Nicole Kidman Online mobile version
November 5, 2017   Ali   Articles & Interviews Be first to comment

Star is busier and more celebrated than ever but finds time to push for change in Hollywood — and make a suggestion for Martin Scorsese.

Nicole Kidman is the picture of serenity.

The Hawaii-born Aussie actress seems completely at ease, as she arrives in a bright dress for an interview during TIFF 2017, despite the madness of the festival all around her and a year of multiple movies, TV shows and awards ceremonies, including the Oscars (she was nominated for Lion) and the Emmys (she won for Big Little Lies).

The Toronto International Film Festival is a relative breeze for her — she has just one movie to promote. Compare this to the nuthouse that was Cannes back in May, where Kidman, who turned 50 a month later, was the festival’s most visible star, strolling the red carpet outside the Palais des Festivals no fewer than four times.

Her Cannes work included two dramatic Palme d’Or competitors (Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled), an out-of-competition rom-com (John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties) and a TV detective series (Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl).

“I know!” she says with a smile, when I remind her of Cannes.

“I was there for five days, which is very unusual. I went in with trepidation, because I was like, ‘I’m either going to the chopping block right now, or it’s going to be fun.’ And it turned out to be fun.

“I’ve worked now for so many years, and if I can’t have fun and laugh a bit and enjoy it, then why do it? I know where my heart is in terms of filmmaking and what I love doing. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Funny she should mention hearts. The film that brings the Oscar-winner actress to TIFF, the horror drama The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which opened in regular theatres Friday, has one of these essential organs on display in its opening moments, as a surgeon performs coronary surgery.

The doctor is played by Colin Farrell, who also co-starred with Kidman in the Civil War drama The Beguiled. In Lanthimos’ tale the two play a married couple whose family is visited with a curse straight out of Greek tragedy.

It’s a disturbing movie, but also a very good one, exactly the kind of off-kilter story that the Greek writer/director likes to do, and the kind of thing that really appeals to Kidman these days, as she remains fully engaged in an acting career that’s nearing the 35-year mark.

“I would love for The Killing of a Sacred Deer to reach the audiences it needs to find,” she says. “I’m a supporter of filmmakers that have a particular vision and a voice, international filmmakers. Because otherwise we end up diluted and homogenized and I don’t like that.”

She’s also a staunch advocate of getting more women to direct movies, something she made plain from the Cannes stage, as she expressed impatience with male-dominated Hollywood’s slow pace of change.

“We as women have to support female directors,” Kidman said in Cannes.

“That’s just a given now. Hopefully, that will change over time. Everyone keeps saying, ‘Oh, it’s so different now.’ It isn’t. Listen to that.”

Kidman had a lot of fun just before travelling to TIFF from Australia, where she’s been co-starring in the superhero blockbuster Aquaman for director James Wan, who is best known for horror films like The Conjuring.

“I had the coolest costumes. I love horror films. I love to feel. I like to be disturbed, I like to scream, I love to cry, I love to laugh, I love to feel love, I love to be. I’m a feeler. I feel my way through life.”

She has more to say about her work and the movie business, and more awards to collect: not long after this TIFF interview, Kidman was picking up a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Big Little Lies, the hit TV murder-mystery series by Canada’s Jean-Marc Vallée that is yet another of her recent projects.

You’ve now worked with dozens of well-known directors in just about every kind of movie imaginable, big and small. Is there any director you haven’t made a film with yet whom you would like to?

I will always say that Martin Scorsese needs to make a movie about a woman. I wouldn’t mind being Scorsese’s woman. He did one, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, so you never know. There are so many directors whom I still aspire to work with, and I also love supporting new directors, the ones who are just coming out of nowhere. Giving them a chance to start is exciting as well. I’m also dedicated to working with women, which I have set up to do for next year, so that’s taken care of.

Do you find there’s a difference between how male and female directors make movies?

No, there isn’t, really. They’re either talented or they’re not. I would love to say that it’s gender based, but I just feel like women should be given the opportunity. They can still completely lead. They have incredibly strong visions. They’re capable of handling everything that gets thrown at them, and I still don’t understand why they don’t have the opportunities. I have a 9-year-old daughter who wants to be a director.

