Destroyer director was mesmerised by Nicole Kidman’s ‘charisma’

Destroyer filmmaker Karyn Kusama ended up doing 40 location shoots in just 33 days while making the crime-drama.

Filmmaker Karyn Kusama was dazzled by Nicole Kidman’s “charisma” during the Destroyer shoot.

In the new crime-drama, the Australian actress plays a Los Angeles Police Department officer who must take out members of a gang, years after her case was blown.

For her role as Erin Bell, Kidman was made unrecognisable due to a heavy layer of make-up and straggly brown wig, yet even with the startling makeunder, Kusama is adamant that the 51-year-old’s star presence always shone through.

“What was great is that even through the process of her transformation inside and out into that character she remains incredibly … well, I think she becomes even more charismatic in a way,” she told Slash Film. “Like taking away the movie star element of her, to me, paradoxically reveals what a movie star she actually is, because I just needed to keep looking at her.”

Destroyer, which also features Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, and Tatiana Maslany, is partly set in the California desert, while other sequences occur with the Los Angeles cityscape in the background.

Kusama ended up setting up 40 location shoots in just 33 days, and while it was challenging for herself and the crew, she is pleased with the final result.

“It was also great that the production matched the film, in that we were seeing a lot of L.A. and we were seeing a lot of what informs the movie, which is the weird kaleidoscope of Los Angeles. So, it was hard, but now I look back on it fondly. But I complained a lot while it was all happening!” the director smiled.

Kidman was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her performance in Destroyer, with the film now showing in cinemas.

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