Nicole Kidman talks filming sex and nudity ahead of The Undoing premiere
Nicole Kidman has opened up about her “exquisite” experience filming sex and nudity, and the reason why she feels comfortable doing it.
The actress has never shied away from roles that require a certain level of sexual boldness, notably her Emmy award-winning work in Big Little Lies as domestic violence victim, Celeste Wright. Her upcoming character Grace Fraser in the anticipated HBO series The Undoing (which hits streaming on Binge on October 26) is also a confident woman comfortable with sex.
Promoting the miniseries in a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, Kidman was asked whether societal judgment in regards to female nudity meant that actresses would not want to play liberated women in films. Kidman pointed to popular Stan series Normal People in driving home her point that sex can be achieved artistically on camera. “That was exquisite work from those two actors,” Kidman told the publication.
“I’ve had situations as an actress where, oh my gosh, it was not what I thought it would be. I was probably at the forefront of this, when I went to work with (director) Stanley Kubrick.” Kidman is referring to the 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut, which she starred in alongside her then husband Tom Cruise.
“He (Kubrick) was like, ‘I’m going to want full frontal nudity,’ and I was like, ‘Ahh, I don’t know,’” Kidman said. “So we came up with a great agreement, which was contractual. He would show me the scenes with the nudity before they made it into the film. Then I could feel completely safe.
“I didn’t say no to any of it. I’d wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be me standing there nude and everyone laughing at me. “I was protected, so I got to explore a complicated marriage and the way in which Tom’s character is having those jealous images. “I would never think of not wanting the storytelling to be told properly. Having them say, ‘Once you’re OK with it, great, that’s it’ – what a fantastic place to be in as a woman.” Kidman went on to say female sexuality was still taboo.
“Sexuality is over here in a box, and we don’t deal with it. I’m happy to deal with it, but there needs to be a place where you can go. I’m not going to be exploited,” she said. “Then I’ll go down the road with you. I love the relationship between a director and an actor. “When it’s pure, it’s exquisite. And the other actors, when you’re all there doing the work, it’s exquisite.”
The Undoing is based on the 2014 book You Should Have Known, written by Jean Hanff Korelitz, and follows successful therapist Grace whose life is thrown into chaos when her husband Mike Fraser (Grant) disappears after a woman is violently murdered.
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