INTERVIEW: Nicole Kidman talks about researching Gertrude Bell (“I’m enraptured with her”) and more!

Nicole Kidman spoke to The Guardian recently about her recent film, The Railway Man. She was asked about her next project which we know is Queen of the Desert. Here’s the excerpt of her exchange with the interviewer about the film and Werner Herzog:

Leslie Felperin: I hate to change topic, but what are you working on next, Nicole?

Nicole Kidman: I’m going to play Gertrude Bell, in Queen of the Desert with Werner Herzog. It is a huge endeavour, so I’m in the midst of researching her right now. I was with Herzog this morning. I’m very glad to be heading off to the desert with him to play her. I’m completely enraptured with her right now. She’s the female Lawrence of Arabia. She was English, and basically defined the borders between Iraq and Jordan that exist today, borders that she negotiated between Churchill and different Arab leaders. She went out to the desert with the Bedouin and all the different tribes that were feuding at the turn of the 19th century.

Nicole Kidman with her daughters, arriving in Australia Dec. 18

Nicole Kidman with her daughters, arriving in Australia Dec. 18

LF: How long will the shoot be?

NK: A couple of months, so I’ll be taking my little girls as part of their education. So we’ll take lots of sunblock and give them a chance to experience different cultures. In years to come they’ll be able to say: “When I was three, I was in the desert with my mother.” When I explained that they’ll be riding camels and living in tents, their eyes lit up.

LF: I love Herzog’s work, but he famously had a combustible relationship with Klaus Kinski in the early part of his career. You’re not worried he might threaten to shoot you?

NK: [laughs] No, my personality does well with people who are deemed difficult. I don’t know why it does but I  just seem to get along with them. The more difficult the better.

LF: How do you deal with difficult people? Do you smile patiently or fight back?

NK: I suppose I just have a desire not to judge and view things compassionately. The thing I’m not good with is mediocrity, when someone isn’t really trying to reach something. I’m very much an admirer of people who are reaching for things and trying to survive. I like exploring life and its complexities.

LF: You’ve certainly not shied away from challenging opportunities. Has it been a deliberate strategy to go from working with Lars von Trier and doing mainstream work such as Australia and then shift to something intimate and small such as Rabbit Hole and Stoker?

NK: Yeah, as an actor timing is important, especially as a mother with small children, so a lot is chance. I try never to be governed by fear; that’s how I choose things. If I ever feel that this is dangerous or I’m scared of it, then that probably draws me more towards it.

Click HERE to read the interview in its entirety. The actors are due on set in January 2014.

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  • Wanvipa Singha

    i m wwaiting to watch rob ……when so exciting