More images are in the gallery from the Academy of Country Music Awards … looks like Nicole had a fun night!
Another article where Entertainment Weekly interviewed Nicole about the finale of Big Little Lies … and Nic shares that she wants a second season!
WARNING: This post contains spoilers from the Big Little Lies season finale. Read at your own risk!
Nicole Kidman agreed to play Celeste Wright in Big Little Lies when she first met the novel’s author, Liane Moriarty, and they struck a deal: If the Academy Award-winning actress would play the lawyer-turned-abused-housewife, Moriarty would grant her and Reese Witherspoon the rights to the project.
That agreement led Kidman down a rabbit hole of despair, where she endured long days of playing physically and emotionally draining scenes opposite Alexander Skarsgård, who portrayed Perry Wright, her handsome, charming, and abusive husband. The result is some of Kidman’s finest work of her career, but getting there was no cake walk. Here, we talk to Kidman about the challenges of embracing Celeste.
And for more on the finale of HBO’s Big Little Lies finale, check out our interview with Skarsgård here and our chat with director Jean-Marc Vallée here.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In the finale, when you discover that it’s your son who’s been bullying little Amabella, it’s heartbreaking, as is the following scene when she confronts the 6-year old. Tell us a bit about filming that.
NICOLE KIDMAN: One of the most important scenes in the series is when I go and find Max and hold him and whisper to him, and say, “People do bad things but that doesn’t mean that’s you. We can change this. I’m here.” She deals with her child with love instead of punishment. That to me is Celeste’s shining moment. That’s her heart and I love that’s the choice there. She knows she’s responsible. Though they weren’t seeing [the abuse], they were absorbing it. She feels that and she knows that’s the parenting that’s been going on and it’s affected one of their children. And that’s devastating to her.
It’s also why she can finally leave. This is what I find deeply sad, I’ll put up with things, I’ll absorb thing, as long as my children are protected. As soon as my children are exposed, and she sees it, then she can act, then she can move, then she’s propelled. And that just cuts me to my core.
What do you think about the fact that it’s Bonnie that actually pushes him down the stairs?
The backstory of Bonnie is complicated, and not fully explored, which is probably why we need to do a season 2. It indicates that every woman is holding some sort of secret or damage or something and that’s not fully explored. We don’t have any plans for a season 2 but the beauty of this is there are so many deep stories here that are ripe for mining. There are so many different ways to go with all of these women. This is such a small portion of their lives but I love that people have connected to them in such a deep way. And everyone in different ways to different women.
Were you at all fearful to play Celeste?
I wasn’t fearful but when I started doing it, it penetrated me in ways I didn’t quite realize. There were days and days of doing a lot of aggressive, really violent scenes. And I would go home and have a shower or have a bath and I would weep at home. And it would be like, “Oh my gosh, what is happening to me?” And then one day, I just got a rock and threw it through a glass door! Yes. Where I was staying. And I threw a rock. I must have had a lot of pent-up [stress], because I was trying to hold it all in. I’ve never done that in my life. And then I just started crying and crying and crying. It just penetrated my psyche in a way a film never had.
When Jean-Marc Vallée shot those scenes with the two of you, he gave you a lot of freedom with the natural light and handheld cameras but that also meant you were doing each scene over and over from start to finish, correct?
Over and over again. That’s probably why I built up this pent-up… It was very confronting and I felt very exposed and embarrassed at times. My emotions were so blurred with hers. All of it, the humiliation, the embarrassment, the fighting back, the rage, the shame, the stoicism. I think all of it became just blurred. Alex was amazing. A lot of the things that we did, we were just very open with each other. We were very safe. We created a bubble that we existed in and then we’d walk away from it. And we wouldn’t ever talk about it.
But you went home with bruises, right? This wasn’t all done with a stunt woman.
Yeah. I don’t know if he had any bruises. He probably did. (Laughs) But I did; I was covered in them. My body was in pain. That’s how I describe it. I don’t usually take Advil and I would take Advil. I was living through it. I felt the necessity to do that for the truth of this story, which I feel is a very important story to tell. It’s insidious how these things happen. The things that start to become normal when they aren’t normal and the things we allow. And how a relationship can morph into where both people in it are not bad people. And he is very sick. He’s not well.
