Nicole Kidman Says Filming Her New HBO Thriller The Undoing Was “Pretty Taxing”

Nicole Kidman has teamed up with Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley to play Grace Fraser in The Undoing, HBO’s latest psychological thriller.

By Jonathan Borge Oct 26, 2020 7:45 PMTags
Watch: Nicole Kidman Reflects on Marriage to Tom Cruise

Nicole Kidman is really good at playing characters that keep us guessing.

And as Grace Fraser in HBO's The Undoing, she's at her best. The new six-episode psychological thriller, which premiered on Oct. 25, takes viewers on a whodunit-style wild ride that delivers unexpected plot twists and turns we legit didn't see coming. 

Brought to us by Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley, it's impossible to a) not draw parallels between both shows and b) describe The Undoing's full plot without revealing how it unfolds. The gist? Kidman plays Grace, an incredibly elegant and rich therapist who is married to a charming and successful oncologist named Jonathan (Hugh Grant), the father of their only child (Noah Jupe). 

They're seemingly happy. Incredibly rich. And, as we learn in the first episode, find themselves thrust into a harrowing murder mystery that rocks the posh Upper East Side school their son attends. So yes, imagine if Big Little Lies was re-written with the East Coast as its playground.

Nicole Kidman's Best Looks

Directed by Susanne Bier (Bird Box, The Night Manager), the drama also stars Donald Sutherland, Edgar Ramirez, Lily Rabe, Matilda De Angelis, Noma Dumezweni and Ismael Cruz Córdova. And while each character is piercingly convincing, Kidman's Grace will make you question what her motives really are scene after scene.

Speaking to E! News, Kidman recently opened up about the emotional toll that taking on this character took.

"It was all pretty taxing because it was trying to give Susanne [the director] an emotional truth always on set," she said during a press conference. "We didn't have the wherewithal to shoot in sequence. So we shot six hours, you know, back and forth, just trying to keep track of the emotional journey of her—and that was really, really hard."

Kidman also discussed Grace's complicated psyche. "It's interesting because the way I view my husband turns on a dime, sometimes turns in a scene," she said. "And a lot of times you're not sure what I know, what I don't know and what my agenda is. And those things are really hard to layer in." Sounds a little like Celeste Wright, huh?

Despite the challenges that came with playing such an intense character, Kidman said she enjoyed shooting in New York City long before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Niko Tavernise/PA Wire via ZUMA Press

"At the time it was grueling because there was an enormous amount of life in New York," she said. " A lot of the time film crews are like, ‘No, go away, go away! You're blocking the street.' So there's all of that, the normal part of life, of shooting there. But I do have to say I look back and I see shots around that reservoir and I see crowded streets and I see a New York that makes my heart break." 

Reflecting on the experience, Kidman said the idea of shooting anything in New York now feels like a "long lost dream." After all, dreamy is a word that adequately describes so many of the ultra-lavish sets in the show. As for who's at the center of the aforementioned murder, good luck identifying a lead suspect. 

The Undoing airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.