Welcome to Summer

Welcome to Summer

If Walking
and The Punisher and all the other
vengeance movies this year have been Hollywood’s
response to 9/11, then the new remake of The
Stepford Wives
just might be the gay
mafia’s response to the current debate about
“protecting traditional marriage.” Out
mogul Scott Rudin teamed his In & Out
writer Paul Rudnick with Nicole Kidman, the Oscar-winning
star of Rudin’s The Hours, in this
reinterpretation of Ira Levin’s spooky novel
(originally adapted to film in 1975) about a
Connecticut suburb whose veneer of “perfect”
wives hides a disturbing secret.
Rudnick, who previously blended laughs with
chills in the Addams Family films, saw this as
a remake ripe for someone with his wicked gifts.
“I looked at a Pauline Kael review of the original
film,” he says, “and she said she felt that
the comedy was so inherent in this material that she
wondered why the earlier film hadn’t brought
that out to a greater degree. So I felt
emboldened.” And on the heels of such serious epics
as The Hours, Dogville, and Cold
this sci-fi satire gave Kidman an
all-too-rare chance to show the comic chops that won her
such acclaim in Gus Van Sant’s To Die
Kidman and Rudnick’s mutual admiration
was evident in a phone interview with The Advocate.

Was this remake an idea you came up with, or was it
pitched to you?

Rudnick: No, the producer, Scott Rudin, whom
I’d worked with on many projects before, came
to me because the rights to the underlying
material—not just the original film but the original
novel, which was written by Ira Levin—became
available. So I think there were several parties that
were interested in the rights. Scott made a bid and
then called me up. I have a very common knee-jerk reaction
when I hear the title Stepford Wives. There are
so many people who may not even have seen the original
film or read the book, but they’re so familiar
with the title.

Oh, yeah, it’s definitely entered the lexicon.

Rudnick: It has, and I was always curious as to what
image that actually entails, especially for people who
didn’t know the original story. And it
fascinated me in quite the same way—I knew
I’d seen the movie a long time ago, but I
didn’t remember the plot exactly. But I
immediately said, “Yes—oh, my God, that
sounds so intriguing!” So that was how things began.

Well, one thing I’m curious about and would love
to hear your thoughts on: People throw the word
camp around sort of recklessly, and
I’m of the school that thinks it’s only
campy if it’s funny in a way that
it’s not intended to be.

Rudnick: Right.

And my feeling with the original Stepford Wives
is, they knew exactly what they were doing. It may
be kind of ridiculous and overstated in a certain
way, but it’s all intentional and it’s not
necessarily campy the way Valley of the Dolls is.

Rudnick: Yeah, I’m glad you said that, because
I find that people could so misunderstand and misuse
the word camp out of just sheer ignorance and
sometimes out of malice. That sometimes camp can mean
just anything that might make a heterosexual man
uncomfortable. No, it’s such a flexible term.
Susan Sontag’s piece on camp, actually, I
thought was brilliant, because it explored a lot of the
facets of the term. Especially since camp has kind of
entered the water supply—there’s
heterosexual camp and old-school camp and high- and
low-camp—it’s way too easy to either dismiss
or marginalize a certain kind of comedy or a certain
kind of performance as merely camp. And I think
that’s unfortunate, ’cause I think that
both the novel and the first Stepford Wives film are
also extremely witty. They’re very sly and
they’re both serious suspense pieces, but they
are onto themselves and they realize that
there’s something innately comic about the notion of
men turning their wives into robots. Maybe because
almost anyone can understand the impulse.

A lot of writers talk about being pariahs on the set once
the movie gets started. Did you get to be around?
Did you get to shape the material after casting
happened, to make it more appropriate for
whomever’s doing it?

