Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart sat down for a chat about their recent on-screen roles in the latest instalment of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series.
In the virtual discussion, the stars interview each other and recall the time, in 2002, when they were “meant to work together” in the thriller “Panic Room” when Stewart was just 10 years old.
“I remember David Fincher saying, ‘Oh, my God, we have discovered the most incredible actress.’ And then I got injured and ended up not playing your mama,” said Kidman.
At the time, Stewart was immediately in awe of Kidman “because the way [she] treat kids is so telling.” Fast-forward and Stewart is just as impressed by Kidman, gushing that “it was so surreal to hear” Lucille Ball’s voice “pop out of [Kidman’s] mouth” for her role in “Being the Ricardos”.
Kidman explained that she took up smoking for the iconic role because it was “a huge key” to the character.
“She’s a heavy smoker. I started smoking, which I know you’re not meant to say, and then gave it up the minute I stopped,” Kidman revealed.
She also confessed that she felt a “flood of fear” playing Lucille.
“I knew Lucy and the ‘I Love Lucy’ show, but when I read the script, I had no idea of her story and her journey, and I related to parts of it. I was really game to give it a go. And then the flood of fear, I suppose, came in and I went, ‘Oh no, what have I
done?’ Which I do a lot in my life, and then I push on through,” Kidman told Stewart.
The “Twilight” alum could relate, noting that “it’s easy to find reasons to not do it” once you start picking roles apart. She mentions playing Princess Diana in “Spencer”, for which she, too, worked on her voice.
“There was such a long period of time where I couldn’t hear it. I could do an English accent, but there was something that was, like — you’re never not you. At some point, I let go. Maybe a week before we started shooting the movie, she did show up, and I could fully relate,” Stewart explained.
The actress later told Kidman about how she wants to direct “so badly.”
“I’ve adapted a memoir by a novelist named Lidia Yuknavitch, and we just cast the lead role, which is monumentally relieving. I’ve been alone with this, in this vacuum, and it’s so nice to give something to someone, a friend and a partner, and say, ‘Help me.’ She’s the one who’s going to have to do it, and it’s really hard, so I’m over the moon.”
Stewart joked about the process of her upcoming project.
“I talked to someone with a lot of money two days ago,” she said. “The freezing water that I’m going to throw this girl into, I already feel terrible.”
Hinting at a possible role for Kidman, Stewart said she “would love” the project because “the writing is so physical and so fiercely, ragingly female.”
Kidman told Stewart her support is always there: “Tell me where to go and what to do, and I’m following you.”