Nicole Kidman Reveals How She and Director Stanley Kubrick Handled Her Nude Scenes In ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

Nicole Kidman is looking back at Eyes Wide Shut. The actor opened up about making the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film, in which she co-starred with her then-husband, Tom Cruise, in an interview with The New York Times Magazine published Oct. 5. Kidman talked about how she and the auteur director handled her nude scenes in the film and addressed rumors that the intense filming process contributed to her and Cruise’s divorce. 

Nicole Kidman wasn’t sure she wanted to do a nude scene in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ 

Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut
Nicole Kidman in Stanley Kubrick”s Eyes Wide Shut | Warner Bros

RELATED: How ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Became the Darkest Christmas Movie of All Time

In Eyes Wide Shut, Cruise plays a New York City doctor named Bill Harford and Kidman plays his wife Alice. After Alice confesses to her husband that she’s fantasized about having an affair, Bill embarks on his own journey of sexual observation that famously culminates in him infiltrating a secret masked orgy. 

Kubrick made it clear to Kidman when she signed on for the movie that he wanted to include a nude scene. But the Big Little Lies star had reservations. 

“When I went to work with Stanley Kubrick, he was like, ‘I’m going to want full-frontal nudity, and I was like, Ahh, I don’t know,” she said.

How Stanley Kubrick and Kidman agreed to handle her nudity in the film  

Kidman went on to explain how she and Kubrick agreed to handle her nude scenes in what was to be his last film. 

“So we came up with a great agreement, which was contractual,” she said. “He would show me the scenes with the nudity before they made it into the film. Then I could feel completely safe.” 

“I didn’t say no to any of it,” she went on to say. “I’d wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be me standing there nude and everyone laughing at me. I was protected, so I got to explore a complicated marriage and the way in which Tom’s character is having those jealous images.”

Kidman added that she was “happy” to deal with sexuality in her work, but that it was important that she not feel “exploited.” 

Kidman denies that ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ contributed to her divorce from Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut
Tom Cruise in Eyes Wide Shut | Warner Bros.

Kidman and Cruise spent more than a year working on Eyes Wide Shut. They divorced in 2001. The interviewer asked her if immersing herself in the story of a couple’s troubled marriage opened up “negative feelings” in a way that she later came to regret. Kidman rejected the idea. 

“That fits the narrative that people came up with, but I definitely didn’t see it like that,” she replied. “We were happily married through that.”

The star of HBO’s upcoming series The Undoing also denied that working on Eyes Wide Shut was “tortuous.” 

“We loved working with [Kubrick],” she said. “We were working with the greatest filmmaker and learning about our lives and enjoying our lives on set.”  

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!