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Nicole Kidman speaks publicly for the first time about what it takes to produce a major Hollywood production

Being a famous actor is one thing.

But Oscar, Emmys and Golden Globes winner Nicole Kidman was on the South By Southwest Sydney (SXSW) stage on Thursday to talk about what it’s like to produce film and television as opposed to starring in it.

Kidman said it was the first time she’d spoken in this capacity and was joined on stage by her production company co-founder at Blossom Films Per Saari, with her childhood friend Peter Overton, from the Nine Network, asking the questions.

While they couldn’t talk about specific projects due to the actors’ strike in Hollywood, Kidman and Saari gave an insight into what it’s like to work behind the scenes, with topics ranging from knocking on doors, never giving up and teaming up with people you’d have dinner with, to being unable to find a bathroom on set.

“I have peed in the bush,” Kidman told the audience.

“Because there was nothing around and we had very little time when we were losing the light. So, it’s like, go behind the tree.”

Nicole Kidman has gone to great lengths to get the perfect shot.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

The audience reacted with laughter, with Kidman continuing.

“Hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get the shot.”

Speaking about finding a great location, only to realise once the cameras were rolling that it was on a flight path, Kidman said embracing the mistakes is often the key to making great content.

Peter Overton, Nicole Kidman and Per Saari on stage in conversation

SXSW Sydney has a range of panels and activities throughout the week.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

“I’ve worked enough to know now, you never fight the situation,” she said.

“If that’s what it is, then you just stay very, very calm, almost like in a trance. Because if you do fight it, you’ll get even worse.

“It will give something to the scene.

“Don’t resist it, don’t fight it… a lot of the mistakes are the things that actually make it magic.”

New project to feature Australian accents

Kidman and Saari revealed Blossom Films was about to start filming a John Polson-directed project, The Last Anniversary, based on the book by Liane Moriarty, having already adapted her novels Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers.

“[It’s an] Australian project with Australian accents for the world,” Kidman said to applause.

An audience of people looking on with faces focused on stage

Around 2,500 people gathered to witness the SXSW featured session with Nicole Kidman and Per Saari in conversation with Peter Overton.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

The audience clapped again when Kidman mentioned the late TV pioneer Brian Walsh.

“This is his project,” she said.

“He was watching over it.

“He wanted Binge and Foxtel to have it and he fought like crazy to get it and it’s devastating that he’s not here to … but maybe he is.

“Brian’s been a huge part of my life, through my whole career. And to be able to just still continue his legacy is fantastic.

“So, Brian Walsh, we miss you and we love you.”

Peter Overton, Nicole Kidman and Per Saari standing on stage about to take their seats

Peter Overton, Nicole Kidman and Per Saari greeted a captivated audience at SXSW Sydney.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

The panel acknowledged Kidman’s mother, who was in the audience, but Kidman pushed back when Overton referred to Saari as her “second husband”.

“My other husband,” she laughed and later gave a shout-out to Keith Urban when Overton again used the word husband to refer to Saari.

‘We haven’t lost money for anyone’

Budgeting was another topic on the agenda, with Kidman saying they “haven’t lost money for anyone”.

Per Saari on stage smiling wearing a lapel mic and suit jacket and shirt with one leg crossed over the other

 Per Saari says the production company takes investors’ funds seriously and is committed to delivering a return.(ABC News:  Brendan Esposito)

Saari said returning money to investors was something they didn’t take lightly.

“That’s a responsibility that we really take seriously,” he said.

“Whether it’s a studio or an independent financier or the dentist down the street, they invest in us and what we believed in and we owe that back.”

SXSW Sydney will come to a close on Sunday.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-19/nicole-kidman-sxsw-sydney-per-saari-the-last-anniversary/102998236 Nicole Kidman speaks publicly for the first time about what it takes to produce a major Hollywood production

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