Rudnick: Absolutely, especially on this film.
I’ve worked with both Scott and Frank Oz, the
film’s director, before on In & Out.
They’re both wonderfully generous and patient
men. So they actually welcomed and even demanded my
presence, because—especially, I
think—when you’re working with comedy
and with a cast of this caliber, when things are going well,
you want to give people even more to do, and if things
are misfiring, it’s great to have a writer on
hand going, “OK, let’s fix
this—let’s fix it right now.” So I was
very glad to be on the set, and I think I never
imagined that every syllable or even every paragraph
of mine is anything approaching gold, so I’m very
happy to tailor material to performers, especially when
they’re this kind of crowd.

Kidman: I do have to say, we had Paul on the set
every day, and that’s a blessing. It never
happens, and that shows his commitment to something.
And also to have your talent, it was nice just to say,
“Paul! Can you come up with a line!”
[Laughs] And “What do you think? Will
you say it for me?” I’d get Paul to
sometimes say the stuff for me, right? I’d be like,
“Show me how you’d play this!” But
it’s very, very helpful to have a writer
express how they heard it. And I had no problem being
given a line-read.

Rudnick: Oh, well, it was beyond an honor to work
with Nicole and the rest of that cast, because
that’s quite an overwhelming group. And you
just keep pinching yourself.

So, Paul, any thoughts of directing at some point?

Rudnick: Never!

Kidman: Oh, you should! You really should!

Rudnick: Oh, no, that’s an impossible task,
and I’m so impressed with the 2-1/2 people who
can do it on the planet! [Laughs] I’m just in awe.

Kidman: No, you’d be very, very good. And I
say that because he did. He’s very good at
sensing what works and what isn’t going to work.

Rudnick: As always, that is extremely kind of you. I
mean, Nicole, for someone of her caliber and her
stature in the world to be that generous and that
constantly patient and that open was almost unheard of.
And that’s sucking up. [Kidman laughs] But
that’s impressive, because I think there are
people far less famous and far less gifted who
don’t ever listen to anyone. That’s an
additional pleasure. And I think, actually, that was
true of almost all of our cast, that they were people
who were...it’s an amazing groups of names, but
people were working together. Especially with comedy, you
need that level of collaboration.

Kidman: But collaboration is what makes you...I mean,
if you’re going to be good, you’re going
to be good because there’s this group of you
working together. That’s
why—particularly as an actor—it’s never
about your performance. It’s about everybody
else contributing to a performance. And it’s so
important that at any of those awards or any of those
things when you win an award, you say, “This
isn’t about me, this is about a group of people that
came together and helped each other, and this is what
came out of it.”

Rudnick: It’s also, I think, one of the
pleasures that movies have—oddly, both
Stepford and Dogville—is when you
have casts like that and they create a town.
It’s the idea that you could get in your car and go
somewhere that has Glenn Close and Nicole Kidman and
Chris Walken living in it. It’s amazing, if you
think, Oh, yeah, that’s the planet I want to
live on. And the same with Dogville, where you have
Lauren Bacall and Patty Clarkson and Nicole, and you
think, How wonderful that someone can create these
communities. And I think that’s something that
you only get in the movies.

Kidman: They’re two different towns.

Rudnick: So which was scarier, Dogville or Connecticut?

Kidman: [Laughs] I think Von Trier was far
scarier. Which I’m sorry to say! At the same
time, with Lars, he was scary but he was also
rewarding. I suppose it’s the way you live your life.
There’s different ways to live it, and I tend to say,
“I want to turn myself into it. I still want to
make really crazy, spontaneous choices and see where
they come out.” And I suppose part of this
thing is that when you reach a certain stage of success,
it’s very hard to keep doing that, because
people don’t want you to—there’s
a lot more at stake. But at the same time, I think
it’s when you’ve got to do it.

What do you think it says about feminism that 30 years
later, you can still tell this story and it still
rings the same chimes with people?

Rudnick: Well, it was interesting, because in the
first film, the most threatening thing that any female
character did —the heroine, played by Katharine
Ross—was pursue photography as a hobby.

That’s right! What cheek!

