By People Staff
Updated November 01, 2004 06:00 AM

Nicole Kidman transforms her look again, this time to play a grieving widow in the eerie film Birth. With closely cropped locks, Kidman, 37, portrays a woman who is haunted by a 10-year-old boy claiming to be her reincarnated husband. Kidman recently talked about her controversial film and escaping the Hollywood life with her own children, Connor, 9, and Isabella, 11.

Why the wig?
Because it says so much, I think, about the whole look of Anna. She’s a widow, and somehow physically she’s expressing that too, through the way she dresses, and her hair, and the way in which she presents herself.

Your costar Cameron Bright seems like a star in the making.
I saw a screen test that he did, and I remember just being struck at the idea that he seemed like he was a little man. He could hold himself with such sort of stillness, whereas a lot of children will move around a lot, or they can’t hold a gaze. And there was just a very quiet confidence to Cameron.

How much discussion was there about the bathroom scene, in which you’re nude with him?
I never saw the bathroom scene as a huge deal. … This film is not about sex, it’s about love. And it’s about loss, it’s about grief, and it’s about a spiritual connection, in a way, something that just happens. And so, this is not about the age of the child at all. It’s about Anna, who is in love with a man who is now gone.

How do you balance being a mother with working?
When you work, you work hard, and then when you don’t work, you don’t do anything. Most of those times, I then take my kids and go back to Australia. And I have a beach house, so I just go and hide. (Laughs) I go down to the local fish store, and I go get my stuff, and come and cook, and do yoga on the veranda with my daughter, who’s really into yoga now.

Do the paparazzi leave you alone there?
No. But I’ve gotten clever about how to be left alone – put it that way. (Laughs)

Do you think you’ll do some writing some day?
I always write things, but I don’t know if I would ever, say, (do) something I want to give to the world. … When I write, I feel very exposed. When I act, I feel exposed, but I’ve sort of now conditioned myself that that’s what I’m willing to give … whereas with writing or something, I would be (gasps) – that leaves me feeling in the same way when I try to sing for people. Oh, I hate it.