Interview with Nicole Kidman

  • 11-29-2017 07:18pm

Nicole Kidman had just one word to describe how she felt as the lights came up in Cannes at the world premiere of Yorgos Lanthimos’s dark and bleakly funny new film, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER.

“It was intense!” she laughs, the day after receiving rave reviews for her performance as Anna, the wife of a surgeon (Colin Farrell) whose friendship with the son of a former patient takes a sinister turn which endangers his entire family.

“I was sitting next to Yorgos, so that was intense as well. But it was a fantastic experience. The reaction from the audience at the end was really emotional. I just loved being able to support him.”

As with Lanthimos’s previous films, the protagonists in THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER exist in a surreal version of our world, with much left unexplained to audiences as they’re forced to draw their own conclusions. As a consequence, Kidman didn’t want to delve too deeply into her character’s motivations.

“It seems wrong to dissect it that way. It’s like being part of an orchestra. If you talk just about one instrument then you don’t really hear the music.

“I try not to decipher it too much.”

But decipher is all audiences have wanted to do since seeing he film; Kidman’s own friends and family included.

“All of this discussion is fascinating to me. My husband said it’s like watching great jazz; it exists in this other place where you have to decipher it, to go through it. It takes you on a journey.

“Somebody else said to me it was the best cinema experience they’d ever had.”

The film was Nicole’s first experience working with Yorgos, a director notoriously reticent with his actors about the meaning behind the world he creates. THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER was no different.

“He’s like Stanley Kubrick – you ask “well why this?” and they shrug.  So I’m used to that! I was ready. Colin obviously had worked with him before too, so he prepped me as well.”

Despite the air of mystery that pervaded, working with the director was a pleasure.

“He’s very calm,” Kidman says of Lanthimos. “As an actor, you’re only really as good as the filmmaker so when you work with someone like that, you want them to be happy; you want it to succeed for them.”

He’s precise, but he’s decisive and he’s strong. Quietly strong would be how I would describe him; and sweet.”

“Everyone in the whole cast had a great feeling on set; a very united feeling. “

Though her professional acting debut was over thirty years ago, Kidman still finds a sense of joy in acting and revels in the privilege to be where where she is today, continuing to challenge herself and audiences with bold and exciting new work.

These days, the whole process is something she tries to enjoy as much as possible.

“When I was younger, things used to pass me by – I was far more head in the clouds, and now I savour it.  That’s just age isn’t it?

“There’s sweetness, real sweetness, and only age can give you that; having lived many different lives and still be sitting here. I’m very privileged, and I’m grateful.”