Rudnick: It was considered so frightening that they
had to turn her into a robot! And I think women have
made certain strides since then, so now the women in
our film are CEOs—Nicole plays the president of
a network—so there’s the more current
phenomenon of genuinely powerful women whom men find
extremely threatening. And also, there’s
something else that’s been written about quite
a bit lately: That sense of women who’ve experienced
power, who really have shattered glass ceilings and
become the heads of corporations, who then step away
and say, “No, I want to raise a family. I want
to make a different choice now that choice is
possible.” And some of those women have been
criticized; some of those women have been told off as
women with a choice available only to the very
wealthy. But it’s a lot of interesting contemporary
questions about women’s lives. In a way, it’s
about what gay people would be going through about
“OK—who do you want to emulate? Do women
want to become precisely what powerful men have been?
Is that so desirable? Is that a necessary step for
feminism?” I guess I always think that in order
to have true equality, you have to have an equal
number of gay or female monsters.

Equal access to assholedom!

Rudnick: Otherwise, it doesn’t really
count—I don’t want to play nice. But
that’s the modern Stepford. Women are a
lot more powerful, so the men have a lot more to worry about.

You touched on the fact that there’s
inherent comedy in the material and there’s a
sort of a knowing satire in the Ira Levin novel
and the first film. You are principally known as a
funny guy—how did you approach the balance of not
going too far into the jokes but also not too far
into suspense?

Rudnick: Well, it’s a process, and
something that I worked on very closely with Frank Oz, the
director, and with Scott Rudin. In terms of the
special effects, since computer animation has
progressed quite a bit since the earlier film, we tried to
imagine what the audience might expect in terms of a very
up-to-date kind of sci-fi comedy. So it’s
funny—I tend to look for humor whenever
possible, and especially in material that’s as
outrageous as this. But you still want it to be
grounded—I always feel things are funnier when
the stakes are both entirely human and as high as
possible. And because this is a film about—however
comic—a life-or-death situation, I hope that
it’s got a kind of mixed tone, that sense of
some genuine suspense and genuine darkness mixed in with
some fairly extreme and fairly sophisticated comedy. Yeah,
it’s a little bit of a challenge, though,
because I’ve never worked on something that
involved this level of special effects and robotics and
technology. But I also wanted to reflect the fact that we
live in an increasingly techno-savvy age with PCs and
with safe houses. I did some research there; there are
now homes with touch pads on the walls that
don’t merely monitor the security system and the
temperature and the fireplace and the sound system,
but also things like the toilets. You can buy a
feature that will test the water in your toilet to reflect
your own levels of various blood contents.

Oh, my!

Rudnick: So it can get a little scary. I think
there’s a line in the film where Nicole’s
character says, “I don’t want to live in
a house that’s smarter than I am.” And I
understand that fear. That’s certainly part of
our Stepford.

Were you disappointed that Marci X didn’t
get more attention from Paramount? They seemed to
slide it into a late-summer slot and not really
know what to do with it.

Rudnick: No, because Marci X, I must say, was
probably the most hideous and troubling experience of
my career! [Laughs]

Ooh, really?

Rudnick: It was. It was sad. It was a film that
was made in the most unfortunate manner possible, and which
I ultimately tried quite strongly to have my name
taken off of, because the final product bears
absolutely no relationship to my original script. So
it was a very sad situation for me and for Scott as well,
because he also worked on that film. It was a movie
that was very much rushed into production right before
there was about to be an enormous writers’
strike—or not—occurring. So it was slammed
together and ultimately took a fairly unwatchable
form. It was a terribly sad experience for me and, I
think, for many of the other people involved.

Will you have your eventual Hollywood bad-story
script out of it? Ten years later, maybe, your
S.O.B.—your autobiographical “Oh,
my God, I can’t believe this
happened” piece?

Rudnick: It’s funny—I hope
that’s true, but I should say that whenever
I’ve had any sort of catastrophic experience in
show business, people often walk up to me and go,
“Oh, Paul, you’re so lucky—this is
great material!” And I always think, Is this
how people greeted the survivors coming off the
lifeboats on the Titanic?
“Good for you, you’ll find a publisher!”

