Kidman plays Grace, a mysterious woman seeking shelter in a small Colorado mining town during the Depression. White chalk lines on a bare soundstage stand in for the town’s buildings and its main street.
As Grace, Kidman looks stunning in her fur-collared jacket and period haircut, but she wears glasses instead of contacts at her private press conference. It’s as if she wants to de-emphasize her looks in order to appear more serious.
Asked to compare Dogville with other work, Kidman laughs.
“With someone like Lars, it’s volatile,” she says. “He (von Trier) feeds off it. He needs it. You’re on a stage, but you’re really in the mountains.”
Von Trier is already at work on the second film in his trilogy, Manderlay, set in the Deep South, but Kidman isn’t involved. Still, she remains committed to seeking out new challenges wherever they might be.
“I’ll travel to a director,” she says. “I don’t have a home in the sense that I have to work in Los Angeles. I actually don’t like working in Los Angeles. I prefer working in the mountains somewhere. When I’m in a studio, you feel the business aspect of Hollywood and I retaliate against that. I hate cell phones.” — Steve Ramos