Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cold Comfort for Kidman

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Cold Comfort for Kidman

Article excerpt

Byline: By Robin Walker

Despite all the trials and tribulations in her private life over the past couple of years, Nicole Kidman hasn't let up on her workload. In fact, she's probably busier than ever.

The 36-year-old Australian says she's simply taking advantage of all the wonderful opportunities coming her way, like the Oscar-winning role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

Shooting the $75m American Civil War drama Cold Mountain in the freezing, flood-hit wilds of Romania last year, however, did test her dedication to her craft.

Kidman says of the production, directed by screenwriter Anthony Minghella of The English Patient fame: "It was tough - it wasn't exactly Little House On The Prairie."

Based on Charles Frazier's epic novel, Kidman plays aristocratic Southern belle Ada who finds herself running a remote farm in the North Carolina mountains with no men around.

Renee Zellweger plays tough rural gal Ruby Thewes, who helps out; while Brit Jude Law is Inman, Ada's Confederate soldier love interest.

Following her high-profile divorce from Tom Cruise, Kidman says the part of Ada was a welcome change after doing three dark roles in The Hours, Lars Von Trier's Dogville, and Robert Benton's harrowing The Human Stain, based on Philip Roth's novel, which co-stars Anthony Hopkins as her older lover.

"I think I needed it. It's lovely to be making a film about love at this time in my life," she says. "It's a story that makes you ache. It evokes a sense of longing, which is hard to do."

The cuts and bruises that came with playing a 19th century American woman struggling to build a farm were offset by the role.

"I didn't notice when I was harming my body. With this story, adversity helps. There's something about smooth sailing that wouldn't sit right."

Her character also goes through a wonderful journey of self-discovery, from corseted beauty to can-do farmer, which appealed to the elegant actress. …

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