Nicole Kidman is set to begin shooting The Northman and she is terrified, which is fitting, considering director Robert Eggers is known for horror.
Nicole Kidman is getting ready to go begin filming Robert Eggers’ next feature, The Northman, and she is terrified. Filming has already begun in Ireland after it was originally set to begin in March. It was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Joining Kidman will be quite a stacked cast, including past Eggers collaborators Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) and Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), as well ask Alexander Skarsgård, Ethan Hawke, and Björk.
Eggers is known for his cerebral horror films. His first two features, The Witch and The Lighthouse, garnered critical acclaim for their subversive take on the genre. Like The Northman, both of those films took place in a historical time period, so Eggers is working entirely in his element here. However, The Northman isn’t strictly horror. Eggers has described it as a revenge tale, with the film following Skarsgård’s character as he tries to avenge the death of his father.
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In a new interview with Collider about her new HBO show The Undoing, Kidman touches on The Northman. Kidman says she’s terrified, despite her calm demeanor. However, her being terrified is not necessarily a bad thing. According to the actress, some of her best work comes out when she is scared. The fear convinces her to jump into the role unabashedly, prompting a rawer performance. Check out her full quote:
I’m pretty terrified right now. I sound calm but you shouldn’t see what’s going on inside. I would love to say that I do know what I’m doing but a lot of times, I make very spontaneous and rather bold decisions with very little caution or thought. There’s a lot of abandonment and just going, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a go.’
Even though The Northman isn’t technically a horror film, Kidman has several reasons to be at least a little scared. In a more literal sense, the fear of filming an international production in the middle of a pandemic is a real one. People continue to test positive on sets. However, this may or may not be what Kidman is referring to. Eggers is known for pushing his actors to their limit on set, eliciting strong, but deranged performances. The director is also known for his bonkers ideas. While the plot of The Northman may seem straightforward on paper, it probably contains some twists and turns of which audiences aren’t yet aware.
Ultimately, Kidman is right to be terrified. Eggers’ two films so far have been breathtakingly effective horror films, providing audiences with unsettling visuals. The Northman is shaping up to be no different. With the film taking place in Viking times, and sure to embrace the mysticism surrounding the culture with Björk’s Slavic witch, Eggers will have plenty of opportunities to bring in gut-churning and eye-opening visuals. Eggers will most likely lean into the violence that Vikings were known for and the tale is sure to be bloody. Kidman, though, is no stranger to horror. She’s starred in several horror films, including the critically acclaimed The Others, so whatever Eggers has in store for her with The Northman, it isn’t anything she’s unprepared for.
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