I’m really passionate about opening the doors for women now, because they need to be. When you look at statistics showing that just four per cent of the Top 100 grossing movies of the last year were directed by women, that’s ridiculous. But there’s really no difference between male and female directors, other than a woman is probably interested in different aspects of who I am, and a man is interested in different aspects of who I am.

Do you think there’s a “male gaze” and a “female gaze” in how people make and view movies?

Yes, probably. With someone like Jane Campion, absolutely. Jane Campion is incredibly female in the sense of the way in which she enters into female conversations, or even the way men converse, because she’s writing the screenplay. So it’s from her point of view, specifically. But a lot of times the screenplay’s written by a man, and then it’s interpreted by a woman. Those collisions are important and interesting and that’s why we’re fighting for them — and when it’s a female writer and a female director at the same time, that’s a whole different viewpoint.

The actual leading and the conducting of themselves on the set, nothing’s different. But the way in which they view the world is obviously different.

You’ve become an evangelist of sorts for film.

I wish I had more time. I have two little girls (Sunny and Faith), and I have a husband (country star Keith Urban) whom I’m deeply in love with, a cool guy and a good man, and we have a very strong family unit that requires an enormous amount. So I don’t have the time to go and support all of the artistic endeavours I would love to do. I want my family and I want the balance. I’m glad that when I got pregnant with Sunny I didn’t give everything up. Because I was like, “That’s it, I’m done now!” I was in that sort of pregnancy euphoria going, “Yes, this is it! I’m retiring.” And my mom actually said, “Don’t do that. Just keep a little toe in the water.”


November 5, 2017   Ali   Articles & Interviews Be first to comment

Nicole Kidman claims she’s not A-list.

We’re in a hotel room during this past September’s Toronto International Film Festival, talking about her new film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer. (It opened in select cities Friday.) She’s wearing an exquisite confection, as always – she’s the best-dressed actress out there – a long-sleeved, floaty white dress with rivulets of silver sequined embroidery. But she’s kicked off her tall silver stilettos.

Bendy as a pretzel, she folds her long legs under her in her easy chair, and tucks her straight blond hair behind her ears. Suddenly, she looks like the world’s most elegant teenager.

Kidman’s actual quote is, “Unless you’re in the top, top tier, like, Jennifer Lawrence, you don’t control your destiny as an actor.” (In her natural Aussie accent, she sounds feistier than she does doing an American accent, and “tier” sounds like “tee-yah.”) She sticks by that even when I scoff, “You’re not top-tier?”

“No!” she insists, laughing. “I know the industry. I’m idiosyncratic. My taste has always been non-conformist. I’ve not got a huge group of people coming up with a whole plan for me, and those I have, I overrule their opinions. I’m willful. A little bit stubborn. I grew up in a liberal family who had a lot of political discussion and lateral thinking. And I’m left-handed. So!”

She grins, loving this. “Also, I had a feminist mother, who’s still an ardent feminist,” she goes on. “The older she gets, the more provocative she gets. To the point where I’m like, ‘Mom, you can’t say that!’ But it’s sort of fabulous, right? So I’m an odd mix of things. And my career is a mixed bag.”

The older Kidman gets, the more provocative she is, too. At 50, she’s come into her own in an enviable way. At TIFF, the party conversation everyone longed to be in was among Kidman, Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren and Kristen Scott Thomas – wised-up broads who’ve been around the block. Her last film outing, The Beguiled, was a proto-feminist revenge tale; her last Oscar nomination was for the decidedly dressed-down mother in Lion.

Also in September, Kidman won the Emmy for lead actress in a limited series or movie for Big Little Lies, the seven-hour HBO series she and Reese Witherspoon optioned, developed and produced, focused on the hot-button issue of sexual abuse. (Written by David E. Kelley and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, it also won the Emmy for outstanding miniseries.)