There was a great New Yorker cartoon
recently—it was a woman writing her parents and
it said, “Dear Mom and Dad, thanks for the
great childhood. You ruined any chance I had of
becoming a serious writer.”

Rudnick: Oh, exactly! And so I’m always
grateful for any horror that comes my way.

“Adversity is character-building.”

Rudnick: Oh, right!
[Regarding Kidman’s older child turning 12]

You’ll be embarrassing them in public in no time.

Kidman: I already have. I’m a constant embarrassment.


Kidman: Yeah, unfortunately. [Laughs] I think
that started at about 9. And they’ve denied me.
At school they’ve denied me. They’ve
denied me in public. They’ve used different last
names so that they can hide when they’re at
camp and everything. Down at Chelsea Piers they
purposefully won’t use their last name, because they
just want to be anonymous. And Conor hates it when I
pick him up from the gym class because he gets teased. [Laughs]

You’re in the same boat with every other
parent of a child.

Kidman: Oh, I remember with my mother,
I’d be just appalled—more appalled with my
father picking me up from school, because everyone
else had their mums picking them up, and I had my
dad standing there. And half the time he’d
forget to pick me up.

(Below, the interview as
it appeared in the magazine)

Given the look of the film, I have to ask you both:
Did you play with Barbies growing up?

Kidman: [Laughs] Paul? You want to go first?

Rudnick: We did have this discussion, I think,
on the set one day that there is something very Barbie-like
about the Stepford Wives. I always think
it’s because they’re a combination of
something that’s very alluring and very scary
at the same time.

Kidman: That’s a good way to put it,
because I was forbidden to have a Barbie as a child.


Kidman: I had a strong feminist mother, and so
she said that to have that as an ideal given to a young girl
was wrong—you know, the whole political reason.
So I wasn’t allowed to have a Barbie.

Rudnick: But did you have a Barbie anyway?

Kidman: I loved Barbie! I didn’t care! I
went to the supermarket once and I took one, and she made me
take it back. When she realized I’d resorted to
stealing a Barbie doll, then she actually bought me
one, because she said, “OK, a political view
shouldn’t be imprinted on her just yet.”

In a time when gays and lesbians are fighting for
the right to get their own taste of whatever you think
of as traditional marriage, this movie draws on
the notion that if you’re really talking
tradition, you’re talking about wives as property.

Rudnick: Yeah, it’s different,
isn’t it, to have a frighteningly traditional
community with a real twist? I think there is a
certain yearning for what’s considered the
ideal small town, and what adds the darkness is that the
women in that ideal small town are usually baking
something at all times. It’s
interesting—I remember from the early days of
planning on Stepford Wives we were discussing
what the wives themselves would wear, what the look
and the aura would be. We had this genius costume
designer, Ann Roth, and there was this sense that if you
pushed it too far in the male-fantasy direction,
they’d become hookers, they’d become
showgirls. There was something more Connecticut and
suburban that we were after.

Kidman: Also, they almost become more powerful.
Because I originally saw it as the ideal sort of sex bomb,
the Pamela Anderson–type look. And in a weird
way, that is almost more powerful than wearing
an apron.

Rudnick: Exactly, yes, we were going for
something more submissive and genteel.

Kidman: Right. Yes.

Sort of like “burkas by Laura Ashley”?

Kidman: That doesn’t threaten at all.

Rudnick: Right. But still sexual in a certain
sense: the nice girl in the apron who’s still at the
beck and call of her lord and master. Just the very
idea of creating the perfect woman, there’s a
sort of costume and theater to that. But you start to
deal with those archetypes and it’s kind of
fascinating because some of them are real
throwbacks—that sense of “OK, any really
contemporary woman becomes very threatening.” You
suddenly want Donna Reed in an apron again.

