Eyes Wide Shut, why did Kubrick forbid Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise to confront each other?

We certainly do not discover that Stanley Kubrick was a perfectionist today: the director of A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey was not exactly one willing to postpone the details, as demonstrated by the directives imposed on Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman during the filming of Eyes Wide Shut.

In the story told to us by Kubrick’s latest film, distrust and fear play a fundamental role lack of communication between the two protagonists, the spouses Bill and Alice Harford, played by Cruise and Kidman: precisely to make the most of this aspect of this tormented relationship, therefore, the good Stanley decided to rely on something more than just talent of the two actors.

Kubrick, in fact, made Kidman and Cruise communicate the least possibleavoiding, when possible, shooting with both stars on the set and ordering the two not to discuss the work done: a bond of secrecy that reached its peak when it came to shooting the scene of Alice’s imaginary betrayal with an officer of the marina, sequence for which not only did Kubrick pose Kidman and the appearance in about 50 different erotic positionsbut categorically forbade the actress to reveal the contents of the scene to her colleague.

The result, however, definitely proved Kubrick right: in Eyes Wide Shut Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman they perfectly translate the incommunicability that reigns supreme among the characters created by Arthur Schnizler in Double Dream, thanks to their talent but, obviously, also to the skilful direction of an absolute genius of the seventh art. By the way: here’s what Nicole Kidman had to say about the nude scenes in Eyes Wide Shut.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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