Nicole Kidman was shocked when she learned that her boldly brazen performance in Lee Daniels’ outrageous southern gothic “The Paperboy” had earned both SAG and Golden Globe supporting actress nominations. While the indie film debuted in Cannes to mixed reaction and hardly set critics or audiences on fire, Kidman earned rave reviews. It’s just possible that Academy actors will overlook the movie’s trashy excesses to recognize Kidman’s achievement. And so Kidman got on Skype, after a long shooting day playing Princess Grace in “Grace of Monaco” in Belgium, to talk about why she was willing to go almost all the way to play southern bombshell Charlotte Bless.
The 45-year-old actress explains why she wants to take chances at this stage of her life. (She always has: see her Oscar-winning “The Hours” and Oscar-nominated “Rabbit Hole” and “Moulin Rouge,” not to mention “Nine,” “To Die For,” “Birth,” “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,” “The Others,” and “Margot at the Wedding,” among her riskiest roles.) Did she really pee on Zac Efron in one scene? Kidman refuses to say. But she does explain how she created Charlotte’s look herself, how Daniels pushed her off the cliff on the first day, why she stayed in character on set the entire shoot, and how she and John Cusack pushed their sexual attraction further than anyone had planned. And she also stands by her reasons for refusing Daniels’ demand that she say the n-word.
Still to come are Park Chan-wook’s “Stoker” opposite fellow Aussie Mia Wasikowska and World War II drama “The Railway Man,” opposite Colin Firth.