“It is the going in, initially, that is the rockiest part of it. But once you’re in, you’re in,” reveals Nicole Kidman during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video interview above). In “Big Little Lies,” the acclaimed award winner admits the behind-the-scenes secrets of playing Celeste, a former lawyer and stay-at-home mom who is suffering in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage to Perry, played by fellow Emmy nominee Alexander Skarsgard.
“Big Little Lies” is the 16-time Emmy nominated HBO limited series written by legendary TV creator David E. Kelley and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, based on the novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. Set in the affluent California beachside town of Monterey, the series follows the complicated lives of families that seemingly have it all, but that are all hiding secrets and lies that bubble up to the surface as the town is gripped by a shocking death, which remains a mystery to be solved by the audience as each episode unfurls. The program also stars fellow producer Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern, all also nominated at the Emmys.
For Kidman it was a huge challenge to dive head first into the role of battered wife Celeste. “The going in, the getting started, that’s the hardest part,” Kidman reveals. “It was almost like Jean Marc, Alexander and I were connected. Like we were communicating telepathically. You have got to have the trust and you’ve got to know that the three of you together are delving into places that are very dangerous and difficult and you’ve got to feel that you’re safe. I have to feel that anyway, so that then I’ll give and give and give and give.”
Kidman is grateful that the series has been so enthusiastically embraced by fans, critics and now the Emmys. Not only has she been recognized for her performance on the show, but also in her capacity as producer. It has meant a lot to her to be able to shepherd and create ambitious projects such as this one: “It is hard to find a good role, let alone the opportunity to be given them. As an actor you are very much on the receiving end. You’re not in a position of control. It’s up to directors and whether they want to work with you and want to offer you something or they think you’re right for something. It’s just the nature of being an actor. So to be able to go ‘I’m going to produce this, and make this happen for myself,’ that feels good. And that feels really empowering.”
Also in 2017, the Oscar-winning actress (“The Hours,” 2002) has Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” in theaters and “Top of the Lake: China Doll,” Jane Campion’s Elisabeth Moss-starring sequel to the award winning “Top of the Lake.” Plus, Kidman says she is warming to the idea of revisiting “Big Little Lies” one day. “We’re looking to try to get together to do a season two,” she reveals. “I want it to happen now. At first I was like ‘I don’t know, it’s a lot, an enormous amount of commitment and work,’ but to explore these women and their life, that’s interesting. And that warrants at least the discussion and the exploration of it. It feels almost wrong to just abandon them.”
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