Nicole Kidman is a shoo-in for an Emmy nomination, and likely a win for her searingly understated, quietly anguished portrayal of an abused wife in Big Little Lies.
And because of her intensely physical performance, Kidman, who executive produced along with Witherspoon, has jumpstarted a conversation about domestic violence. Her Celeste Wright, a former lawyer held emotionally captive by her husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), is choked, grabbed, raped, and punched onscreen — a rarity in entertainment.
Her performance is rooted in honesty. And that applies to the clothes Celeste, a powerhouse litigator, wears in public. The focus is on concealment of bruises, scabs, scrapes, and other proof that Perry isn’t just passionate, as the couple would have their therapist initially believe, but a wife-beater.
“I have long sleeves on, even when I’m doing yoga. I never wear anything that reveals the arms,” Kidman tells Yahoo Style. “There’s always a cardigan.”
And in later episodes, she slowly finds her footing and delicately, tentatively explores life away from her hellish home. The finale, promises Kidman, tells you everything you need to know about how Celeste got to this place and why she stayed.
The role left her emotionally and physically black and blue. And as Celeste, she had to cover her bruises in character. “I had to learn how to do it on camera. It felt sad. At the same time, it’s her survival. It’s covering them from the world and her children. It’s her trying to keep some sort of semblance of normalcy,” says Kidman.
Whether or not she finds it, says Kidman, comes out on Sunday night. “When you see it, hopefully I’ve done my job and you can feel it. She’s complicated, and she’s wrestling with the truth and her own denial and the unraveling of that whole life and what it means,” she says.
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