- Last Updated: 1:25 AM, May 28, 2012
- Posted: 11:15 PM, May 27, 2012
CANNES, France — Nicole Kidman’s surprisingly explicit sex scenes with Clive Owen in “Hemingway & Gellhorn” suggest an actress still fearless at 44. But the Oscar-winning Australian disagrees.
“Oh, no, I have a tremendous amount of fear,” she told The Post at the Cannes Film Festival ahead of the red-carpet premiere of the HBO movie, which airs tonight.
“But I just push through it. Sometimes other people push me through it and sometimes I just make myself. I’ll feel terrified but then I’ll just go, ‘So what’s the worst that can happen? So people won’t like it, or I’ll fall flat on my face and hurt myself, OK.’ ”
The actress, who also shocked Cannes crowds this week with the graphic sex and instantly notorious “golden shower” scene of “The Paperboy,” said the character of fiercely independent war correspondent Martha Gellhorn was a great role model for her daughters. (She has two young girls with her husband, Keith Urban, and a son and a daughter with ex Tom Cruise.)
“Phil [Kaufman, the director] said, ‘You made this film for your daughters’ and I said, ‘Did I?’,” said Kidman, who is completely naked in a number of scenes. “And he said, ‘You don’t know it, but subconsciously you made it for them.’ ”
Before she read the script, Kidman had not read Ernest Hemingway and had never heard of Gellhorn, a war correspondent who had a combustible, erotically charged relationship with the famous writer and was married to him for five years.
“This woman was remarkable,” Kidman said. “I love that she stayed true to her nature and didn’t try to be something she wasn’t.
“She had extraordinary spirit and tenacity and compassion, and she wanted to see the atrocities of the world and give voice to the voiceless. She did it until she was in her 80s, until she died. That sort of stuff I just bow to — that’s a force.”