Let’s set the scene: You’re on set filming a movie, heading over to craft services, and suddenly, there, right in front of you, Nicole Kidman is dying. She coughs. She gasps. She coughs again! She says a whole speech about how she has always loved Ewan McGregor. Sweat materializes all over her brow. She pales even further beyond her natural level of pale. She dies! Right there on set between takes. That may sound like a far-fetched scenario to imagine, but Andrew Rannells insists that it did in fact happen on the set of Ryan Murphy’s star-choked film version of the musical The Prom. “Nicole Kidman reenacted her death scene from Moulin Rouge! for us,” Rannells said in an interview with Michelle Collins on SiriusXM. “Just, like, in between takes. She did the whole bit — with the cough. I was like, This is a fucking dream come true.”
If you need a visual aid, watch Kidman’s death scene as Satine above, and come away, as I have, with so many more questions about how this played out on The Prom set. Was anyone holding her as Christian? Was it Rannells? Or Meryl Streep? Does Kidman regularly die in front of people as a party trick? Did she do this on the set of Big Little Lies? Does that mean that Streep has seen this whole act before? Did Kidman also do it on The Hours? Rannells doesn’t elaborate but goes on to say of Kidman that “She is a real girl!” and that the whole cast of The Prom was “down to clown” and to work hard together. We’ll see whether that all paid off when the movie musical premieres on Netflix on December 11, though, to be clear, Kidman’s character will not be dying in this one. It’s a comedy!