Kidman: [Chuckles] You wrote that wonderful
speech that I give to Matthew [Broderick] at the end.
Well, we can’t talk about it, can we, but where
I asked Matthew “Do you really want
this?” and Matthew answered—as
Matthew—“Yes!” [All laugh]

Rudnick: Oh, that’s the thing.
Everybody’s capable of wanting that degree of control
over someone else, especially over the person that
they’re married to, that sense of “I
love them and I want them to behave the way I want them
to.” That’s a common urge, and it’s
very dangerous. One of my first inspirations was the
idea of sitting on the couch next to your spouse, male
or female or whomever, and they’re whining or
nagging or doing whatever most irritates you, and
you’ve got the remote in your hand—that
moment you think, What if it was truly a universal
remote? What if I aim to my right and press the mute?

When religious conservatives in this country talk
about how things used to be so much better, you want to
remind them, “Yeah, as long as you were a
rich white Christian man, because you
weren’t hearing about everybody else’s
problems. They were shoved off into a corner
somewhere.” What comes with people being
equal is, you don’t get to hide everything in the
kitchen anymore.

Kidman: Yeah, but there’s certainly now
another set of problems. But I think that’s part of
humanity, isn’t it? That’s part of
saying, “OK, we’ll let you be
equal.” I would much prefer everything to be out and
everybody dealing with it rather than us all pretending
it’s not there.

Rudnick: Right. And the suburbs are often the
capital of hiding things—whether it’s the
traditional suburb filled with alcoholism and
adultery, or Stepford’s, which has even
greater technological secrets.

Kidman: But at the same time I’m a huge
believer in being able to say, “No, this is my
privacy,” and having that respected. The
problem now, a lot of times, is that there
isn’t a lot of respect for someone just saying,
“You want to know something? That’s none
of your business.” And there’s also a
breakdown in basic manners. [Laughs] Maybe
that’s me as a mother talking! I suppose
it’s basically about respecting everybody as an
individual, and if you can start with that, then
that’s what makes the world go round.
It’s a far more interesting world that way.

Rudnick: And there is a gay couple in
Stepford, played deliciously by David Marshall Grant
and Roger Bart. I thought that certainly the urge to
turn your partner into a robot knows no
gender-preference barriers. So I thought that that was
another way of making sure that it was a very
up-to-the-minute Stepford. Because there is
this urge toward the suburbs on the part of so many gay
people. It’s kind of double-edged for me—I
grew up in the suburbs, and I think on one hand,
it’s everyone’s basic civil right to be
married, have kids, move to the suburbs, and be as miserable
as any heterosexual. [Laughs] But I understand both
sides. The urge for a kind of pastoral
happiness—the urge for a family and for the
comfort and security and pleasure that a suburb can
provide—it’s completely understandable. On the
other hand, I think there is a real concern about
assimilation: “Does equality have to equal
conformity and imitation?” It’s a question
that every individual resolves for him- or herself.

Kidman: I think change is good. That’s
where I stand on [gay marriage]. But I’m not
well-versed enough in it. I haven’t been
following it closely enough to speak with a lot of
influence, to be honest.

Nicole, you were so amazing in To Die For. I
think a lot of people are wondering why it’s
taken you this long to do another comedy.

Kidman: [Giggles] Because I didn’t have
Paul Rudnick write one for me!

Rudnick: Aw! That’s very kind!

Kidman: I just haven’t had the opportunity. I
think also, where I went as a person, I went into a
place that was very complicated and dark, and the way
that came out was through my work. And so my choices
were…there wasn’t a great deal of humor in
that. I was far more interested in Virginia Woolf and
Dogville. There were things that I was
interested in—damaged women, damaged
people—that I was exploring. And then Scott Rudin
said to me, “You’ve got to go to summer
camp, Nicole.” [All laugh]

Rudnick: It turned into fall and winter camp as well!

Kidman: But I thought, That is a very good idea!
I’ve always wanted to go to summer camp,
especially with Bette Midler!
I tend to take Scott’s advice. There are a few
people in this world that you go, “This is a very
smart person who you have an enormous amount of
respect for,” and Scott Rudin is one of them.