Kidman and Alexander Skarsgard, playing spouses hiding a dark secret, pulled off scenes of raw intimacy and startling violence. But their most riveting scenes were their stillest, sitting side by side on a sofa in a couples-therapist’s office. “It was so great the way Jean-Marc shot those,” Kidman says. “Because we just walked in. We didn’t rehearse them. We just sat down and did it. What a great way to perform. It was just Jean-Marc and the cameraman, because he doesn’t use any lighting. And he just shot and shot and shot. He was penetrating through our skin in those scenes.”

Currently, Kidman is back on TV in another limited series, Top of the Lake: China Girl, written and directed by Jane Campion, with whom she made Portrait of a Lady. As Julia, an ardent-feminist mother to Mary (Alice Englert, who is Campion’s daughter), a teenager who’s caught up in the disappearance of a sex worker, Kidman sports minimum makeup, maximum freckles, and wild grey curls. (It airs on CBC.)

“Julia is an archetypal female Australian,” Kidman says. “A lot of my Australian friends say, ‘Oh, I know that woman.’ And I’ve known Jane since I was 14, and Alice since she was born.”

With The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Kidman continues her habit of working in independent film for challenging directors, this time the Greek provocateur Yorgos Lanthimos. Like Lanthimos’s previous film, The Lobster, actors in Sacred Deer speak in a flat affect and live in a world that looks like ours, but with different rules, which the audience must figure out as the story unspools. Colin Farrell plays a doctor confronted with an awful choice: If he doesn’t kill his wife (Kidman), son or daughter, both children will sicken and die. I think it’s about the brutality of self-preservation; when I ask Kidman what she thinks it’s about, she replies, chortling, “It’s a hot mess.”

As a mother, her character goes to the darkest place imaginable and roots around in what she finds. “When I first read it, I was like, ‘Ohhhh, this is dangerous territory,'” Kidman says. “But I’ve never steered away from that.”

While shooting, Lanthimos “discouraged conversation. He doesn’t want naturalism,” Kidman says. “Which is exactly the same with Stanley Kubrick, so I’d circled that before. Yorgos is unto himself. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s classically trained, he’s intellectual. He writes in Greek and then translates it, which is why it has that slightly strange rhythm. Then he slowly moulds the scenes.

“That’s where I’m at as an actor now – I love supporting European filmmakers with unique points of view,” she continues. “It’s a battle for them to get their films made, and if I can contribute to getting them seen, I want to do that.”

Even when she was “in the position of being offered everything,” she didn’t choose the things that were mainstream. “If I did, they’d crash and burn, because my sensibility is not that,” she says. (We’re looking at you, Batman Forever and The Peacemaker.) “Moulin Rouge was not mainstream when we made it, but it became mainstream. That’s what I like, shifting the needle.”

It’s true, Kidman’s taste has always tended toward unconventional women in unquiet places – Eyes Wide Shut, Dogville, Margot at the Wedding; Diane Arbus in Fur; Virginia Woolf in The Hours (she won the Oscar for that one). She likes working with emerging and female directors, and with Big Little Lies, she’s become a producer to be reckoned with.

“It was born out of frustration,” Kidman says. “Reese and I were like, ‘Where are the roles? We’re not getting offered, and our friends aren’t getting offered, the things we want to explore.’ So we optioned Liane Moriarty’s novel and tried to galvanize whatever power we have.”

She was “stunned” by how it took off, and loves nothing more than hearing viewers tell her how starved they were for it. “We were starved for it, too,” she says. “We didn’t understand why people weren’t invested in writing scripts about women’s real lives, finding topical stories with an underbelly of tough subject matter.” She and Witherspoon are exploring a second season, but “we won’t do it if the story doesn’t warrant it,” Kidman adds.

Now that she’s back “in a position to get things made,” Kidman’s upcoming films are a diverse slate: a comic drama, The Upside, opposite Bryan Cranston; She Came to Me, for writer/director Rebecca Miller; a thriller, Destroyer, for director Karyn Kusama; the gay-conversion drama Boy Erased; and a superhero flick, Aquaman.

Her personal life seems to be chugging along nicely – she and her husband of 11 years, musician Keith Urban, are always photographed holding hands, and they keep their two daughters, aged 9 and 6, out of the public eye. But she’s reportedly estranged from the two children she adopted with her ex-husband Tom Cruise, and that private heartbreak may be part of why she’s drawn to stories that unsettle and discomfit.

