Nicole Kidman brought the glam to the 2014 Cannes Film Festival this afternoon at the press conference for the aptly glamorous opening night film, “Grace of Monaco,” looking every bit the star that she is, and that she portrays onscreen as Grace Kelly. But like the drama, directed by Olivier Dahan (“La Vie en Rose”) and written by Arash Amel, she revealed a darker side to being in the limelight.
The film, which begins shortly after Kelly had married Prince Rainier III (played by Tim Roth) to become Princess of Monaco, traces the reasons Kelly gave up her Hollywood career to play the role of mother, wife and Princess. While Kidman’s career as an actress is still going strong, the Oscar-winner did say that she “wouldn’t even think twice” about giving it all up for love, as Kelly did.
“…I think love is the core emotion,” she said. “Without that, and I’ve certainly existed without that, it’s a very empty life. When I won the Oscar [for ‘The Hours’], I went home and I didn’t have that in my life. That was the most intensely lonely moment in my life.”
“[During] my professional highs,” she added, “I’ve often had personal lows. It’s always aggravated me that it’s gone that way.”
Kidman seems to have found a healthy balance at this point in her life. She glowed when she mentioned her husband, Australian country music singer Keith Urban (“I am married to a prince, a country prince!”), and spoke excitedly of the opportunity to embody Kelly (“My whole career I’m looking for things that put me on a high wire, this was one of those roles”).
The actress said she had five months to prep for the project, allowing her the ability to “very gently enter into her skin.” She spoke of watching all of Kelly’s films made with Alfred Hitchcock (“Rear Window” is Kidman’s favorite), and of studying press footage of the actress to inspire her performance.
Dahan shared that Kidman used a lot of her own past to inform her portrayal of Kelly. “I was able to connect Grace and Nicole,” Dahan said,” not just from a physical stance, but also from a spiritual stance.”
“It was important that I didn’t feel trapped to mimic her,” Kidman added. “It was about finding her essence. It was a beautiful experience to live her life for six months.”