Nicole Kidman Wanted to “Have Fun” in ‘A Family Affair’ After ‘Expats’ “Took So Much Out of My Soul”

After a recent string of dramatic projects that included The Undoing, Nine Perfect Strangers, Lioness and Expats, Nicole Kidman just wants to have some fun.

The actress stars alongside Zac Efron and Joey King in Netflix rom-com A Family Affair, playing King’s mother who begins a relationship with King’s movie star boss (Efron).

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At the Los Angeles premiere on Thursday, Kidman said she was drawn to the funny script “and I went, yeah, I would love to be able to go and do that and jump in. I had done Expats, which took so much out of my soul, and so I was like, OK, I’m not producing this, I’m a hired actor and I’m happy to show up and be a part of the team and have fun.”

She and Efron had previously been romantic scene partners in the 2012 crime drama The Paperboy, and Kidman said the Family Affair shoot gave them plenty of time to hang out and rehearse, as well as “a lot of it was getting to know Joey because she’s really fun.”

“There was a lot of sitting around and talking and a lot of easy camaraderie, which is a nice way to make a film,” Kidman added. “There wasn’t so much stress, which is kind of nice, I have to say, because so many of them are very stressful.”

Efron noted that though The Paperboy was a very different project than the rom-com, “our characters kind of started down this road and it was fun to think that we could take what we learned in working together on that film and have some fun with it this time and not take it so seriously. It was a real dream come true.”

Efron also has a brief musical moment in the film, as his character sings a Cher song in the car; asked when he’s going to return to the movie musical after The Greatest Showman, Hairspray and the High School Musical series, the star confirmed, “I think it’s just a matter of time; I don’t know how I’m going to get away with not doing one. I’d love to do another musical.”

King, who plays Efron’s assistant in the movie as the two are constantly bickering, said the co-stars “really bonded super fast. I think both of us had this total non-judgmental vibe. We know that doing comedy is really hard, you have to take some big swings with your choices and performance, and we were just so supportive of each other.”

She added that she hopes Hollywood assistants feel seen by the movie, as “It’s a thankless job a lot of the time and I hope this movie allows them to go, ‘Yeah! It is really hard’ because it is the hardest job.”

A Family Affair starts streaming June 28 on Netflix.

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