Nicole Kidman on Stepping Into ‘The Undoing’s Upper East Side World
From writer David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, Big Sky) and visionary director Susanne Bier (Bird Box, The Night Manager), this riveting mystery is adapted from Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known. The six-part series shines a light on Grace (Kidman) and Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant), an elite couple who appear to have the perfect life until terrible revelations and a violent murder disrupt the peace.
Proving that drama comes in all forms and socioeconomic circles, Grace’s charmed life as a successful therapist is thrown completely off kilter, albeit in some undeniably stylistic and posh settings. “I couldn’t believe the apartments we were in,” Kidman marvels. “Some of those New York apartments…weren’t even apartments. We built a whole set for my father’s apartment.”
Grace’s retired financier father, Franklin Reinhardt (Donald Sutherland), offers a glimpse at the privileged life she was born into. With his wisdom on navigating high-class society, Grace uses Franklin as a sounding board as she dismantles the life she’s created to bring a new one to fruition.
“My preparation for this was far more internal,” Kidman reveals, teasing what it was like to step into Grace’s shoes — or in this case, coats. “It was about understanding what you do when somebody you believe in — that you’ve bet almost all your life on — and that holds your life [and happiness] in their hands…when that gets destroyed, where do you go? How do you function, and what do you do?”
“And particularly as a mother with a child, how do you keep moving forward and protecting that child?” says Kidman. “Those things were the basis of the character for me.” Similar to her patients, Grace goes through some trauma that she’ll have to work through. “How does that psychologically affect someone?” adds Kidman.
“Some people would end up on a stretcher being taken to the lunatic asylum, and some people would end up collapsing and self-medicating,” she says of the natural reaction people might have to the predicament Grace discovers herself in.
“Some people choose to go forward and grapple with what’s in front of them, and that was Grace. And that was interesting to me, the way she navigated all of those things.” Tune in to see exactly what she’s navigating when The Undoing airs on HBO.
The Undoing, Series Premiere, Sunday, October 25, 9/8c, HBO