Rudnick: Oh, exactly! Scott’s pretty
extraordinary. I just find that I can trust him, which
is certainly an absolute contradiction in terms for
anyone working in Hollywood. [Laughs] He’s a
very passionate guy.

Is it a culture shock for you, Nicole, to go from a
movie like this, where it’s dripping with art
direction and general lushness, to Sweden and
making Dogville on a stage with chalk marks?

Kidman: Yeah. It’s erratic and crazy.
It’s a crazy life. Being an actor is a
ridiculous profession. But at the same time,
I’m so blessed to have it as my self-expression. You
get to go from no set and Scandinavian angst into a
group of people who are saying, “Let’s
laugh at ourselves—let’s also try to say
something, but let’s have fun doing it.”

Well, your career kind of follows that Catherine
Deneuve model, where you do the big-budget mainstream
film and then a Lars von Trier movie. I think
that’s what makes your work really
exciting, that you can do Moulin Rouge and The
in the course of a year.

Kidman: And that was luck. As much as it looks like
some kind of great career plan, it was luck. It was
Baz Luhrmann, whom I’d known for
years—he’s one of my closest
friends—going, “Ah, finally, I’m
going to make a musical. Will you be in it?”
And then I was just reading the script of The Others
and going, “God—this guy’s interesting!
Yeah, yeah, I’ll go to Madrid!” There
was no great plan behind it; it just happened to fall
into my lap at that stage, and I responded to it.

Rudnick: Was The Others shot in Madrid?

Kidman: Yeah.

Rudnick: ’Cause I think that is such a
sensational movie, and it feels so English, like it
was shot on the moors.

Kidman: Yeah, he wanted to use his own crew.
He’s Spanish and he didn’t actually
speak fluent English, Alejandro [Amenábar], so he
wouldn’t leave Madrid. And that was one of
those things—he said, “Listen, you’ve
got to come to me.” As did Lars. Paul, if you
said that, I’d come to you too. [Laughs]
But I kind of like venturing into somebody
else’s territory, you know? Actually, even doing
Stepford was like that for me, because I was
venturing into new territory in terms of comedy.

For both of you, as actress and writer, did you
find yourself adapting to working with a cast who have
such different styles of performing?

Kidman: It was more like this incredibly eclectic
trove of treasures. It was just fabulous to watch
Chris Walken working with Bette Midler and Glenn
Close, and then seeing Matthew Broderick just come in
and make a scene work. That was how it came about that I
would do [the new film musical of] The
actually, after working with Matthew.
Because Matthew and Roger Bart said to me, “Would you
do The Producers? Mel [Brooks] wants to call
you.” And I said, “Yes, get him to call
me, of course I’ll do it!” I suppose
that’s how I make my decisions, based on the people.
I loved Matthew and Roger.

Rudnick: Oh, there were absolutely changes made, both
in terms of story line and in giving the performers
more material. Once we cast Jon Lovitz as Bette
Midler’s husband, that seemed like a golden
opportunity. They were so funny together as a couple, we
immediately thought, Oh, yes, let’s give
them more to do.

Given this film’s story—being a
working mother yourself and having been at one point a
working wife—have you ever felt that
pressure to back-burner your own career to deal
more with your family? Have you found the right balance
to keep yourself and everybody else happy?

Kidman: I think I have no balance whatsoever.
[Laughs] Unfortunately, balance is not my
strong point. And so I think that’s where I
make my mistakes, in a way. At the same time,
I’m still trying to work it out. I’m at a
point where I’m going, OK, well, I know I only
have a couple of years before I’m going to be
out of work and I’m going to stop. I’ve
expressed that time and time again. That’s a very,
very definite notion for me, that I’m leaving
to work on other things I want to do with my life. You
know, I spent my 20s as a wife with kids,
really—everything surrounded them, and creating a
home was more important to me than my work. And that
was fine, actually. That was OK. When that fell apart,
then I went, Oh, my God, OK—well,
I’ll work, that’s what I’ll do!

