Nicole Kidman on Her Damaged “Destroyer” Character, Her Kids, and Her First Date

Always known for her startling onscreen transformations, Nicole Kidman opens up in this Screen Test about which might have been her most grueling—the “damaged” cop she plays in 2018’s “Destroyer,” a role for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. She became so obsessed with the part that she even wore her character’s clothes home at night. Plus, she talks her similarly creative children and her first group date, when she actually invited a friend’s boyfriend.

Released on 1/4/2019

Credits

Starring: Nicole Kidman

Transcript

00:00
Destroyer came to me, well, actually it didn't come to me,
00:03
it went to somebody else and they didn't wanna do it,
00:06
I put my hand up and said what about me?
00:12
Yeah, I did.
00:19
I don't think I'd be the first choice for that,
00:22
I mean, you wouldn't go,
00:23
oh my gosh, I know who should get for this.
00:25
Yeah, exactly. Right.
00:26
I mean, then I started to doubt whether I could do it,
00:29
but just that sort of cop, who's been through, you know,
00:32
Yeah. so much,
00:33
very American, very angry, Yeah.
00:35
very distressed and disturbed,
00:39
so existing in that state of being
00:41
Yeah. for the period of time
00:43
that it took, which was a long period of time
00:45
and also being in pretty much every frame of the film,
00:48
which I haven't done for a long time
00:50
and the idea of carrying the weight of all of that,
00:53
even though it's a very sparse script,
00:56
it requires all of the history and all of that damage,
01:00
it needs to be there and palpable.
01:02
We took so long to find that leather jacket,
01:05
that I wear pretty much in every frame of the film,
01:08
the jeans-- [speaking too quietly]
01:08
yeah, but I became so obsessed as the character,
01:12
that I ended up just never taking that off,
01:14
I'd wear it home, I'd put it on first thing in the morning,
01:17
I wouldn't be getting dressed really at work,
01:19
I just wanted to wear the costume home
01:22
and I almost entered a state of depression myself.
01:25
I have actually artistic children,
01:28
so they have an understanding already
01:31
of the artistic journey, they have two parents,
01:34
who are artists, Right.
01:35
so you know, they have music, they have acting,
01:39
they have stories always and ideas swirling around,
01:43
so they're naturally inclined towards that,
01:44
because they don't know anything else
01:47
and so they kind of know how to dance with it.
01:51
They visited the set
01:52
and they were shocked at the way I looked, you know,
01:55
I've been working since I was 14 years old,
01:58
it's a choice, but it's also just the calling
02:02
and I kind of try to move away sometimes
02:04
and it just pulls me back.
02:06
I kind of always feel like it's not really happening,
02:10
you know, I always approach the work and everything
02:14
as though I think I probably have always that feeling
02:17
of like it's all gonna evaporate anyway
02:20
and there's a slight dreamlike quality to all of it anyway.
02:24
I think my first date was a group date,
02:27
this is one I remember and it was for my birthday
02:29
and I invited two girlfriends
02:30
and then we were able to invite three boys
02:33
and I invited somebody else's boyfriend at the time,
02:36
Ah. 'cause I had a crush on him,
02:38
he didn't really like me, but I do remember him
02:40
sort of yawning and putting his arm around behind my thing
02:44
and I was like ah, that was fun, that was 5th grade.
02:48
We didn't do anything else,
02:49
I wanted something else, but.
02:51
[laughing]
02:54
Oh-oh, that one's not, And I'm gonna give you
02:54
one of these. Oh, yeah, that one moved.
02:56
I love these. I know,
02:57
I'm gonna give you one of them.
02:58
This is so good.
02:59
Oh, God, here we go. Okay.
03:03
Fuck it, do it, that's kind of good,
03:05
I'll take it, That's fantastic,
03:06
you take that one, okay. Fuck it, do it.
03:07
[Interviewer] And now to honor you as always,
03:11
we have you open a bottle of champagne.
03:14
Okay, ooh, not my forte and I'm working on it.
03:17
Here we go, are you ready? Okay.
03:21
Just a bit scared.
03:23
[shrieking]
03:26
[applauding]
03:29
Thank you. That was brilliant!
03:32
That was brilliant.
03:33
Did you see?
03:34
[Interviewer] That was brilliant!