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Nicole Kidman on Dogville director Lars von Trier

By Steve Ramos · May 5th, 2004 · Reel Answer
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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