Fabien Baron/Interview Magazine
Michael Miller
October 05, 2015 07:00 AM

After being away from the stage for almost two decades, Nicole Kidman is opening up about her fear of returning to performance in front of a live audience.

Lee Daniels, who directed Kidman in 2012’s The Paperboy, asked the actress what terrifies her in profile for Interview magazine’s October cover story.

“Well, I’m over here on this play and I’m terrified,” she admitted. “Terrified and exhilarated because I’ve got to make this incredibly acerbic, prickly woman real and vulnerable.”

The Oscar-winner has returned to the West End, starring in U.K. premiere of Photograph 51, a play about Rosalind Franklin, the female scientist who contributed to the discovery of DNA.

“It’s a 95-minute play and I haven’t done that for 17 years. It’s a whole different ballgame,” she added.

Kidman had previously appeared in The Blue Room, which began its run in London s Donmar Warehouse before continuing on to Broadway.

“It was a two-person thing,” she said of the play. “I’ve come back to London to do this play, because I love the actors here. I feel very comfortable here.”

Fabien Baron/Interview Magazine

Watching another Hollywood star perform in the West End recently helped convince the actress she’s making the right decision in returning to the theater.

“I just saw Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola in The Elephant Man, and it’s incredibly inspiring,” she said.

“It was beautiful. Standing ovation. I had tears running down my cheek. These are some of the finest actors in the world up there treading the boards,” she added.

Even more than Cooper’s performance, Kidman says it was the assurance of another famous actress that helped put her mind at ease.

Laura Linney said it to me,” she explained. “I told her, ‘I’m really scared.’ She said, ‘It’s good, honest work.’ And the simplicity of that really resonated. It’s so nice to be doing honest work.”

Michael Grandage, who previously worked with Kidman on Genius alongside Colin Firth and Jude Law, is directing Photograph 51, which is set to run until Nov. 21 at the Noel Coward Theater.

The rest of Kidman’s interview with Daniels, along with her portfolio shot by photographer Fabien Baron, will be revealed Monday in the October issue of Interview magazine.

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