Nicole Kidman is one of the acting powerhouses who gives amazing performances in any role they are put in. The actress has played diverse roles, in blockbusters and dramas alike, and has gained acclaim in both. She has worked with legendary directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Gus Van Sant, and Baz Luhrmann.
Kidman won an Oscar for Best Actress when she played acclaimed author Virginia Woolf in the biopic The Hours. The actress revealed that she prepared extensively for the role, trying to understand the controversial author’s psychology. Kidman revealed that she even tried to understand what the author was feeling while drowning.
Nicole Kidman As Virginia Woolf In The Hours
Nicole Kidman starred along with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore in the semifictional biopic The Hours. The film follows the story of three women who struggle in their daily lives, with their lives bound by Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. Kidman starred as Woolf at a time when she was struggling with her depression. The film takes place in three decades.
Kidman revealed that she prepared extensively for the role of Virginia Woolf. The noted author was also known to have suffered from depression and died by s*icide through drowning. She is known for her classic novels such as Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and A Room of One’s Own.
Nicole Kidman said that she first did not believe that she was being eyed to play the famous author. She revealed to Entertainment Weekly that she thought she would ruin the film until director Stephen Daldry convinced her to accept it. She said,
“Well, when I read the script I thought, they can’t want me for Virginia. They must want me for something else. There’s no way I’m going to be able to pull this off. I don’t think I’m right. It’s going to be a disaster. [But then I thought] well, if Stephen Daldry believes I can do it, then I have to have some bit of faith.”
The faith from the director seems to have worked well as Kidman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Virginia Woolf in the film.
Nicole Kidman Prepared Hard For The Role
In order to make sure that she could understand the character of Virginia Woolf better, Nicole Kidman reportedly prepared extensively. She mentioned that she wanted to understand the sense of isolation Woolf felt in her life and hence, lived in a cottage by herself. She also mentioned that she smoked and learned to write with her right hand.
One of the most disturbing and harrowing aspects was Woolf’s death by s*icide. The author drowned reportedly herself in the River Ouse as she was suffering from severe mental illness. To understand how she would have felt during the act, Kidman revealed that she put herself underwater, although she made sure to not go too far.
“There are some roles that you do an enormous amount of research for, and there are other things where I just showed up…I’m playing someone who existed. She smoked, so I smoked. She wrote with her right hand, so I wrote with my right hand. She drowned, so I put myself underwater. But, I had to keep telling myself, ‘Don’t actually drown yourself!’”
Woolf was later reported to have symptoms that were similar to bipolar disorder and sadly, did not get an effective treatment in her lifetime. Nicole Kidman was also going through a public divorce with her then-husband Tom Cruise while filming.