There’s no doubt that Nicole Kidman is a household name. She’s an Oscar-winning actress for her role in The Hours, the leading lady in last year’s acclaimed movie Lion, and the wife of country star Keith Urban. But for some reason, Kidman said that she didn’t start getting approached in public until very recently, after her dramatic performance in HBO’s miniseries Big Little Lies.
“It’s weird because when it first came out, I was calling going, ‘Aw, I was hoping it’d be a little bit more successful.’ I was like, ‘Oh, maybe it’s not going to hit the place we really wanted it to hit.’ And then it just really started to snowball and the great thing was, because it was on HBO, everyone had to wait each week to see the next ep,” she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday.
“Then, I was suddenly being recognized in airports and airplanes and women were coming up to me in the street and talking about the character and what was going to happen next. And I was getting texts from Keith’s friends. People were saying, ‘We’re staying in Sunday night. We’re ordering pizza. We put the kids to bed, and we can’t wait to watch.’ And then I thought, ‘Wow, this is working,’” she told DeGeneres.
“What do you mean you suddenly got recognized?” the incredulous host asked. “I haven’t had a film that’s really kind of penetrated into the psyche of the world for a long time,” Kidman answered.
One of the reasons it was so powerful, according to Kidman, is that her abusive scenes with Alexander Skarsgard were very, very real. “I think I felt a sense of duty that I wanted to give truth to such a complicated story and I wanted it to be incredibly real for the audience, and so I got lost in it. I threw myself into it to the point where I would come home at night with bruises and really sore,” she said.
“Alexander did not mean to do this. I would never tell him that he was hurting me, because I wanted him to commit to the scene so that then when people watched them as an audience, they go, “Oh, I can feel that somehow this is real.’”
Watch the extensive interview at top for Kidman’s thoughts on turning the big 5-0, and her explanation behind that weird Oscars clap.
This article originally appeared in Instyle.com