Jennifer Aniston: What attracts you to a project? What’s the key element that has to be there?
Nicole Kidman: Usually something strange. It’s a little weird or offbeat or very uncomfortable.
I have to be convinced to do things that are more mainstream.
As a kid, I was always a bit, I suppose, darker. I was drawn to things that were unusual.
And that’s partly to do with my parents. My mom’s always questioned things, wanted us not to conform.
So, with roles, I like to be in a place of discomfort. I do my best work in the most complicated roles. I don’t have the capacity to be lighter, and I so wish I did. I’m working on it. …
JA: Did you always want to act?
Nicole Kidman: I think I did… For me, it was never going to be work. It was almost like I needed to have a day job, because this was too much fun.
But I was a highly sensitive child, and the last thing my parents wanted was for their child to go in and get hurt.
JA: What do you think is the hardest thing about being an actor?
Nicole Kidman: Fame. It’s a great thing in the sense of the opportunities it gives you, but you don’t realize that you’re dancing with the 100-pound gorilla.
JA: Yeah, it turns from Glinda the Good Witch into the nasty green one, then back to Glinda again.
Nicole Kidman: Most actors are highly sensitive people, but you have this incredible scrutiny. You have to develop a thick skin, but you can’t have a thick skin in your work.
So it’s that constant push-pull of going, How do I stay human and vulnerable and real, and how do I, at the same time, not let all this affect me? I suppose it’s the same when you’re at school and you get a taste of girls who are being mean.
It’s the same thing, just at a bigger level.
But at the same time, we’re in an extraordinary place, and to complain about it you go, Ugh, move on.
From “Nicole Kidman: The Interview” By Jennifer Aniston, Harper’s Bazaar January 5, 2011 – they costar in the new comedy Just Go With It.
[Photo of Nicole Kidman at top from Rabbit Hole.]
See other posts about the personality trait of high sensitivity, including:
Why So Many Artists Are Highly Sensitive People by Carolyn Gregoire, HuffPost, 12/28/2015 – “Psychologists have found that the creative personality contains layers of depth, complexity and contradictions.”
>> From the book: Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind, by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire. [“…an empowering manifesto for creative people.” Susan Cain]