Kidman “can’t believe some of the scenes” in Sacred Deer. “And that’s hard to say these days. Yorgos is poking into places that Greek tragedy poked into, and Shakespeare. But people don’t go to that territory right now. Those sorts of things are really fascinating to me.”

Other actors can have the top tier. Kidman prefers the sharp edges, the shadowed corners.


Nothing could have prepared Nicole Kidman for The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

The actress, who won an Emmy Award last month for HBO’s Big Little Lies, blindly signed on to work with Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos after watching his peculiar dystopian romance The Lobster. When she eventually read the script, she discovered an even stranger story than that black comedy, in which people are turned into animals if they can’t find soulmates.

In Sacred Deer (now showing in 34 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas; additional cities Friday; in theaters nationwide Nov. 10), Kidman plays Anna, the austere wife of a brilliant surgeon, Steven (Colin Farrell), who is accused of killing a menacing teen’s father on his operating table. Struck by a curse, Steven and Anna must choose which of their family members to sacrifice to right that wrong.

Lanthimos finds unexpected, unsettling humor in the clan’s stilted interactions, as the couple’s children gradually become paralyzed and beg to be spared.

“I was like, ‘Yorgos, I have no idea how to play this as a comedy,’ ” says Kidman, laughing. She turned to Farrell, who worked with Lanthimos on The Lobster and constantly assured her, ” ‘This will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.’ ”

The film — a grisly riff on the Greek myth of Iphigenia, who is threatened with sacrifice after her father kills a sacred deer — is meant to make audiences “uncomfortable, but also kind of entertained,” Lanthimos says. The former certainly applies to Steven and Anna’s kink for “general anesthetic” sex, a position in which she goes limp like a medicated patient.

That scene is “really strange and says so much about the relationship,” Kidman says. “I was at first going, ‘Oh, no, I don’t want to have to do that,’ but I also relished the idea because it was so unique and compelling.”

Sacred Deer is one of four wildly different projects that Kidman, 50, premiered at France’s Cannes Film Festival in May, along with this summer’s The Beguiled,fall miniseries Top of the Lake: China Girl and upcoming sci-fi romance How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Beginning with her Oscar nomination for last year’s Lion, the actress is in the midst of an Internet-bestowed “Kidmanaissance,” which she chalks up to coincidence.

Work “ebbs and flows,” Kidman says. “Is it lovely for it to collide with turning 50? Yes, and to be able to have Big Little Lies embraced like it was — particularly at this time for women — speaks loudly to the community.”

In the miniseries, Kidman played a well-to-do housewife and victim of domestic abuse, which she called a “complicated, insidious disease” in her Emmys acceptance speech. But she’s wary of discussing the flood of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, who produced Kidman films such as Lion, The Others and Cold Mountain.

“I’ve made my statement, and I’m reluctant to get into this now because that would be a whole other (topic),” she says.

Next up, Kidman will appear in superhero movie Aquaman and gay-conversion drama Boy Erased. Although it hasn’t been officially announced, she teases that a second season of Big Little Lies is “moving forward at a rapid rate,” and hopes it will start production early next year.

“Because of the responses of audiences and critics, it was like, ‘Gosh, we really should explore these women further,’ ” Kidman says. “It seemed sad to abandon them when they’ve only just gotten started.”


November 2, 2017   Ali   Images, Magazines Be first to comment

I have added four images from Nicole’s feature in Glamour’s Women of the Year issue to our gallery.

Gallery Links:
Nicole Kidman Online > Outtakes > 2017 > 029

October 31, 2017   Ali   Family, Images Be first to comment

Nicole & Keith send out Halloween greetings to the fans! Hope each of you have a fun and safe night!

People spoke with Nicole on her beauty routine and her view about getting older.

On the surface, we have very little … okay, maybe nothing in common with Nicole Kidman. She’s got awards galore, counts other Hollywood A-listers among her colleagues and friends, and likely gets serenaded by Keith Urban daily. But when it comes to the actress’s beauty routine, we can more than relate to her practical approach.

