Nicole Kidman chats about her return to television
Adventurer ... Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn.
Nicole Kidman hasn't worked in TV since the 1989 mini-series, Bangkok Hilton. It took a project like Hemingway & Gellhorn to get her back to the small screen. She talks to Rick Bentley about playing Martha Gellhorn, one of the most significant war correspondents of the 20th century.
How different is it to play a role based on a real person?
It's like doing the homework before the exam. You want to have the well of information. And then it's trying to find her essence. Not to be a caricature, but to find what was her essence, what was the beating heart of her, and try to be true to that rather than the physical; rather than the mannerisms.
What was Hemingway's effect on Gellhorn?
I think Martha found her voice when she was with Hemingway. And he was a big part of helping her to, as he says [in] a line in the film … ''get in the ring and start throwing some punches for what you believe in''. The great thing about Gellhorn was that she was the first female war correspondent and she wrote about people's lives, and she wrote with such direct truth. That's hard to do.
How was she different from Hemingway?
She's not Hemingway. She didn't want to write novels. She wants to be a correspondent. You see, in the film, her on the frontline. You see her hands bloody. She's a sponge, and then she's able to sort of feed that back to America and the world.
Why didn't their marriage last longer?
They couldn't be together because she wouldn't comply. He thought he wanted a woman who was an adventurer and then when he finally gets her and she won't settle down, and she won't be domesticated, he doesn't know what to do with that.
How difficult is it to film a love scene with a building falling down around you?
It's awesome. Phil [Kaufman, the director] was like, ''OK. We're going to have - we want stuff coming down.'' And I think … it really emphasises that they came together through war. They fed off that drama and that energy, in a way. Two people that would make love through a building collapsing, that says something about who they are. And that's why I think that was important, that scene, because you really see that this is where they are their most comfortable, their most passionate, and that's where their love thrives.
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