Filmmaker Karyn Kusama made her directorial debut with 2000’s Girlfight and most recently directed Nicole Kidman in Destroyer.

What makes Nicole Kidman unique is that I don’t think she signs up to do anything unless she’s signing up for it 110 percent. She’s always completely committed to the task at hand, and that includes trying things that don’t work, experimenting with ideas that take her down the wrong path, and pulling herself back in.

When we were preparing to shoot Destroyer, Nicole was always so open about what frightened her and what felt out of her grasp. By defining her fears and anxieties about the role itself and about herself as an artist, I felt like she really proved her depth. It takes a lot of guts to say, “I want this so badly, and I don’t know if I can do it.”

"Big Little Lies" Press Conference
Credit: Vera Anderson/WireImage

She’s obviously matured in the business and become a deeper, more profound artist, but in doing so, she’s retained her childlike curiosity, and her work doesn’t get old, it gets richer. She’s completely embracing adulthood and confronting the public with the fact that she’s a 51-year-old actor who’s still finding very full, rich characters with a lot of problems, a lot to confront and wrestle with.

She’s breathing more life and freshness into these roles that prove our existence at this age, and she’s always becoming more and more relevant. Because of her movie-star beauty, people might overlook that Nicole makes really daring, crazy choices. But she has a wildness to her that’s animated by eccentricity, and that’s what I love about her — she’s not afraid to be weird or make weird choices.

—As told to Piya Sinha-Roy

For more on Nicole Kidmanand Entertainment Weekly‘s 2018 Entertainers of the Year, pick up the new issue when it hits stands on Friday, or buy it now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Related content:

  • Movie