Nicole Kidman has a habit of switching between studio flicks and more-indie fare. This fall, she kicks off New Line’s new fantasy trilogy with The Golden Compass—and stars in Noah Baumbach’s dysfunctional family drama Margot at the Wedding as Margot, none too happy with her sister’s choice of fiancé (Jack Black).
So, what’s up with Margot?
She’s having a breakdown, and with that comes an anger and an acerbic wit. I wanted the pain to bleed through her. She’s trying to put Band-Aids over her wounds, but I want you to see the blood oozing out anyway. Sorry, but that’s my visual description of it.
Was it odd working with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Noah? It’s their first film together as a couple.
Well, they’re an amazing, creative couple, and it really is lovely when a director and an actress fall in love. But it’s tricky any time you form a triangle. When Tom [Cruise] and I worked with Stanley [Kubrick], I remember Stanley saying “Triangles are hard.”
You play Jennifer’s older sister. How did you two connect?
Jennifer has stayed so true to her artistic nature. She’s just so beautifully fine. We’d lie around in the bed, rehearsing.
Yes. We all lived in this house in the Hamptons. Jennifer would cook breakfast on Sunday, and we’d all go to work Monday to Friday, and hang out on the weekend. Jack would play guitar. You don’t make films like that right now—it’s more a seventies way of making films.
In the trailer, Jennifer’s character says that Margot once tried to bake her in the oven, with paprika. Is their relationship anything like yours with your sister?
It’s the complete opposite. My sister and I are the warmest, twinlike sisters, and she is my closest, closest confidante. You cannot penetrate our world.
Margot at the Wedding
Directed by Noah Baumbach, Paramount Vantage; November 16.