Nicole Kidman has revealed that she felt unable to film one particular scene in her forthcoming Amazon Video drama set in the expatriate world of Hong Kong.
Speaking to the UK’s Guardian newspaper about her role in Expats, in which she plays Margaret who loses her young son early in the piece, Kidman recalled of shooting the scene, “I said, I cannot, cannot do this.’ It was like when a donkey just goes, ‘I’m not going.’”
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She explained why she felt particularly vulnerable during shooting in Hong Kong:
“I was alone in Hong Kong without my family, which was a terrible mistake. I couldn’t just get on a plane and get to them. And they couldn’t get to me. That affected the performance, to the degree that it also affected my psyche.
“But it was like the domestic violence storyline in Big Little Lies. I think: people go through this, my job is to be the conduit and perform it to its absolute authentic truth. And if I’m not doing that, then I’m not serving why I work as an actor, which is to artistically connect to the way life is, in all its pain and glory.”
Kidman won awards for her role of an abused wife in the HBO drama Big Little Lies, and recently hinted a third season may be on its way.
Meanwhile, Expats, which debuts on Amazon Video on January 26th, tells the story of three women – Margaret (Kidman, who also exec produces), Hilary (Sarayu Blue) and Mercy (Ji-young Yoo). It is directed by Lulu Wang, based on the 2016 novel The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee.
Of her grief-stricken role, Kidman (who explored grief before in 2004 film Birth) told The Guardian: “There’s a selfishness to grief that Lulu didn’t shy away from, along with the selfishness in relation to being an expat, in relation to being a privileged woman.”
She called Expats “a slow burn – more aligned to, say, Kieślowski with Dekalog, or Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage.”
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