Nicole Kidman was rolled up like a cat in the corner of a sofa and looked with reassuring eyes and attention. Reassuring, because the night before I was ready to call the emergency services to bring her to the hospital.
Not the real Nicole, but the one I had seen on the screen in an extraordinary movie called Destroyer, in which she plays an agent who has destroyed her body after a life of narcotics and drink. Cultured eyes, & # 39; muttered the actress.
The opening shot of the film by director Karyn Kusama indeed shows a few ravaged eyes. Bloodshot and bleary, they belong to Erin Bell, a deputy sheriff from Los Angeles who has clearly seen better days. Her skin is smudged, her hair sneaks, her teeth gruesome – and you can practically smell her through the celluloid.
The 51-year-old is unrecognizable as Erin Bell in the thriller Destroyer
When she gets out of a car, her shoulders are bent. She seems emaciated. & # 39; I was a lot thinner than I am now, & # 39; Kidman agreed. I was sick most of that movie. I had the flu. It was good in terms of character, if not in terms of my health. A friend saw me walk like Erin and said: "For God's sake, do not keep walking like that! & # 39; He was afraid that I would be like that forever. & # 39;
It is a brilliant execution that captures a character who may be self-destructive, but who knows how to handle a gun and a machine gun. At one point she is an army of one woman trying to thwart a bank robbery, and despite her neglected appearance she is pretty great.
Kidman said she did not care that she looked awful. She was willing to do what the director and screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi wanted from her.
I wanted to be credible when this woman is an agent and a very bad mother for her daughter. To do that, she had to look like she did. This was a low-budget film, so the amount of time we had to do the make-up was limited. You can not have five hours of make-up or you do not have time to take pictures.
& # 39; It is very topical to look like an actress as a wreck. I stood on bad teeth, "she said, laughing and unveiling a bunch of perfect gnats.
I asked if she met addicts to help prepare her. She shook her head. & # 39; I have lived a life so I have seen a lot. I knew what to do. & # 39;
But it was not easy for the people around her. I did not want people to come near me, not even Karyn, the director. I wanted to say that I'm sorry, but being part of an actor does not apologize. It is not a popularity contest. There are other characters that you play, where you can engage. But the type of person Erin is – insular and introverted – can not engage.
Nicole Kidman, 51, as Erin Bell a Los Angeles deputy plagued by drugs in The & # 39; Destroyer & # 39;
Nicole admitted: "I am rather surprised that I am still working & # 39; Presented here at the Telluride Film Festival last week
& # 39; Maybe Laurence Olivier would have said to me: & # 39; Try to act! & # 39; But I mean, maybe I'm not that good. & # 39; The 51-year-old star was at the Telluride Film Festival, in the San Juan series of the Colorado Rockies, with two films: Destroyer and Boy Erased by director Joel Edgerton, in which she plays the mother of a student (Lucas Hedges from Manchester By The Sea) who came to his parents.
His preacher father (Russell Crowe) demands that he undergo homosexual conversion therapy.
The role of Kidman is a supportive one, but she almost steals the film when she enters the conversion center and takes away her son, while she claims that he is going through such a ordeal. & # 39; I'm ashamed! & # 39; her character is crying.
Edgerton told me that Kidman had reached a place in her career where she had no fear. & # 39; She has no vanity and does not worry about what she looks like, & # 39; he said to me.
Kidman admitted: "I am rather surprised that I am still working. I have led a pretty wild life. There was a moment when I was probably burnt out and I stumbled. I wanted a baby and I wanted to find someone to share my life with, "she told me, without referring to her tumultuous breakup of Tom Cruise.
I was in a place where I was willing to give up everything, willing to walk away and then come back. & # 39;
Joel Edgerton, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Laura Dern attend the Telluride Film Festival
She is definitely back. Big Little Lies, in which she shone with Reese Witherspoon, became a phenomenon for HBO and Sky Atlantic and she makes a second series with director Andrea Arnold.
Meryl Streep plays her mother-in-law, and Kidman said they had long conversations about life and career and how you can burden it to completely immerse yourself in a character.
Like any working mother, she has to juggle schemes; but she and husband Keith Urban are clearly happy together. & # 39; Happy woman, happy life, & # 39; he told me.
They had flown to Telluride with their daughters – and two cats.
This Christmas she can be seen in the cinemas in Aquaman, the Queen of Atlantis. & # 39; I did that for my daughters, & # 39; she told me. & # 39; They can not see Big Little Lies and they do not see Destroyer. But they can take their friends to Aquaman. It's a bit of a street cred for them. & # 39;
Destroyer will play in competition at the BFI London Film Festival next month.
For more than a decade, the actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje tells me stories about his hardscrabble upbringing with white foster parents in Tilbury.
He was born in Islington in 1967 to Nigerian parents, but was six weeks old & # 39; edited & # 39; to a white couple from the working class and raised with other children in the care until he was sixteen.
When he grew up, he had to cope with local children who threw racist abuse at him. His foster father, a truck driver, told him to stand up for himself.
Kate Beckinsale in the new movie & # 39; Farming & # 39; who tells the story of a young Nigerian boy
& # 39; The local skinheads beat me up, but I hit them back.
& # 39; After several meetings, they were amused by me and took me up like a cruel animal.
"By the time I was 16, I was a formidable member of that gang," said Adewale, known as Mr. Eko of the TV drama Lost, and for roles in Thor and the approaching TV drama The Fix.
The actor has fictionalized his upbringing and has written and directed a film, Farming, which is screened on Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Damson Idris plays the teen boy struggling to discover who he is, and Kate Beckinsale – in one of her best roles – plays the woman who educates him in her own way.
Adewale said his foster parents often made racist comments, but they were made against a background of Love Thy Neighbor and watched Alf Garnett on television.
& # 39; Coon and sambo was the fabric wallpaper. My foster parents were not exposed to African culture. They did not know better. "No matter how hard it was, he received the best street education and later studied law.
Adewale said he was overwhelmed by working with Beckinsale and we agreed that she was the broken, flawed hero. of the story is, with also the stories of John Dagleish and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.