partner for more than a decade and husband since their marriage on Christmas Eve 1990 by a Scientologist minister.
They met when Cruise, who’d seen her in Dead Calm, picked her, when she was 22, to play his leading lady in Days of Thunder. She jokingly says that she fell in lust with his biceps on their first date. “He was wearing a very neatly-fitting T-shirt!” There’s that laugh again. She does an excellent Beano comic squint and rattles on in her okker Aussie accent.
In 1988 Dead Calm, Phillip Noyce’s chilling ocean thriller, crossed the Pacific successfully and Hollywood was on the phone instantly.
“I love that film. It made me international. But it was hell making it because I am a redhead and cannot stand the sun. I had to be covered from top to toe when I wasn’t shooting and spent all day covering myself with sunblock..."
"I want to walk through life with grace and dignity and generosity and never take it all for granted."
Why? / Who?
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