Nicole Kidman Shredded the ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Script After Production Wrapped: ‘It Feels Like Baggage’

Nicole Kidman doesn’t take it with her. The stress of the characters she’s played. The panic, both subtle and glorious. The screams. All of that goes into the waste bin following the martini shot, along with her scripts apparently too. Ahead of her AFI Life Achievement Award gala, Kidman recently spoke with The Los Angeles Times and admitted to shredding all her scripts, including for “Eyes Wide Shut”.

“Well, it feels like baggage,” said Kidman. “It’s all just going to go sit in an attic or down in a basement. I’m a traveling actor and can live out of a suitcase. That’s how I approach life because I’ve always had to shove everything in a suitcase and move on.”

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Impermanence seems to be a common thread in many of the roles she’s played throughout her career. Even her AMC ads aim to capture the essence of the theatrical experience and its momentary splendor. Being in the moment is part of Kidman’s magic and no one knows this more than her “Birth” director, Jonathan Glazer.

“Sometimes three or four pages of dialogue would turn up at her house at midnight to shoot the following day, completely different to the ones she’d prepared for,” he told The Los Angeles Times. “She’d arrive in the morning, never late, knowing the new lines perfectly and without complaint.”

Commenting on the experience, Kidman added, “With Jonathan, I’d get those pages late at night and it was glorious because the writing was so good. Great writing is easy to learn. That’s never a problem. When it’s not so good, then, that’s another story.”

Kubrick’s process, not-so-surprisingly, required even more flexibility with Kidman saying, “Stanley would rewrite scenes that we’d spent six weeks shooting. And you just go, ‘OK. Great. How do you see it this time?’

That composure and commitment to the craft is the kind of trademark Kidman has become known for, but it comes from an incredibly fragile place. In discussing her father’s death and her belief in the afterlife, she said, “I’m open to ideas and I change and shift and grow. There are times when I feel solid in my strength of who and where I am. And there are other times when I go, ‘Ooof, everything’s been removed and everything feels very tenuous and I’m not quite sure what’s what.’ And that has to do with having lost people very suddenly. I think that leaves you unsteady. As much as we’re all presenting ideas, none of us has the definitive power to know what’s going on.”

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