Nicole Kidman has made a painful admission about feeling “depressed” while performing her Oscar-winning role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours.
The Australian actress, 54, took on the titular character while going through her highly-publicised divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001 and revealed she became an “open vessel” to Woolf’s suicidal thoughts.
The Hours follows the iconic author’s mental health battle and depicts Woolf’s 1941 suicide by drowning — a scene Kidman says she filmed “over and over again”.
“I put the rocks in my pocket and walked into the river. Over and over again. I probably don’t consider danger enough,” Kidman told BBC’s This Cultural Life.
“I think I was in a place myself at that time that was removed, depressed, not in my own body.”
She added: “So the idea of Virginia coming through me, I was pretty much an open vessel for it to happen. And I think Stephen [Daldry, the film’s director] was very delicate with me because he knew that.”
The film earned Kidman the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Big Little Lies star says it is an “extraordinary” privilege to play such deep, emotional roles that touch people’s lives.
Kidman also spoke about her own mental health experiences outside of playing a character.
“I’ve delved and traversed many different landscapes of mental health and loss and ideas and joy and raised birth and you know, life is what it is,” Kidman explained.
“It’s far more examined for me now than when I was 14. I’m definitely in it. I’m definitely feeling it and definitely aware of the preciousness of it and the time.
“The other extraordinary thing I’m very aware of is I’m around and exposed to some of the greatest minds in the world. I’m the recipient of their focus.”
Kidman filmed The Hours in 2002, a year after splitting with her first husband Tom Cruise following 11 years of marriage.
The couple share two adopted children — Isabella, 29, and Connor, 26.
The Oscar-winning actress went on to marry Keith Urban in 2006 and the pair welcomed daughters Sunday Rose, 13, and Faith Margaret, 11.
If you or someone you know needs immediate or mental health-related support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
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