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Nicole Kidman Talks Playing Queen to Ethan Hawke’s King in Robert Eggers’ ‘The Northman’

Bow down to the King and Queen.

Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke

Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke


All hail Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke. On this week’s new episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, Kidman teases Robert Eggers’ viking revenge saga “The Northman” and confirms she’s playing queen to Ethan Hawke’s king. “I just worked with Ethan,” the actress said after Maron brought up Hawke’s name. “He played my king. And now I’m crazy about Ethan. He was always a great actor but just personally, what a great guy. And so much knowledge! Such an artist, such an actor. He’s a Renaissance man.”

Focus Features and New Regency are behind “The Northman” but have not revealed much about the film’s plot other than referring to the film as “a Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century.” Alexander Skarsgård stars in the lead role, with Hawke and Kidman providing support. Additional cast includes Eggers’ “The Witch” breakout Anya Taylor-Joy, Claes Bang, “The Lighthouse” star Willem Dafoe, and Björk. Eggers co-wrote the script with Icelandic poet and novelist Sjón.

“It’s very weird, how’d you guess?” Kidman told Maron of “The Northman,” noting she told Eggers before heading to Belfast, Ireland, to film that the project terrified her because of the pandemic and the accent work required to play an Icelandic queen.

Kidman added “it’s so important” as an actor to tackle big challenges, “and that’s why I went: I want to work with these people and if we can do it with safety, so fantastic, and we did. The film is finished. It was crazy wild and I have a supporting role in it. But [Robert] Eggers is really fascinating. He’s part of the new guard, they’re coming in, they’re going to take over. He’s a great filmmaker.”

IndieWire confirmed in December that Eggers wrapped production on “The Northman” in Belfast. Production on the film was set to begin in March but got delayed until late summer because of the pandemic. “The Northman” marks Eggers’ third feature directorial effort following “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” both of which were released by A24. Focus Features will be handling the U.S. distribution of “The Northman,” but no release date has been set.

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