Belfast Telegraph

Kidman: West End play is for my dad

Nicole Kidman likes to think her late father is somewhere “offering support” during her run in West End play Photograph 51.

The Oscar winning actress was left devastated in September last year when her beloved father Antony passed away suddenly aged 75. Her dad was a biochemist and playing pioneering British scientist Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51 is the 48-year-old’s way of paying tribute to the field her father loved so much.

“This is my way of acknowledging him but also acknowledging the people in science who quietly do things and aren't acknowledged a lot of the time,” she told BBC News. "He knew I was going to do this. I like to think he'll still be somewhere offering support."

Rosalind Franklin was the only woman involved with the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953, but didn’t receive any recognition until years after her death. Photograph 51 is by Anna Ziegler and opens next week, with the final preview performance taking place on September 12, the first anniversary of Antony’s death.

The play is Nicole’s first stage role since 1998, when she appeared in David Hare's The Blue Room. Despite her many years of experience and success on the big screen, the star admitted she was extremely nervous about returning to live theatre.

“I think nerves get more as you get older. I would love to say they get less, but they don't," she confessed. "My heart was pounding and that rush of adrenaline is an extreme feeling. Getting out there on the stage is the big thing, but once I was out there it was unbelievable."

When Nicole was first linked to the role, she spoke of how thrilled her father was by the news.

“He knew all about Rosalind Franklin. When I told him I was thinking about doing it, he was very excited. Then my dad passed away last September. I went: ‘All right, I need to do this for my father’,” she told the Daily Mail newspaper.

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From Belfast Telegraph