Among one of the many dramatic plot lines in HBO’s Big Little Lies was that of Celeste and Perry, a couple struggling through the extreme highs and even more extreme lows of an abusive marriage. According to Nicole Kidman, who played Celeste, shooting the final abuse scene ultimately made her throw a rock through a glass door.
Kidman admitted during The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actress Roundtable that she didn’t rely on her body double during scenes where she gets physically abused by her onscreen husband, played by Alexander Skarsgard.
Big Little Lies costar, Reese Witherspoon, recalled Kidman calling her after she’d done it, saying, “I’ve just done the craziest thing. I couldn’t get into my hotel room so I threw a rock through the window…I don’t do stuff like that.”
And although her character went through so much torture, Kidman was fully enveloped in Celeste. She complimented the show’s writing and said that she was so pleased that she was allowed to add her own input to the project.
Kidman apparently even added the detail that Celeste had quit her job for Perry — which is a huge part of their dynamic.
Being a dramatic actress in no easy task. One must internalize the rage, anger, and abuse and try to explain to your body that it’s not real. Nicole Kidman went above and beyond in her portrayal of Celeste, and we thank her bringing the sad, violent truth of abusive relationships into the public eye.