Eyes Wide Shut – the last film Stanley Kubrick ever made – also captured what may have been the beginning of the end of marital bliss of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Yet Nicole is now speaking out defending the director’s work saying filming the sexually provocative flick did not end her marriage to Cruise.
The intense shoot lasted for nearly two years and saw most of Cruise and Kidman’s naked bodies on display in a variety of sexual situation. Still, in a recent article with The Hollywood Reporter, Kidman says, “People thought that making the film was the beginning of the end of my marriage – but I don’t really think it was.”
Eyes Wide Shut was Kubrick’s final film – he died just one week after he finished editing it and never saw it released. The legendary director filmed the duo from late 1996 through June 1998 and wrapped editing in late February and then passed away in early March 1999.
About the arduous filming, Nicole says, “Tom and I were close then, and it was very much the three of us. On screen, the husband and wife are at odds, and Stanley wanted to use our marriage as a supposed reality.” Or could it be that their marital difficulties inspired the film in some way?
Kidman added, “That was Stanley: He used the movie as provocation, pretending it was our sex life. Which we weren’t oblivious to, but obviously it wasn’t us. We both decided to dedicate ourselves to a great filmmaker and artist.”
And if you’ve seen EWS, you know there’s a shocking amount of flesh on display – both Kidman’s and Cruise’s – yet she says, “Stanley had to coax me into some of the sexuality in the film in the beginning, but we shot things that were a lot more extreme that didn’t end up in the movie.” Based on what we saw in the flick, I wonder what “a lot more extreme” alludes to… Is there full-frontal celluloid somewhere of Tom Cruise stashed in Kubrick’s film archives?
In the months leading up to the release of Eyes Wide Shut, media speculation about the couple’s on-set intimacy had reached fever pitch. The Star reported in April that sex therapists had to be on set – in an article titled “We Had to Teach Tom and Nicole How to Make Love” – to “teach” the then-hot and heavy couple how to copulate for the camera. Famous for his willingness to litigate, a typcially ugly Scientologist tactic, Cruise sued the magazine for libel.
The article said on-set sex therapy was needed because the duo were “unqualified as actors, because of their inability to portray sufficiently realistic or amorous love scenes.” Phil Bunton, then editor in chief of Star Magazine said at the time, “We stand 100 percent behind our story.”
By November the Star had agreed to print a retraction and agreed to donate an undisclosed sum to a charity of Tom and Nicole’s choosing. Whether the magazine had a bad source or simply didn’t want the hassle of prolonged litigation with the uber-powerful Tom Cruise was never revealed.
But perhaps a taste of playing a disengaged husband who explores his sexuality inspired their later break-up. Or perhaps it was just a case of life imitating art…
February 2001 saw the duo announce a separation due to “difficulties inherent in divergent careers” and said they were launching an “amicable separation.” I’m not sure how the Scientologist’s dictionary defines amicable – but it must mean: completely distant, never to speak again, because the other person is a suppressive person…
After they mutually announced amicable their separation, Cruise took Kidman off guard by rushing to file divorce papers. She told London’s The Daily Mirror that “she doesn’t know why” Tom decided to divorce her. It was later revealed in Nicole’s response filing to Cruise’s divorce papers that she suffered a miscarriage in March after their separation with a child Cruise had fathered with her. The only answer Cruise ever provided was “Nic knows why…” Of course there was much talk at the time that the miscarried baby was not Tom’s.
It’s pretty karmic that Cruise was similarly blindsided by Katie Holmes with her out of the blue divorce filing. Wonder if he knows why… I’d sure like to know!
Image Credit: Eyes Wide Shut