“I like anything that is low maintenance and quick, yet can still give me results,” says the actress. “I don’t have a lot of time, so I can’t need 100 things, just a small number of products I really love.”

Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shine, which Kidman wore to The Upside premiere during the 2017 Toronto Film Festival.

The brand’s spokeswoman says the product is a staple in her purse because “it’s easy to apply, and when I put that on my lips and it just gives them a little color and moisture.” (It’s also a staple in Kerry Washington’s bag – she revealed that she and Kidman even wear the same shade sometimes!)

She also stocks up on Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes “because with them, I can be in a car or on a plane and I can take my makeup off,” she explains. Also ever-present: the brand’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream.

“I have really sensitive skin, but when I put on that cream, I’m like, ‘Okay!’ because it doesn’t cause dryness or redness, which can sometimes happen with retinol products.”

But Kidman, who celebrated her 50th birthday in June, says that while she doesn’t mind a boost from a skin-smoothing cream, she’s on board with the movement to stop using the term “anti-aging.” “The cream is about helping you with wrinkles, it’s not about taking away your aging because aging gives you wisdom!” she says. “Women are having babies in their 40s and are wanting to continue their careers well into their 70s. They don’t want to be told, ‘No it’s over.’ We’re doing so much more. And I think we have helped that shift by all of us women banding together.’”

And the actress has done just that, teaming with Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz and more female forces to create the critically acclaimed HBO series Big Little Lies, which earned 16 Emmy nominations — and won eight trophies — in September. The ceremony capped off a whirlwind couple of months in which Kidman also promoted four separate projects at the Cannes Film Festival in May, and celebrated an Oscar nod for her role in Lion.

The star’s husband has a theory about her banner year.

“[Keith] calls me the tortoise from [the book] The Tortoise and the Hare. He goes, ‘You do your own thing and eventually people understand you. That’s your journey, I think. You know you and you know your nature [but] people are starting to know you now.’”

“I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I want to be a tortoise!’ but it’s a compliment. It’s taken a really long time, I’m not bounding out of here. But slow and steady, I suppose. And I hope I get to keep going,” says the star, who counts Jane Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Shirley MacLain and Jessica Tandy among her inspirations. “[Tandy] was on stage winning an Academy Award at 80, which is just awesome.”

And the moral is one she hopes to pass on to her daughters, Sunday Rose, 9, and Faith Margaret, 6.

“I love what I do, it’s that simple, and so I supposed I just stay committed to that, which is what I try to teach my girls: Sometimes things will work out and you’ll shine for a moment and sometimes they won’t but that slow and steady is a good way to approach life.”

October 30, 2017   Ali   Magazines Be first to comment

December 2017

I first met Nicole Kidman about 15 years ago through a mutual friend. I don’t remember the exact moment, and neither does she. All I remember about those early days was her kindness and her beauty. Once, in London, at a mod hotel with great lychee martinis, we were both publicizing different movies and the place was humming with film people. My kids were very young then, sleeping upstairs; my husband and I didn’t get out much at the time, and I was enjoying this rare moment. Nicole was sitting opposite me, looking smashing, and I remember being so touched by what she said: “It’s important that we drink this in, and enjoy it, because one day when we’re old, we’ll have all these wonderful memories.” That really struck me. Nicole Kidman doesn’t take her life for granted.

There is a familiarity that develops between an audience and an actor who has dug as deep into the collective psyche as Nicole has. I felt I knew her even before we met: Her gaze—fierce, piercing, intelligent—has always drilled me to my seat. I can’t fidget when she holds the screen; my mind doesn’t wander. I suppose this is what they call charisma. “The way she hurls herself into her characters is unparalleled, and it’s so magnificent to watch,” says her friend and Big Little Lies costar Laura Dern. “She allows herself to be all women, but she doesn’t lead with shame or insecurity.”

I too am fascinated by the cocktail of talent, craft, and courage that makes Nicole so special. I would go so far as to say she is a character actress in the body of a great beauty. Consider a sampling of the emotions she brings out in her roles: the sociopathic charm in To Die For (1995); the soul-destroying grief in Birth (2004); the suicidal genius in The Hours (2002), for which she won an Oscar; the frightening dissociation in HBO’s Big Little Lies (2017), for which she took home an Emmy; and the chilling reserve in the just-released The Killing of a Sacred Deer. (To say nothing of the four—four—major films she has coming out in 2018.) The breadth of her work is tremendous.

