Nicole Kidman has no interest in playing flawless women in her films and actively pursues taking on “messy” roles for the big screen. The Oscar winner plays an alcoholic and slightly insane actress in the upcoming film adaptation of the novel The Family Fang, and the book’s author, Kevin Wilson, was initially surprised when Nicole expressed her interest in producing and starring in a film version of his novel, since he had a pristine image of the star in his mind.
“The first thing I thought of was Days of Thunder,” Kevin tells Entertainment Weekly. “I was obsessed with that film, because of NASCAR. But then I realised, ‘Oh, wait, Birth. To Die For. The Hours. Holy s**t – Dogville!’ It made so much sense. She’d be perfect.” And Nicole insists her public persona of a poised Hollywood actress is the exact opposite of what she looks for in new projects, divulging, “I’m very interested in messy, because everything is messy, even if it doesn’t look so.”
She continues, “And I’m also interested in truth and authenticity. I’m very drawn to the complications of things, and I think that’s probably from growing up reading the literature I read. I mean, think about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, that’s just messy, messy. Right now I’m reading Elena Ferrante and that’s messy. And that’s what I’m drawn to. The sugarcoated, rose-colored-glasses kind of art is probably not my best milieu.” Nicole is also fully aware of the type of film she would like to make her directorial debut with in the future. Although she serves as producer on The Family Fang, she never considered taking on the job of director herself.
“No, no. It’s not my tone,” Nicole explains. “I’ve been offered things to direct, but I would have to feel it from the deepest part of who I am so that it would flow out of me. I wouldn’t want to be struggling to tell the story. I’ve been offered things to direct, but if it doesn’t happen in my lifetime then I won’t do it. “I’ve worked with the greatest directors in the world and it comes from some other place. I don’t think you can explain it. I’ve got a lot of knowledge about cameras, but I would just have to emotionally feel it. Which is the only way I can give a good performance too. If I can feel it, it flows out. If I’m struggling to grasp it, it’s already flailing.”
The role of director in The Family Fang is one she left for her co-star Jason Bateman, whom she handpicked to take charge of the project after seeing his work in spelling bee comedy/drama Bad Words. “She validated me as a director,” Jason says. “And that really came from her desire to bring more offbeat material to market. We need people like her in the film industry.”