It's long been believed that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's marriage was on the rocks when they played a troubled couple in Stanley Kubrick's 1999 sexual psycho-drama "Eyes Wide Shut," but in an essay for The Hollywood Reporter, Kidman sets the record straight.
"People thought that making the film was the beginning of the end of my marriage, but I don't really think it was," Kidman wrote. "Tom and I were close then, and it was very much the three of us. Onscreen, the husband and wife are at odds, and Stanley wanted to use our marriage as a supposed reality."
"That was Stanley: He used the movie as provocation, pretending it was our sex life - which we weren't oblivious to, but obviously it wasn't us. We both decided to dedicate ourselves to a great filmmaker and artist," she said.
Kidman admitted that she had to get over her inhibitions about some of the movie's love scenes.
"Stanley had to coax me into some of the sexuality in the film in the beginning, but we shot things that were a lot more extreme that didn't end up in the movie. I did feel safe - I never felt it was exploitive (sic) or unintelligent. He was very different with women than he was with men. He has daughters, so he was very paternal with me."
Kidman said both she and Cruise were huge fans of Kubrick by the time they signed up to make "Eyes Wide Shut." They spent two years just shooting the film.
"Tom and I thought, 'We're so lucky, we've gotten to spend two years with the master.'"
It would be Kubrick's last film. He died in March, 1999, just months before the film opened. Kidman and Cruise separated two years later.
Kidman spoke out earlier this month for the first time about their failed marriage.
"I got married really fast and really young," Kidman, who was 23 when she tied the knot, told Australian magazine Who. "Then, when it didn't work out, I had to really dig deep and find my way through depression. I have no regrets about all of it. It was all part of growing up."
Kidman, 45, said part of her depression came from an inability to conceive a child.
Still, she doesn't regret her relationship with Cruise because, "It got me Bella and Conner," the two children she and Cruise adopted together during their 11-year union that she called "a fantastic marriage for a long period."