At 50, a mother four times over and a devoted partner to her husband, country singer Keith Urban, she is also an extraordinary instrument of change—one who flexes her personal power not only in the world of motion pictures and television but as a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. “By using her global visibility to speak out for women who have suffered abuse, Nicole has literally given her voice to the voiceless,” says U.N. Women communications and advocacy chief Nanette Braun. Supporting other women is a central point Nicole returns to again and again, but for her, talking isn’t enough; she is all about the doing. I was so glad to be able to ask my friend how she creates her characters, and how her feminism informs the choices she makes on (and off) the screen.

Go to our press library to read the rest of the feature.

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ movies aren’t the sort that typically attract a stampede of Hollywood A-listers.

His films, which he writes with Efthymis Filippou, are deadpan, midnight-black comedies that carry out grim allegorical absurdities to extreme ends. Characters speak stiltedly in cliches while an intensifying menace envelopes them. Things get weird and then they get brutal.

And yet Lanthimos is not only a regular on the festival circuit (his latest, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival) but he has earned an Oscar nomination (for the script to “The Lobster”) and drawn eager stars like Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. “The Lobster,” a warped comedy of single life, was even a surprise box-office success, earning $9.1 million in 2016 — pretty good for a low-budget movie in which loners are hunted in the woods or turned into the animal of their choosing.

“The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” which stars Kidman and Farrell and features the breakthrough performance of Irish actor Barry Keoghan, opened last weekend with similarly packed art-house theaters. Farrell and Kidman play the parents of a suburban family terrorized by a young man (Keoghan) who’s a vague figure of comeuppance come to force Farrell’s heart surgeon to kill one of his two children as retribution for an earlier sin.

Earlier this fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, Lanthimos, Kidman, Farrell (who also starred in “The Lobster”) and Keoghan gathered to discuss their surreal and divisive film, and the peculiarities of acting in a Lanthimos film.

AP: I’m guessing from your films, Yorgos, you don’t much care for small talk.

Lathimos: I prefer the small talk to the big talk. I’m not a big talker, am I?

Kidman: He’s quiet. He’s an introvert, but not in his filmmaking.

AP: Nicole, how did you first connect with Yorgos?

Kidman: I pursued him relentlessly and he finally gave in.

Yorgos: You like saying that. I turned her down for 50 films.

Kidman: We had met. We had food together and chatted. That was a nice meeting. Then we had sort of a texting relationship. I was doing a play in London. He told me about the script. I said, “That sounds interesting, Yorgos.”

AP: How did you describe the film to your cast, Yorgos?

Lanthimos: Never get yourself into a situation where you have to describe the film.

Farrell: “It’s 104 pages of joy!” I loved it. It was remarkably different from “The Lobster,” in tone, but also existing in a grossly idiosyncratic world. It was a mystery to me, as “The Lobster” was. It’s very seldom for me that you get to read writing that is so remarkably unique. The only other time that I had a similar feeling was with Martin McDonaugh (“In Bruges”).

Keoghan: It was a weird film, a weird script, but I loved it. It’s a different kind of acting, you know? You don’t act in it. It was just a challenge. I think he hates actors, as well.

AP: Is it acting? It’s certainly a different kind of performance.

Kidman: He doesn’t like “acting,” am I right? He always says, “Stop acting.”

Lanthimos: What do you mean? There’s a lot of acting everywhere, all over the place. (Laughs)

Kidman: He says, “You’re doing too much. Stop it.”

Farrell: The best direction in 20 years of doing this job I’ve ever heard is him screaming from a monitor to an actor: “Stop trying to be so naturalistic!”

Lanthimos: Because that’s the worst! You see the effort of someone trying to be like real life. You go, “I’m embarrassed. Don’t do that.”

Kidman: I think I embarrassed him a lot.

