Nicole Kidman Opens Up About Battling Depression While Playing Virginia Woolf

by Maggie Schneider

Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman opens up about her mental health struggles while playing the role of Virginia Woolf.

Nicole Kidman won the Oscar Award for Best Actress playing Virginia Woolf in “The Hours.” It turns out that the actress was battling depression in real life during filming.

Kidman began working on the 2002 film after her divorce from Tom Cruise. The 2001 court filings cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split, according to Cruise. While Nicole Kidman rarely speaks on the subject, she says this pain allowed her to become an “open vessel.” This meant remaining open to all of Virginia Woolf’s suicidal thoughts.

“I don’t know if I ever thought of the danger, I think I was so in her,” Kidman says to The Cultural Life. “So the idea of Virginia coming through me, I was pretty much an open vessel for it to happen.”

“The Hours” is a psychological drama following the interconnected lives of three women. Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughan, and Laura Brown all live in different decades. However, they are all tied together through Virginia Woolf’s novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Meryl Streep and Julianna Moore act alongside Nicole Kidman in this dark story.

Fans know that Nicole Kidman is a method actress. While playing Woolf, she dug deep into her past experiences. Her split marriage, as well as her infertility with Cruise, were both points that she covered.

‘There’s a point where you’re like, oh, I have so many experiences now,” she says. “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.”

Nicole Kidman Started Smoking

Nicole Kidman continued method acting before taking on the role of Lucille Ball in “Being The Ricardos.” To find Ball’s unique vocal tone and rasp, she started smoking. In an interview with Dojour, she shares her process with fans.

“At first, I said to Tom Jones, my dialogue coach, ‘This is impossible. I’m Australian. How am I going to get this?’ He said ‘We’re going to get there.’” They decided her Lucy needed to have a “deep smoker’s voice, so I started smoking. If I warm up for a minute, I now can do her voice standing on my head,” she says.

The bold choice paid off! “Being The Ricardos” is receiving Oscar buzz, with Nicole Kidman on track to receive another Best Actress nomination. Rave reviews from outlets like Variety make fans excited for award season.

“Kidman embodies the essence of Ball…She very well may break your heart, demanding the viewer’s sympathy and a best actress nomination may seem almost certainly in the cards for her.”