By Mira Advani Honeycutt
TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - "It all started with a phone
call," Nicole Kidman said at the press conference for "Rabbit
Hole," a family drama that had its world premiere at the
Toronto International Film Festival.
The actress-turned-producer was sitting in a coffee shop in
Nashville, she recalled, when she read the review of David
Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer-winning play. "I called my producer
and asked him to go see the play," said Kidman. "We approached
David and got lucky."
"Rabbit Hole" is the story of a grieving couple who reclaim
their lives after the loss of their son. Kidman was joined by,
Lindsay-Abaire; co-stars Tammy Blanchard, Miles Teller and
Aaron Eckhart; and ditrector John Cameron Mitchell.
For Kidman, this was an emotionally hard film.
"Particularly as a mother, it's a terrifying place to be. Life
can be beautiful, but at the other end of the spectrum, it
could be painful," she said, arguing that the loss of a child
is not explored in film that often but needs to be.
Mitchell got on board much later. "When I read the script,
I was in tears," said the director noted for such films as
"Shortbus" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." "I felt I should
drop everything and reach out to Nicole and say I want to be a
part of this ... Directorially, I wanted to be invisible and
let the performers speak."
To get into character, both Kidman and Eckhart tried to
attend bereavement group meetings. Kidman was unsuccessful. "I
tried to go to a grief group, but they said no, emotions are
too raw." Ultimately, she felt that the feeling has to coaxed
from within you.
Eckhart managed to attend one meeting. "It's probably
unethical because you're taking advantage of people who are
there." However, he did find the Internet to be a good tool.
"People post their grieving blogs," he said.
To keep costs down, the cast lived in the house where they
shot the film. "We ate the same breakfast cereal you see in the
film, and we shared a bathroom, " said Kidman. "It's a great
way to make a film."
Although she admitted to being nervous and exposed as a
producer, she added, "I am also responsible for this film." And
the keen producer's eye didn't miss, when a journalist got up
to exit in the middle of the conference. "Don't leave," pleaded
the ever-attentive Kidman.
(please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or
© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.