What kind of surprising reactions to the show have you received?
There are many different reactions (laughs) but they are connected to it. The biggest word I hear is “obsessed.”
What’s next for you?
I have a film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer. I’m very idiosyncratic in my tastes. I did Lion and I did Big Little Lies so now I’ve gone back to a very subversive film, Yergos Lanthimos, the director of The Lobster. It’s very out there. It’s avante garde art. I’m so schizophrenic in my tastes. People are like, “Oh my god, who are you?” The truth of it is I love auteurs and I love philosophical filmmakers and that’s why I love that Big Little Lies got made, because as much as it seems like a sure thing now, it wasn’t. I like the high-wire act of it. I believe in not towing the line. Conformity is what I run from.
Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the finale of “Big Little Lies,” which aired April 2.
The mystery is finally solved: Not only do we know who did it, we also know who the victim is, too. And we know who the father is of Jane’s son, Ziggy — the man who assaulted her that horrible night seven years ago. And thanks to director Jean-Marc Vallee’s visual storytelling style, it was all delivered without a single word spoken.
It was justice a long time coming for Celeste’s abusive husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) who suffered a fatal fall at the hands of Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz). The women bonded together to keep the secret, refusing to tell the authorities the truth — but they’re each finally unburdened of the painful, deep secrets they’ve been keeping all series long.
Nicole Kidman, who also served as an executive producer for the project, took on the challenging role of playing Celeste, who suffered physical and emotional abuse from her husband. But in the final hour, she finally stood up to him, when faced with the evidence that her sons had not only witnessed the violence — but one had in fact become abusive himself.
“It’s one of the things I’m most proud of, in terms of being able to produce it and get it made,” says Kidman of “Big Little Lies.” Along with “Lion,” for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, the actress has had a year of strong performances. “There’s zero strategy,” she says. “There’s an openness to opportunity. And a lifetime of experience now and a well of emotion and untold stories in my body and my psyche.”
Here, Kidman talks to Variety about the challenges of filming “Lies,” the response from viewers, and whether she’ll reunite with the “Lies” creative team.
How did you approach playing Celeste?
I felt my way through it. It was beautifully written. Jean-Marc and I had a lot of talks prior about it. It’s unusual but it’s based in extreme authenticity and truth. It was Alex, Jean-Marc and I really diving into it psychologically and not skimming it. We wanted it to be a proper study for this couple and how toxic this relationship is. How much they want each other and they want the family to stay together and that they’re in this dance of death, really.
How much research did you do?
A lot. There’s a lot, in terms of the work I do about violence against women. This is one study of it but there’s very different ways in which it plays out. But it’s very insidious. Celeste is always saying, “I’m to blame, I’m part of this.” It takes two to do this. I think what’s fascinating is the way in which she goes to seek help. She says, “Don’t unravel this. I don’t want to destroy the relationship. I just want some tools to make it a bit healthier.” Which is very, very real for a lot of these situations. You can go and see women talking about why they didn’t leave a relationship. Ultimately it’s incredibly destructive and abusive. And not dealing with it for what it is.
Have you heard from victims of domestic violence?
I have and hope it’s part of a dialogue. I’ve done a lot of work with victims of domestic violence, and also victims of war crimes. That’s been my work for well over a decade with U.N. women. My antennae are so sensitized to it. It’s obviously an epidemic. I know a lot about it. I’ve been around it a lot. But I’m glad that people feel her. It’s how I approached the whole role through just pure visceral feeling. I’m just glad they’re feeling her, if that makes any sense. Having done “Lion” earlier this year, people felt that film. There are films you see and you respond to intellectually, and films you respond to viscerally. To me, this is one of those things. That was a frightening prospect – to put so much into it and for it not to find its way would have really gutted us.Continue Reading
People shared this article after talking to Keith & Nicole on the red carpet tonight … they discussed Keith’s song The Fighter.
Keith Urban may be the most nominated artist at Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards, but if you think that carries any clout at home with Oscar-winning wife Nicole Kidman and his daughters, think again.
“Everybody who’s married knows that’s an illogical question,” Urban, 49, told PEOPLE when asked if he can use his nominations to his advantage. “A ‘get out of jail free card’ does not exist.”
