Nicole Kidman has recently revealed that she was suffering from depression during her Oscar-winning role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours. The actress took on the role following her divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001 and admitted she became an ‘open vessel’ to the suicidal character’s thoughts. Nicole filmed the role in 2002, a year after she split from Tom after 11 years of marriage and adopting two children, daughter Isabella now 29, and son, Connor, 26.
The film portrayed the famous author’s mental health struggles while writing Mrs. Dalloway and also showed her suicide by drowning in the River Ouse in 1941, a famous scene in which Nicole insisted on filming herself without a stunt double. While talking to This Cultural Life on BBC Radio 4 about shooting the scene, she said, “I don’t know if I ever thought of the danger, I think I was so in her. ‘I mean, I put the rocks in my pocket and walked into the river. Over and over again. I probably don’t consider danger enough.”
Meanwhile, reflecting on her own emotions at the time, Nicole added, “I think I was in a place myself at that time that was removed, depressed, not in my own body. So the idea of Virginia coming through me, I was pretty much an open vessel for it to happen.” “And I think Stephen (Daldry, the film’s director) was very delicate with me because he knew that. ‘I was open to understand it, which I think is probably the beauty of life as an actor,'” Nicole Kidman continues.
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The film, which also starred Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore, earned Nicole the Academy Award for Best Actress. Detailing her mental health experiences, Nicole continued, “There’s a point where you’re like, oh, I have so many experiences now. ‘I’ve delved and traversed many different landscapes of mental health and loss and ideas and joy and raised birth and you know, life is what it is.’ It’s far more examined for me now than when I was 14. I’m definitely in it. I’m definitely feeling it and definitely aware of the preciousness of it and the time.”