Nicole Kidman discusses roles with husband Keith Urban for family's sake
5 Mar 2013, 1342 hrs IST
Entertainment News: Los Angeles: As her family is more important than anything else, actress Nicole Kidman says she discusses whatever roles are offered to her with husband Keith Urban. The two are married for the past six years and they have two daughters - Sunday, four and Faith, two.
"When I`m offered a role, I literally say, `Is this going to work for our family?` And I ask Keith about it and there have been times when he said `no` and I`ve not done it, and there have been times when he`s said `yes` and we make it work," Radio Times magazine quoted Kidman as saying.
"And I`m absolutely fine with that because I want my children and I want my marriage more than I want anything else. So it`s really simple," she added.
When Nicole Kidman compares Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook with the late, great Stanley Kubrick it is, of course, a huge compliment given with an insider’s knowledge of the methods of two directors she greatly admires.
Nicole Kidman has had the pleasure of collaborating with both directors. She was the leading actress in Kubrick’s last film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and stars in Park’s first English language film, the psychological thriller Stoker, with Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode.
“I enjoyed working with Director Park very much. And it was very similar to working with Stanley,” she says. “He reminded me of Stanley a lot in that attention to detail that they have in their films. And there is that slightly heightened naturalism, which is what Stanley was interested in too.”
Stoker is the story of India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska), whose father dies in an auto accident. Soon after her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him
Nicole Kidman Stoker Interview Director Park, says Ms Kidman, was interested in exploring the genesis of evil and the notion of “bad blood” and whether it can be passed on from one generation to the next.
“Park is such a gentle man and yet he makes these amazing films and he has these incredible ideas that come out of him. There are very strong intellectual ideas that he puts forward in his films,” she says.
“And it’s the same with Stoker. He creates a very tense atmosphere in what is, on one level, a thriller that builds and builds but it’s actually about evil and the genesis of evil.”
“When we were making it, the director said to me he wanted to make a film about bad blood even though later he has kind of said, ‘oh it’s about other things..’ But I just remember him saying that and it had such a strong appeal.” “It sounded very Korean, in a way, the way in which bad blood is passed on through the family and whether that actually happens. It’s nature versus nurture. And that was really interesting to me.”
Park Chan-Wook’s previous films – including the acclaimed Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance, which are known, collectively, as The Vengeance Trilogy – often feature graphic violence.
Ms Kidman is not interested in films that use violence gratuitously and points out that Director Park, especially in Stoker, uses it an integral part of the story.
“I don’t like exploitative violence but I’m not opposed to violence in cinema when it has a relevance,” she says. “As long as films have an intellectual idea behind them and isn’t just pure exploitation then I’ll consider them and I don’t mind being challenged viscerally, intellectually. “I’m up for that and I’m open to that. I’m open to that in my art in terms of when I go and view art, when I see things, and I’m open to it in terms of literature and cinema and therefore willing to put myself in that place too, at times.”
Stoker was filmed on location in and around Nashville, Tennessee – where Ms Kidman lives with her husband, country singer Keith Urban and their two daughters – and on set the director, who doesn’t speak English, had a translator with him at all times.
The language barrier was, she says, the only concern she had when agreeing to take on the project.
“That’s your number one concern – how is he going to direct a film in English when he doesn’t speak a word of English? That was the main thing. My concern wasn’t his talent and it wasn’t whether he was going to know what to do with the camera or whether he had a grasp on the story or the fluidity of the characters because clearly, he is a very gifted filmmaker.
“Communicating through an interpreter takes time, obviously, and with the nuances of direction specific words can send you in the wrong direction so you have to clarify sometimes.
“But strangely enough, once you get the rhythm of it, it isn’t that jarring especially because Director Park constructs his shots in a particular way. He would have these long, two, three minute, shots which would take half a day sometimes to shoot so you are doing it very slowly and you have plenty of time to talk it through and make sure that you knew exactly what he wanted.”
She was bowled over by the result. “I think he has a great intellect behind his filmmaking. He really is a master and he makes beautiful films,” she says.
“I watched the film for the first time at Sundance and I was like, ‘wow!’ He really is masterful in his construction of the film. And there were things that I wasn’t aware of at the time when we were filming, like the hair-brushing scene that then becomes the grass.
Nicole Kidman Stoker Interview “He never explained any of that so in a weird way it was like being one of his instruments and then he goes away and composes his score.”
Ms Kidman was also very impressed with her co-star, Mia Wasikowska, a fellow Aussie, and she predicts a great future for the young actress.
“I actually said to her once, ‘if you ever need any advice, I’m here.’ And I had actresses who were older than me say that to me and I used them for advice at times. And I truly meant that because it’s a tricky path to navigate sometimes.
“You know, ‘who has got your back? So it’s nice to be in a place to offer that advice. But Mia is pretty together. She was sitting on set and I said ‘what are you reading?’ And she was reading Chekov. And I loved her for that!
“I was like, ‘there we go. That’s my girl!’ Most people are on their phones and she was reading. I used to do that, too. And that’s why I became an actor, because I read so much. Not just plays, but a lot of literature and that’s how I developed my sensibility really and it was the best form of escape when I was a child. I loved reading.
“She hasn’t asked me for advice and you know, she has wonderful parents and they came to visit her on set. She has a lot of support and she is well to being such a magnificent star. She has a gorgeous persona and talent. But it’s nice to say, ‘just pick up the phone if you ever need to.’”
Ms Kidman will be seen playing some very diverse roles in the coming months. In Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, a southern gothic thriller set in the late Sixties which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, she plays Charlotte, a young woman who strikes up a relationship with a violent man, Hilary Van Wetter (John Cusack) accused of murder awaiting his sentence on death row.
She plays Grace Kelly alongside Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III, in Grace of Monaco, a drama directed by Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose)
“I’m not interested in playing myself and I’m not interested in playing the same thing,” says Ms Kidman. “I’m not good when I have to be the girl next door, that’s just not my thing so the more extreme the better, in a way.”
She will also be seen as Patricia Lomax, the wife of Eric Lomax, a British prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp, in The Railway Man, directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and co-starring with Colin Firth.
She will shortly begin filming Before I Go To Sleep, based on the critically acclaimed novel by S.J. Watson, directed by Rowan Joffe and co-starring Firth and Mark Strong.
Ms Kidman grew up in Sydney, Australia and made her film debut, aged just 16, in Bush Christmas. She went on to establish herself as one of the best actresses of her generation with films including Days of Thunder, Flirting, Far and Away, To Die For, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge, The Others, The Hours, Dogville, Cold Mountain, Birth, Nine, Rabbit Hole and many more.
Ms Kidman is married to the country singer Keith Urban and they live in Nashville with their two daughters. “We met later in life and when you meet later in life, as a couple, you have a much better chance of really going to a deep place,” she says.
“We met later in life and we know who we are and where we are at. And we are very fortunate because – and I know it sounds corny – I just adore him. I just love him. It’s that simple. It will look corny in print – but that’s the truth.
“We live in Nashville because Keith’s career is country music. That’s his passion so you have to live in Nashville if you are in country music. And I’m perfectly happy there and glad to support him.”
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