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Nicole Kidman on Dogville director Lars von Trier

By Steve Ramos · May 5th, 2004 · Reel Answer
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Celebrity actress Nicole Kidman has her selection of film projects, but she chose to work with Danish auteur Lars von Trier on Dogville, the first in the maverick director�s planned �American Trilogy.� Many of her performances involve dressing up � her putty nose and stringy hair as novelist Virginia Woolf in The Hours; her beautiful dancehall costumes in the period musical Moulin Rouge! � but Dogville is about dressing down.

Kidman plays Grace, a mysterious woman seeking shelter in a small Colorado mining town during the Depression. White chalk lines on a bare soundstage stand in for the town�s buildings and its main street.

The film unfurls as a prologue and nine chapters, a riff on Thornton Wilder�s Our Town.

As Grace, Kidman looks stunning in her fur-collared jacket and period haircut, but she wears glasses instead of contacts at her private press conference. It�s as if she wants to de-emphasize her looks in order to appear more serious.

Asked to compare Dogville with other work, Kidman laughs.

�With someone like Lars, it�s volatile,� she says. �He (von Trier) feeds off it. He needs it. You�re on a stage, but you�re really in the mountains.�

Von Trier is already at work on the second film in his trilogy, Manderlay, set in the Deep South, but Kidman isn�t involved. Still, she remains committed to seeking out new challenges wherever they might be.

�I�ll travel to a director,� she says. �I don�t have a home in the sense that I have to work in Los Angeles. I actually don�t like working in Los Angeles. I prefer working in the mountains somewhere. When I�m in a studio, you feel the business aspect of Hollywood and I retaliate against that. I hate cell phones.� � Steve Ramos

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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