Nicole Kidman Refused to Say "N" Word for Controversial Paperboy Role

Celebrity News Oct. 4, 2012 AT 8:00AM
Nicole Kidman on October 3, 2012 in New York City. Nicole Kidman on October 3, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Nicole Kidman went outside of her comfort zone to play a sexy role in The Paperboy, but there was one thing she wasn't willing to do.

"I asked her to use the 'N' word," director Lee Daniels revealed Wednesday during the New York Film Festival press conference for the film. "I could feel the racial tension there in the town. She said, 'I won't do it.' I told my producer, 'She won't do it!' Then he mapped it out -- 'Lee, day one she is on a washing machine, day two she is urinating on Zac Efron, day three she's having telepathic sex . . . I think you can forgive her."

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Kidman, 45, plays a trashy, bleach-blonde woman in the dark, twisted film set in the 1960s. The Paperboy stars Efron and Matthew McConaughey as two brothers investigating the case of a death row inmate played by John Cusack, who Kidman's character is obsessed with marrying.

"I just didn't feel it was right for the character," the actress explained of why she wouldn't say the word. "I have a son [Connor Cruise] who is African American. I just didn't feel like it was right. What I try to do as an actor is fulfill a directors vision. I have opinions, but at the same time I'm not there to stop him from anything. I've really tried to do that in every film. I never want to pull them off their vision."

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Kidman is mother to adopted children Isabella, 19, and Connor, 17, with ex-husband Tom Cruise, and daughters Sunday Rose, 4, and Faith Margaret, 21 months, with husband Keith Urban.

But the mother of four does want to take on more challenging roles in the future.

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"I just wanted to push myself to do something I haven't done before. I want to feel challenged, ripped open, to bring discomfort to myself and it's really hard to find those roles and people who will do it with you," she said. "But at this point in my life I don't want to be scared. I'm going to push through."

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