Aside from hopefully collecting some hardware at the awards, Urban will also perform two songs: “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and “The Fighter,” which he will sing with Carrie Underwood.
When he initially wrote “The Fighter,” Urban said he had Underwood in mind as a collaborator, and there wasn’t really a plan B.
What if she said no?
“I would have thought of somebody quick,” he said. “I would have had to have thought of somebody quick. I think if Carrie said no, we were set with the schedule and everything, we would have just had to leave that song off the record. That would have given me time to find the right person. I wouldn’t rush the wrong person in there just to make a record. Thank goodness she said yes.”
Later, on the official red carpet pre-show, Kidman, 49, opened up about what being the inspiration for “The Fighter” means to her.
“I remember when he first played it for me, and I started to cry because … he writes these things — they come out of I don’t know — and they’re like beautiful gifts,” the actress said.
Just hours ahead of the show on Sunday, Urban showed his daughters cheering him on with their own homemade sign.
“When my daughters do this……I’ve ALREADY WON!!!! – KU #ACMawards”
The ACM Awards will broadcast live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on April 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
Keith shared this cute video of him & Nic sending their love on the ride to the ACM awards tonight!
Tonight Nicole is supporting Keith at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first images from the night have been added to our gallery.
Variety shares that Nicole & Ewan will be joining together for the sixth season of Actors on Actors.
Variety and PBS SoCal have announced the lineup for the sixth installment of the Emmy award-winning series “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.”
The show will feature one-on-one conversations between this year’s Emmy contenders. Clips from the season, presented by Shutterstock, will be available to watch on Variety.com starting at the end of May.
This season’s featured conversations include Oprah Winfrey (“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”) with Thandie Newton (“Westworld”), Sarah Jessica Parker (“Divorce”) with Michelle Pfeiffer (“The Wizard of Lies”), Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”) with Ewan McGregor (“Fargo”), Brit Marling (“The OA”) with Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of”) with Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) with Kaley Cuoco (“Big Bang Theory”), Minnie Driver (“Speechless”) with Christine Baranski (“The Good Fight”), Lauren Graham (“Gilmore Girls”) with Constance Zimmer (“UnREAL”), Giovanni Ribisi (“Sneaky Pete”) with Kaitlin Olson (“The Mick”), Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) with Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”), Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”) with Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”), John Lithgow (“The Crown”) with Kevin Bacon (“I Love Dick”) and Milo Ventimiglia (“This is Us”) with Freida Pinto (“Guerrilla”).
“In its sixth season, Variety is proud to be partnering once again with PBS SoCal in our annual Actors on Actors series – showcasing the top talent from the best new television programs,” said Variety‘s CRO and Group Publisher Michelle Sobrino-Stearns.
Full episodes of “Actors on Actors” will premiere June 13 on PBS SoCal and will be distributed to PBS stations across the nation later that month (check local listings).
“We receive such incredible feedback on this series because the actor conversations are so fresh and revealing,” said PBS SoCal President and CEO Andrew Russell. “We are pleased our partnership with Variety enables us to bring our audiences such a different look behind the scenes of one of our region’s most cherished creative industries.”
Nicole did an interview this week with EW Radio on Sirius XM where she talked about why she decided to join the new Aquaman film.
Nicole Kidman hasn’t been in a superhero movie since she played Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend, Dr. Chase Meridian, in 1995’s Batman Forever. Since that not-so-beloved movie, the Australian actress has won an Academy Award for her role in 2003’s The Hours, and been nominated for three more, including a supporting actress nod for last year’s Lion. She is currently enjoying overwhelming acclaim for her role as Celeste Wright in HBO’s buzzed-about miniseries Big Little Lies.
So it might not the most obvious choice for Kidman to return to the superhero genre, but she’s about to reenter those waters; she confirmed to EW Friday that she will in fact play Aquaman’s mother, Queen Atlanna — who in the Aquaman comics is the Princess of Atlantis who falls in love with a lonely lighthouse keeper and gives birth to the titular hero — in the upcoming DC film from director James Wan (Insidious).
And she has good reason for doing so.