And by that stage my kids were much older. I mean,
I’ve got a girl who’s just about to turn 12.

Nicole, where do you think of yourself in the gay
lexicon? Do you feel like you’ve got a strong gay
male following?

Kidman: Oh, I would hope so! It would mean a lot to
me. I suppose I’ve always been attracted to the
theater since I was a kid, so that’s an
important thing to me. It just is. [Laughs] I
hold it in high regard—I really do. And I’m
not being facetious. It’s interesting, because
there’s an enormous loyalty amongst a gay
following. All the way from To Die For on
through, I’ve had this kind of thing. It’s
nice to know. I certainly feel the support and offer
it back.

Have you seen a drag queen do your character from
Moulin Rouge, by chance?

Kidman: I have! [Laughs] I’m
Australian! They do it at the gay Mardi Gras!
I’ve got to go and perform at the gay Mardi
Gras in Australia. That’s something I know I have to do.

Oh, please, yes.

Kidman: At midnight, you do the performance. I meant
to do it during Moulin Rouge, but I
wasn’t really that well-known then. And now I
would love to go back. Kylie Minogue goes back and does
it. I would love to do that.

Kylie knows where her bread is buttered with the gays.

Kidman: Yeah! Well, and also just because Baz and I,
that feeds a lot of Baz’s work. The gay Mardi
Gras in Australia is a huge, huge event. I say to
everybody, “Go, because it’s worth seeing and
it’s just the best time. It’s the best time of
your life.” It really is. And I’ve been
going since…gosh, I’m not even allowed
to say. Since it was illegal. [Laughs] But
really, it’s 48 hours of pure pleasure, put it that way.

Rudnick: It is. I went to the gay Mardi Gras there,
and it was amazing because there were so many
different enormous halls. There were so many
simultaneous events that it was really like eight Mardi Gras.

Kidman: And there’s a massive embracing by the
city. It’s almost like the next day is a
holiday. That’s Sydney for you.

Rudnick: I was thinking about this, because I think
Nicole only has to work on one thing if she’s
going to become a complete gay icon. That’s
because she’s so extraordinarily talented and so
disciplined and so generous…

Kidman: Not really.

Rudnick: Oh, my God, yes! The only thing
that’s lacking is, you need a drug or alcohol
problem! [All laugh]

Kidman: I don’t think I’m ever going to
have that, somehow.

Rudnick: Oh, well.

Kidman: I’ve managed to avoid it till now, and
I’m 36 years old. Well, I hope that people like
Stepford. We certainly made it with a lot of
fun and a lot of joy involved.

Rudnick: A lot of very high heels.

Kidman: Yeah, a lot of very high heels, a lot of
blond hair. [Laughs] And some push-up bras!

Rudnick: Oh, my God! That’s what I was always
so amazed at with Nicole and with all the other
wives—what they endured! That it was without
complaint. That side of it was so impressive, the amount of
time that you could spend in those heels and that wig.

Kidman: But it’s a lot of fun. You sit down in
the chair and two hours later you feel, “Whoa!
I am Barbie!”

Rudnick: There is one sort of amazingly iconic
moment, inspired by a moment in the earlier film, that
Nicole rules—when she appears as a complete
Stepford goddess in a supermarket. [Kidman
] That’s breathtaking.

Kidman: Who knows, who knows. It was certainly fun to
push that trolley. [Laughs]

Rudnick: With that much detergent in it.

So, Nicole, according to Time magazine,
you’re one of the 100 most influential people on
the planet. What would you like to do with that?

Kidman: Ay-yi-yi! [Laughs] No, to answer it
seriously, with any sort of influence, I suppose
I’d just say to people to please be
unjudgmental and full of kindness, and let’s try to
use words and not guns.


Rudnick: Now I think you should be number 1 on that list.

Kidman: [Laughs] That’s what I would
say. But I don’t really…I mean,
who’s going to listen to me?

Tags: World, World