HBO's Big Little Lies is one of the most harrowing television series to emerge in the past year. The show detailed the seemingly pristine lives of mothers in Monterey, California. Of course, there was turmoil behind their facades, their lives riddled with violence and smothered in claustrophobia. Nicole Kidman's character Celeste, a mother of two young boys, endured a violent rape scene. The scene itself is painful to watch; for Kidman, it was apparently just as painful to film. During a roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter, Kidman explained that the scene left her feeling "humiliated."
"I remember lying on the floor in the last episode, being in my underwear and having just been really thrown around. I just lay on the floor. I couldn't get up," Kidman said. Actresses Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Lange, Elisabeth Moss, Chrissy Metz, and Reese Witherspoon also participated in the roundtable, which eventually turned to "sex scene" talk. Witherspoon joked that after filming intimate scenes, actors give each other an athlete's "good game." But that wasn't the atmosphere after Kidman's scene on Big. After feeling vulnerable and exposed, the actress went home and took out her energy in an unexpected way.
"I just felt completely humiliated and devastated. And angry inside. I went home and I threw a rock through a glass door."
Witherspoon corroborated the story, recounting the moment when Kidman called her.
"We were staying at a hotel and she called me and she says, 'I've just done the craziest thing.' She got home from work and she had one of these horrible scenes and she goes, 'I couldn't get into my hotel room so I threw a rock through the window,'" Witherspoon said.
Kidman added, "I was obviously holding all that rage and what had been done."
Non-performers might think that the tough stuff gets left on set or behind the camera, that when the director yells, "cut!" everything returns to the natural order. But that's not always the case.
"We're not machines, and we are expected to turn it on and off, and sometimes it's the most maddening aspect of what we do," Witherspoon explained.
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