Big Little Lies, the hit TV series in which Kidman stars alongside a female heavy cast, emerged just prior to the Harvey Weinstein revelations exploded in 2017, voicing unspoken domestic and sexual violence behind glamourous lives.
In her Golden Globes speech at the beginning of this year, Kidman took the opportunity to speak about the way the series had helped to lift the lid on the issue of domestic abuse. “I do believe, and I hope, we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them,” she said. “Let’s keep the conversation alive.”
Since then, she has made a public pledge to work with a female director at least every 18 months, to try and address the fact that only 4% of Hollywood films are made by women. Importantly, she has also sought out roles that might further ignite awareness of abuse against women. “I’m incredibly sensitive to the world and to the way in which we’re all navigating together as people, “ Kidman told marie claire. “Artistically, I can make statements.”
First up is Destroyer, a crime thriller in which an almost unrecognizable Kidman plays an undercover police officer trying to infiltrate a gang. Kidman worked with director Karyn Kusama, who had made six low-budget independent films since her acclaimed debut in 2000, Girlfight, about a female boxer. “I wanted in part to go and support a female director, who is not 21, and has taken a few hits herself,” Kidman told The Guardian.
She has also signed up to play Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News anchor who exposed the sexual bullying of the late, disgraced CEO Roger Ailes.
“There is a huge strength in saying to women: I believe you. Just to hear that makes me cry,” Kidman said. “It is why an apology, a public apology, is worth so much to women who have been in this situation. Because that is what it means: I believe you.”