Nicole Kidman Reveals She Was Depressed Playing Virginia Woolf after Tom Cruise Divorce

Nicole Kidman says she was suffering from depression and felt like she was “not in her own body” while playing the role of writer Virginia Woolf in the drama The Hours.

Deep In Character

The actress, 54, took on the role following her divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001 and admitted she became an ‘open vessel’ to the suicidal character’s thoughts. 

Speaking to This Cultural Life on BBC Radio she said: 

“I don’t know if I ever thought of the danger, I think I was so in her. I mean, I put the rocks in my pocket and walked into the river. Over and over again. I probably don’t consider danger enough.”

Reflecting on her own emotions at the time, Nicole added: 

“I think I was in a place myself at that time that was removed, depressed, not in my own body. So the idea of Virginia coming through me, I was pretty much an open vessel for it to happen. And I think Stephen [Daldry, the film’s director] was very delicate with me because he knew that.

“I was open to understand it, which I think is probably the beauty of life as an actor.” 

Part of Life

The actress did not wish to elaborate on why she felt this way but noted that “depression hits you at different times”.

“I was open to understand it, which I think is probably the beauty of life as an actor,” she said.

“There’s a point where you’re like, oh, I have so many experiences now. I’ve delved and traversed many different landscapes of mental health and loss and ideas and joy and raised birth and you know, life is what it is.

“It’s far more examined for me now than when I was 14.  I’m definitely feeling it and definitely aware of the preciousness of it and the time.

“I definitely don’t want to shut down as I get older. I want to become rawer, and more open, more available and freer.”

Kidman filmed the role in 2002, a year after she split from Cruise after 11 years of marriage and adopting two children, daughter Isabella now 29, and son, Connor, 26.

She is now married to country singer Keith Urban and has two more children. She revealed that she thought she would never have her own children after fertility treatment failed and she suffered miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy.

Her biological daughter Sunday Rose was born in 2008. In 2010, the couple welcomed their second daughter, Faith Margaret, via gestational surrogacy.


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