“The reason why I love [Aquaman] is James Wan is an Australian, and I’ve followed his career since he started. He’s a really good friend of mine, and he offered to let me play Queen Atlanna,” she says. “As soon as he said I could wear mother-of-pearl and be a mermaid warrior, I said I’m done. Please. If there is one thing I have to do in my life, I have to be that. [Laughs] Because, you’ve got to have some fun.”
Before Kidman tackles that role, she will star in Yorgos Lanthimos’ follow-up to The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, with Colin Farrell and Alicia Silverstone, and Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, which opens at the end of June.
“The truth of it is I love auteurs and I love philosophical filmmakers,” she says of her eclectic taste in roles. “That’s why I love that Big Little Lies got made. That’s why I’ve gone back to a very subversive film with The Killing of a Sacred Deer. I like the high-wire act of it. I believe in not towing the line. Conformity is what I run from.”
…right into the arms of Aquaman.
The series finale of Big Little Lies airs on HBO on Sunday. To hear Kidman’s full interview, tune into EW Radio on Tuesday on Sirius XM Channel 105.
I have added a new still from next Sunday’s new episode of Big Little Lies, You Get What You Need to our gallery.
– Nicole Kidman Online > Big Little Lies > Season One > Episode Stills
Vogue interviewed Nicole on her work as Celeste on Big Little Lies. Nicole shared how she had bruises from filming and how much it bothered Keith.
There’s been a general consensus among those in the office watching HBO’s irresistible Big Little Lies for the past few weeks: Nicole Kidman has never been better. In the limited series, the Oscar-winning actress plays Celeste, a woman in a deeply twisted, frequently violent relationship with her husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgård). To the outside world, this photogenic and highly successful pair have managed to keep the spark in their marriage alive. But behind closed doors, Celeste has been quietly suffering from a never-ending cycle of psychosexual abuse, which she often mistakes for love, or intense passion. “It’s as if we turn each other on by rage,” she says to her therapist.
We spoke to Kidman on the phone from the set of her new movie Untouchable, and talked through the process of bringing Big Little Lies to the screen (she’s also an executive producer on the project), how her husband, Keith Urban, reacted the day she came home after filming covered in bruises, and the particular type of strain such a role required: “There are other characters that are easier to intellectually approach, but this was visceral,” says Kidman.
Congratulations on the show—not only do you star in it but you also produced it along with Reese Witherspoon. How did the series first come your way?
My friend Bruna Papandrea worked with Reese when they had the production company, Pacific Standard, and she called me—I’ve known her since we were teenagers—and said, “I just read this book and I think it could be amazing for us all.” And I read it overnight and went “Yeah, this is so good. I’m going to Australia tomorrow so I can try and have a meeting with Liane [Moriarty], the author, and try to convince her to let us option it. Reese also wanted to get it. So I flew to Australia and met with Liane and said, “If you let us option your book, I promise we’ll get it made.” And she said okay and took it off the market. But she had one condition, I had to play Celeste.
Would you have liked to play any of the other characters in the show?
That’s probably the character I would have cast myself in, or the director would’ve. In the book, Madeline was more different. In the TV show she came to fruition after David E. Kelley started to write it and he wrote it specifically for Reese. And then he wrote Celeste even more for me. He really took the book and made it into a limited series. We considered for a second trying to make it into a film, but then we knew it was definitely a limited series. There hadn’t been a female-driven one like this that we had ever seen.
I know there was a bidding war for it early on.
Nothing had been written. We just had the book, we had Reese, David, and I, and that was it. It was kind of amazing to feel the interest—that’s what happens when women combine their powers. If I’d gone by myself to try and do it, it wouldn’t have worked.
Was Liane surprised when an Oscar-winning actress called her up to meet for coffee?
No, because she had put the book up for option and lots of people were interested. Everyone was trying to get it. That’s the normal process for an author, the abnormal process is that it actually gets made. She’d optioned The Husband’s Secret and that hasn’t been made. It’s really tough to get stuff off the ground. It was just one of those things where the confluence of events and the timing was right. Reese and I were very committed to it. Then Laura [Dern] came on, then Shailene [Woodley], Zoë [Kravitz], Alexander. The biggest coup was getting Jean-Marc Vallée because to get a director of that caliber to direct all of the episodes [in a series] is unusual.Continue Reading