Nicole Kidman on suffering from depression while filming The Hours: I was pretty much an open vessel
Nicole Kidman has stated that she was depressed during her Oscar-winning performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Following her divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001, the actress, 54, took on the role and confessed she became a 'open vessel' to the suicidal character's thoughts.
The film depicts the famed author's mental health issues while writing Mrs Dalloway, as well as her death by drowning in the River Ouse in 1941, a scenario Nicole insisted on shooting without a stunt double. Nicole told This Cultural Life on BBC Radio 4 that she felt "not in her own body" while portraying Woolf and that she was a "open vessel" for Woolf's ideas. Referencing the scene in which Woolf dies, Nicole said as per Daily Mail: "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."
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."
Nicole won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the picture, which also featured Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. Nicole began filming the part in 2002, a year after she divorced Tom following 11 years of marriage and the adoption of two children, Isabella, now 29, and Connor, aged 26.