Nicole Kidman Says Keith Urban Can't Handle Her Intense Acting: He Has a 'Visceral Reaction'

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Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Keith Urban has a hard time not taking wife Nicole Kidman's acting personally. 

In a new interview withW magazine, Kidman says the country superstar can't help but feel her pain when it comes to some of her more emotional -- and sometimes disturbing -- performances. Kidman admits her husband was particularly bothered by her role in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, a sinister horror film in which she plays the wife of a surgeon (Colin Farrell) who has to make an unthinkable sacrifice when it comes to his family.

"[Keith Urban] is an artist," Kidman says. "Um, he did have a hard time when he watched The Killing of a Sacred Deer. He saw it at the Cannes Film Festival and he was sort of hypnotized and shattered by it. [Laughs.] And when he watched Big Little Lies he was disturbed; he says that when he hears me scream or cry from a certain place in my soul it’s almost like it goes straight into him and he has a visceral reaction immediately. Because his brain and his heart doesn’t discern between acting and real life. They’re the same sounds for him. It throws him."

Kidman, of course, was also deeply affected by her role as an abused wife in Big Little Lies, and says she gets "upset" when she goes back into it. As for her onscreen husband on the HBO smash hit, Alexander Skarsgard, she has nothing but praise for him.

"There were times on that set when it was intense," she recalls. "But he and I communicated. There had to be such safety and such honesty and such raw vulnerability there that we have a different connection."

She also addresses their much talked-about kiss at the Emmys in September after Skarsgard took home the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie award.

"I mean, I’d kissed him many, many times on the set," she explains with a laugh. "Much more than that. So that was just my way of going, in the moment -- we were both shocked and we were like, 'Oh, my gosh, I’m so glad you won.' Because I know what he put into that role. And to see him standing up there and to hear his name read out was just, I mean, that was a really brave thing that he did, to play that person that way."

"He never pulled back and he never talked about, never worried about how he was being depicted," she continues. "He was just very honest and very true to what the story needed."

Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman on 'W Magazine'
Juergen Teller/W Magazine

For more on W magazine's annual Best Performances portfolio, including a sit-down with besties Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, watch the video below:

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