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Nicole Kidman on Working With Lee Daniels and Being One of His 'Fierce Women'

Nicole Kidman on Working With Lee Daniels and Being One of His 'Fierce Women'

Nicole Kidman
Photography by Fabien Baron/Interview Magazine

Will the Oscar-winning actress appear on an episode of Empire?

In a new Interview cover story, director Lee Daniels says he wants Nicole Kidman on the set Empire, but she's currently in London. "You promised me I would be there one day," she teases. Of course, the duo previously worked together when Daniels directed Kidman in 2012's The Paperboy, which co-starred Zac Efron, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, and Matthew McConaughey.

Kidman, who's photographed by Fabien Baron (in a sultry messy Italian apartment aesthetic) for the cover of the October 2015 issue, also gives insight on being an actor, what its like to film sexy scenes with Cusack and work with Daniels. She also explains why her new stage role as Dr. Rosalind in Photograph 51 on London's West End is freaking her out.

On why she never lies when she's acting:

"I suppose expectations are strange and I shy away from them. And the whole point of being an actor is to connect. In the theater, which I'm doing now, when you walk into the rehearsal room on the first day, you've got to do it. I think that's probably my main thing: just do the work. I'm not a big fan of sitting around, saying what I'm going to do. And we've all got brilliant ways of ducking and weaving so that we don't have to do it. But my thing is to just get it on its feet and do it. Whether it's a scene or just getting a character moving around. You're going to fall flat on your face, just get back up again. By keeping it that simple, it allows me to play, because I do see it as playtime. I mean, we're all lucky. We get paid to do it, but ultimately we're the kids in school that never had to grow up, pretending we're different people, and then convincing ourselves. I was with another actress the other day, and she said, 'Oh, I'm not a good actress, because I'm not a good liar.' And I was like, 'Golly, to me it's the opposite.' You have to be so good at what you do that you believe it--so there's no lie involved."

On working with Daniels:

"It's fun and it's bold, and you're doing that with a TV series right now. You've turned it completely on its head. And you love creating such fierce women. "

On Daniels' love for woman, despite being gay:

Daniels: I like formidable women. I like working with women, women that I can connect with.

Kidman: Why is that?

Daniels: I don't know why. Because I love women. I'm obsessed. It's a damn shame I'm gay!

Kidman: A damn shame! Shame on you!

Nicole Kidman

On allowing herself to be bruised by the sex scene with Cusack:

"I want to protect the other actor, because he's finding it and doing it. I want him to feel free. Actors have to protect each other in a way. The idea of humiliating another actor or being humiliated myself is devastating. So that's why, if he's a little rougher than he knows he's being, the last thing I want to say is, 'Oh my gosh, you hurt me.' Most actors are like that. We all go, 'No, no. I'm fine. Don't worry about it.' Because that's how you release into things and find stuff. If you're tentative and scared that you're hurting someone or that you're overstepping a line or that there's a boundary that you've crossed, it makes everybody too cautious."

On being terrified of starring in a play on London's West End:

"I'm terrified--terrified and exhilarated because I've got to make this incredibly acerbic, prickly woman real and vulnerable. You've got to feel her motivation. You've got to understand her. I've got to make that work. And there's no interval. It's a 95-minute play. And I haven't done that for 17 years. It's a whole different ballgame."

Read the story and see the photos here.

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