Baz Luhrman directed Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman on the set of Australia from late April 2007 until early September, and he spoke to Movies Online about Nicole becoming pregnant on set, how it changed her, and if they had to alter the costumes at all.
On if being pregnant and giving birth to Sunday Rose changed Nicole: “Well, it has, but it hasn’t…She’s a high wire act in that you all know she goes out on an edge and as a performer she makes choices where we all go, ‘Are you crazy? What are you doing that for?’ But she does that as she says because she’s got unusual taste, but really I know that’s her way of saying that she wants to go up on that wire again, and she is always challenging herself, therefore she challenges everyone around her. She had little Sunday Rose, and all I can say is, that as an observation, as a technical observation, it is still Nicole, still the high wire act, but there is a center and a sort of – she’s has had the gift of peace that I don’t think she’s found easy to have access to, as easy, and I’ve seen a peace in her, a kind of center to her, and she’s just Nicole, only better.”
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On Nicole telling him she was pregnant on the set: “But, and this is true, what happened in this story, because it’s very easy to make nice backstage stories, you know what happens under that baobab tree, that lovely tree, real location shot at Kununurra, again the Lean and Lucas, we had to do close-ups, you know, and we’re on this stage and we brought a bit of the tree into the studio to actually do those very controlled close-ups. So, we’re under the tree, and we call lunch, and Nicole’s like being Nicole, and I’m thinking ‘It’s going to be an exciting day. What is it do you want?’ She’s like, ‘Baz, I have to talk to you. Come over here. I have to talk to you.’ I’m like, my eyes are almost rolling in my head, ‘Oh please, okay what is it?’ And she stops and she’s incredibly like transformative, and this is the great thing about that friend and colleague, is that when things are really bad, she can suddenly become unbelievably, super, super centered and just so grounded, and she said, ‘I’m pregnant.’ And honestly, she burst into tears, and so did I, and we were under that tree that we brought down from up the bush, and it was about the last ‘x’ weeks, and then it was all like, ‘Don’t tell anyone, don’t tell anyone, I’m nervous.’ So she immediately flipped back to ‘I’m not going to be a burden to anybody,’ and then there’s the whole secret that Hugh and Nicole and I had to – we were in boats and stuff, and she had morning sickness and all that.”
On not having to alter the costumes at all: “No, that did not happen. Are you kidding, Nicole? Hang on, people going ‘Is she really?’ Physically no, and also it was at a stage where it was never a problem.”
Added costume designer Catherine Martin: “People ask me that all the time…Absolutely not. Because it was in the very early stages. She was the trooper. She felt pretty sick and she just kept working which was pretty remarkable. And I think Nicole feels really blessed because Sunday Rose is her third child. We met Nicole when Isabella came into her life and we met her as a baby on the Fox sound stage when we did a shoot for Australian Vogue and so I feel privileged to have met two of her babies, two little daughers, and I think that at that very early stage and I think, you know, Nicole is a very caring maternal person and she has a sense of wanting to care for the group and I think it comes very naturally to her. I think she sees it as a great blessing. And, as a mother who had children very late in life, I think it’s sort of a double blessing particularly if you think it’s an experience you may never have and so I think she feels very blessed. She has three fabulous children and that’s a great gift.