Farrell: It takes habituated behavioral responses and pushes them to the side. It kind of presents subtext as reality and so you don’t have to play subtext at all. It feels to me to be a really honest world.

AP: Yorgos, the title refers to Euripides’ “Iphigenia in Aulis.” How related to Greek tragedy do you consider the film?

Farrell: He had a genetic disposition to arrive there and he couldn’t avoid it.

Lanthimos: These are matters that we’ve been concerned with since ancient years but they’ve actually become more taboo. I get a sense that this film upsets people because of the themes and the story. It did puzzle me in the beginning how much people are scandalized by being shown certain situations. It’s even more impressive when you realize that similar stories used to be a more common thing.

AP: Why do you think that is?

Lanthimos: I think we’ve become very conservative. We elevate as important certain things and then others we consider them taboo and we don’t touch them. There’s a facade in general that we try to use to seal ourselves from certain things. I don’t have answers but just to poke a certain nerve.

AP: Did the experience of making the film mimic the story’s trajectory from comedy to bleakness?

Farrell: If you scream into the wind for 12 hours without anyone around, you’re going to be a little bit insane for at least another 12. We almost shot in continuity so it got darker and it got bleaker and it got weightier the closer we got to a decision that’s made in the film. I was depressed by the end. It got under my skin for sure.

Keoghan: I’ve not acted since, basically. (Laughs)

Kidman: And we were in confined spaces. We were shooting in a (Cincinnati) hospital which is a very strange environment, anyway, to be shooting in. I was walking with bare feet and they were like, “Put your shoes on! You’ll pick up some weird bacteria.”

AP: Barry, you’re especially creepy in this. Did you know you had that in you?

Keoghan: I kind of did. (Laughter) Especially that spaghetti scene. I was like: “Turn up the creep-mode.”


October 25, 2017   Ali   Articles & Interviews, Family Be first to comment

Where their children are concerned, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are an open book.

The couple graced the red carpet at Wednesday’s 2017 CMT Artists of the Year event at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee, speaking to PEOPLE about how they address the Las Vegas shooting in their household that includes daughters Faith Margaret, 6½, and Sunday Rose, 9.

“We’re a very intimate family and we discuss many things,” said Kidman, 50. “We take responsibility of parenting so seriously, but we also keep an open conversation between our kids.”

She adds, “Sometimes we need guidance, too, but our family is based on an enormous amount of questions, love and support, and we’re trying to guide a 6-year-old and 9-year-girl right now into the world.”

The “Blue Ain’t Your Color” singer — an honoree of the evening — touches on the fact that the balance of allowing their daughters to be kids while not hiding the reality from them can be a challenge.

“There’s darkness in the world and at some point you want to keep your kids from that because you want [them] to enjoy childhood and imagination and see the world in a beautiful way, but at some point learning how to navigate that is crucial for not letting the darkness tell you how to live,” says Urban, 49.

“And that’s what we’re all in the midst of right now: How do we not let that kind of darkness change our living so much that it’s taken all the color out of it?” he asks. “How do we keep color in our life, and how do we keep it intimate and open and vulnerable?”

“It’s love. It’s what we’re dealing with,” Urban explains. “How do you love vulnerably, but protect yourself? It’s a real balance.”

“And that’s what we’re all in the midst of right now: How do we not let that kind of darkness change our living so much that it’s taken all the color out of it?” he asks. “How do we keep color in our life, and how do we keep it intimate and open and vulnerable?”

“It’s love. It’s what we’re dealing with,” Urban explains. “How do you love vulnerably, but protect yourself? It’s a real balance.”

Urban joined fellow honorees Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Florida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley to open the CMT Artists of the Year event with a tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

“They saw some things on the news, and it affected the country music community in such a massive way,” Kidman says of Faith and Sunday. “They knew when they saw us reeling. And they’re so connected to us, they’re like, ‘What’s wrong?’ ”

“So we’re in it together, trying to raise our children in this time,” adds the Emmy winner. “How do we navigate it, how do we protect, yet still give them strength and still keep them moving forward and focusing on what’s beautiful?”

“Not live in paranoia and fear,” agrees Urban, to which Kidman replies with a laugh, “And then we go to church on Sunday.”