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Nicole Kidman Shares the ‘Disturbing’ Way ‘The Undoing’ Impacted Her Physical and Mental Health

Nicole Kidman knew that The Undoing was a project she could not pass up, but she had no idea the intense impact it would have on her physical and mental health.

Related: ‘The Undoing’ Finale Divides Twitter: Celebs React

“Suddenly, I was in this place. There was sort of a disquietness to my personality where I was uneasy, and there was duress on who I was,” the Oscar winner, 53, said on the Monday, January 11, episode of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast.

In the miniseries, which aired on HBO from October to November 2020, Kidman played Grace Fraser, a wealthy New York City-based therapist whose life turns upside down when her family becomes the center of a murder case. Hugh Grant starred as her husband, Jonathan Fraser, a charming oncologist with a dark past.

“I actually got really sick [in the middle of filming],” the Australia native said on Monday. “I think this is a big thing that happens to actors. I went down for a week, because your immune system doesn’t know the difference between acting and truth when you’re doing those [draining roles].”

Related: Stars Speak Up About Mental Health Amid COVID-19

Kidman explained that she struggled to develop “a technique to tell my brain and my body, ‘Oh, this is just acting’” no matter how hard she tried.

Nicole Kidman Shares the Disturbing Ways The Undoing Impacted Her Physical and Mental Health
Nicole Kidman in ‘The Undoing’ Niko Tavernise/HBO

“I haven’t learned to clean that out. It doesn’t really work for me,” she continued. “I go home and I don’t sleep well, and I’m not well. … It’s that disturbing for me.”

During her podcast appearance, the Big Little Lies star also reflected on the “trauma” that followed her after the death of her Eyes Wide Shut director, Stanley Kubrick, in March 1999.

“I just started screaming. I collapsed on the ground,” she recalled of the moment the filmmaker’s assistant called her to break the news. “I was that close to him.”

Related: Most Talked-About TV Shows of 2020

Kidman admitted that she now fears late-night phone calls, telling listeners, “I’ve received a number of them with that sort of news, my father included.”

Starring in The Undoing was disturbing for Grant, 60, too. During an interview with TVLine after the finale, the Golden Globe winner opened up about a grotesque scene that was ultimately cut from the show (spoiler ahead).

“After [Matilda De Angelis’ character, Elena Alves’] head was [beaten to a] pulp … Jonathan, the doctor, was quite interested in her brains, and he started poking around in them with his finger,” he told the website. “That was just me trying stuff [not in the script].”

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