In a 2004 interview on “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” Cruise stated that when going into a role, he builds a story around a character, creating a whole new persona around his role and constructing the psyche of the subject he’s trying to play. It becomes a method acting practice, requiring full dedication to portraying actions, thoughts, and mannerisms of someone who he isn’t. For Kubrick to demand that the couple essentially embody themselves, Cruise had to abandon his acting approach and lean into the personal spontaneity of portraying his own marital troubles, doubts, and fears on camera.
Working on “Eyes Wide Shut,” Stanley Kubrick devised a specific set of rules for Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to stick to, aiming to bring alienation and hostility into their relationship both on and off-screen. He acted as a therapist for the couple, prying out their individual fantasies and concerns, and built the narrative off of that. He kept the couple isolated from one another when possible, directing them completely separately, and forbidding them from sharing acting notes with one another. His most controversial move was asking Kidman to shoot six straight days of sex scenes in over 50 sexual positions with her on-screen paramour, and then refusing to let her share or reflect on any of the processes with her then-husband.
/Film – ‘Slash Film: Stanley Kubrick Had Tom Cruise Flying Blind While Filming Eyes Wide Shut’
Author: Rebecca Potters
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January 15, 2023