In HBO’s hit murder-mystery series, the Australian actress, 50, portrays Celeste Wright, a woman in a physically abusive marriage. While reflecting on the challenges she experienced while filming those scenes with on-screen husband Alexander Skarsgard — who had to shove Kidman to the ground and grab her violently — she revealed to W Magazine, “I felt very exposed and vulnerable and deeply humiliated at times. I mean, I remember lying on the floor in the bathroom at the very end when we were doing the scenes in episode 7, and I was lying on the floor and I just wouldn’t get up in between takes. I was just lying there, sort of broken and crying.”
The Oscar winner noted that her character’s struggle affected her off-set life as well. “When I would go home, I would feel ashamed, and that’s the same emotions and the same feelings that Celeste was having, so we were very much parallel in the feelings, but I was willing to do that for the role because that’s what I felt was important for the role,” explained Lion actress, who recently celebrated her 11th wedding anniversary with Keith Urban. “I’m here to tell the story and be true to the art, not to bring my own problems in terms of what I feel comfortable with, not comfortable with. I’ve got to work that stuff out so that I can come as a pure vessel to the work.”
The impact of Kidman’s powerful performance is not lost on her. “I’m glad that [the show] created the conversation, I’m glad that it sort of pulled the veil off,” she told the publication. “I’ve received the most amazing e-mails form people saying I now understand why women stay or why people stay with an abuser, and if that changes on person’s life, that’s amazing for me.”
HBO has yet to renew Big Little Liars for a second season.
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