Nicole Kidman Opens Up About the Intense Process of Filming Big Little Lies
Fresh from winning an Emmy for her performance in HBO's Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman made a special appearance in San Francisco's Presidio this week to raise funds for Futures Without Violence, an organization that works to end domestic and sexual violence.
In a conversation moderated by ABC News's Deborah Roberts, Kidman spoke about her role as a battered wife in the monied enclave of Monterey, California. And as she made clear during her acceptance speech on Sunday night, the chance to bring attention to the issue of domestic abuse was at the forefront of her mind when she was playing her character, Celeste Wright.
Here are seven things Nicole Kidman, who was stunning in a black dress by Ulyana Sergeenko, revealed about making Big Little Lies, and her answer to the question on everyone's lips: What's happening with season two?
AUTHOR LIANE MORIARTY CAST HER FOR THE PART.
"Strangely enough, when I met with the author of Big Little Lies she said, 'I'll let you option the book, but you have to play Celeste.' She'd already cast who she wanted! She wanted me to play Celeste, and she wanted Reese Witherspoon to play Madeline. Then she said, 'Otherwise I'm staying out of it.'"
A TED TALK HELPED HER PREPARE FOR THE ROLE.
"The way I enter into a character is I just sort of absorb and read and watch and listen. I listened to podcasts. I watched some TED talks of one particular woman who'd been a very powerful executive, yet she had this very abusive relationship. That was very, very helpful because it was the situation of, well, she could leave financially. She could leave. She didn't know how to leave, and she didn't realize that she had to leave, if that makes sense. She was in denial, which is what the character Celeste is."
Nicole Kidman at a fundraiser for Futures Without Violence
SHE GOT MAJOR BRUISES DURING FILMING.
"You're meant to not do that as an actor. You're meant to be able to choreograph a fight, but I am the actor that goes in and goes, 'Let's just go again, go again, let's keep going.' So a lot of times I would go home
SHE OFTEN CRIED AT NIGHT AFTER FILMING.
"It was strange because I would go to bed at night and some of the times—because we were shooting in Monterey, I would be there and Keith would be in Nashville with the children, so I'd be alone—and I was so disturbed. I would
"Jessica Lange said 'It's because as an actor, the body doesn't know any different.' The brain does, but the body doesn't, so if you're getting hit every day, your body is going, 'Oh, I'm getting hit, I'm getting hit.' Your brain goes, 'Well, I'm acting,' but your body doesn't know the difference. So it gave me enormous empathy and compassion and understanding, which is why I'm so happy to keep talking about these
Kidman and Skarsgard in Big Little Lies
ON ALEXANDER SKARSGARD'S EMMY WIN:
"I'm really glad he won the Emmy because it's very, very hard for an actor or an actress to play somebody that's so unlikable. He was actually overseas when the series was initially released and he said he came back and people were looking at him on the street and going, 'I hate you!' So that was really funny because it means people saw what a great job he did as an actor."
HER YOUNGEST CHILDREN AREN'T ALLOWED TO WATCH.
She thanked daughters Sunny and Faith and her husband Keith Urban during her Emmy's speech for their support as she played the role, but turns out the little girls haven't seen the show. "They have not seen any of it. They want to see it. And I said it's not appropriate. To which they say, 'Well can we just see bits?'"
Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies
WILL THERE BE A SECOND SEASON?
"It was so much work to get this one done! I would love to go and continue
"Definitely we have David E. Kelley engaged. Reese and I are traveling all over the world right now, but when we set our minds to something, look out!"
Nicole Kidman in San Francisco
As for her work with Futures Without Violence, it was a natural fit for Kidman. "Since she'd be in California, she wanted to come by and help this incredible organization in any way she could," said Joni Binder, who helped organize the event, which also included remarks by Senator Kamala Harris, Meena Harris, Paul Pelosi, and performances by Oakland a cappella group Vocal Rush.
At the event, Neha Rastogi, a Silicon Valley technology executive whose domestic violence case made national headlines earlier this year, spoke out publicly for the first time
Among those in the audience were filmmaker Roman Coppola and wife Jenny, Kidman's Hemingway & Gellhorn director Philip Kaufman, Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz, winemakers Austin and Sara Hills, and tech entrepreneurs Dave and Brit Morin.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.