Dense, com­plex fe­male ex­pe­ri­ence

Marlborough Express - - ENTERTAINMENT -

you’ve got a teenage daugh­ter to an­other man and a small child with your new hus­band?’’ Kid­man says.

Kid­man hopes there is a pow­er­ful take-away for the au­di­ence. ‘‘Mak­ing peo­ple think, which is why we also say we hope peo­ple watch this show to­gether,’’ she says.

‘‘The one thing you lose when you do TV is you don’t have that col­lec­tive group watch­ing some­thing to­gether and I’m still a huge fan of that,’’ she adds. ‘‘I love peo­ple com­ing to­gether so they can then talk about it, laugh to­gether, bond to­gether, and cre­ate con­ver­sa­tion.’’

In terms of what that mes­sage con­tains, how­ever, Kid­man is un­will­ing to say.

‘‘Ar­tis­ti­cally, I’m al­ways so re­luc­tant to give peo­ple what they should feel or think,’’ she says. ‘‘Be­cause how it’s in­ter­preted is in­cred­i­bly per­sonal. And, so, I’m not sure about the mes­sage. I want peo­ple [to] de­cide what they bring from it.

‘‘The essence of it, for us, is fe­male friend­ship, the ca­ma­raderie of women, the power of women when they unite and the way in which we pro­tect each other, which is why you’ve got to see the full seven hours,’’ Kid­man adds.

And there was, Kid­man adds, an emo­tional price to be paid.

‘‘I would go home… and I would cry,’’ she says. ‘‘It was re­ally tough and I wanted it to be as au­then­tic and as real as it could be. There is one par­tic­u­lar sto­ry­line which I think is in­cred­i­bly com­pli­cated but I do think the way David and Jean-Marc [direc­tor Vallee] mapped it is very, very real.’’

While Pa­pan­drea is a ca­reer pro­ducer, Wither­spoon and Kid­man, who co-pro­duce the se­ries, are both ac­tors. And when ac­tors choose to bring some­thing to the screen, Wither­spoon says, they do so as pas­sion­ate sto­ry­tellers.

‘‘It’s a unique thing to have so many tal­ented women col­lab­o­rat­ing on some­thing that they feel is im­por­tant,’’ Wither­spoon says.

‘‘And, I think, we’re at this crit­i­cal place where tides are chang­ing, con­ver­sa­tions are chang­ing, au­di­ences are de­mand­ing dif­fer­ent con­tent be­cause they want to see them­selves re­flected on film.

‘‘And, not the fairy­tale ver­sion of them­selves,’’ Wither­spoon adds. ‘‘The real ver­sion of them­selves. They crave re­al­ity, and there’s so much psy­chi­cally about pro­cess­ing with peo­ple you know and recog­nise.’’

The hon­esty and in­tegrity of the piece, Kid­man weighs in, lies in the fact that none of th­ese women is what she first ap­pears to be.

‘‘They set out one way, and then they un­ravel, and you take away some of their bar­ri­ers, and the things that they’re pro­tect­ing them­selves with,’’ she says.

‘‘All of them are not what they ap­pear to be at first, and that’s what I love as well.’’ - Fair­fax

9.30pm, Thurs­days, Prime, from Septem­ber 21.

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