For Nicole Kidman and husband Tom Cruise, the death of Stanley Kubrick was devastating. "He was like a father," she says. "I adored him." When she lost her voice and had to close her hit Broadway play "The Blue Room" a week early, "those six days were the longest time in three years I hadn't talked with Stanley," she says. During those years, "we became close. Even when we weren't working on the film I'd sit in his office for hours. We'd talk about everything. I could call him at 3 in the morning. For everyone else, Stanley was mysterious. For me he was solid, kind, so caring. He understood your humanity and reveled in your dedication."
Kidman was grateful for the sensitivity Kubrick showed in handling the intimate sexual scenes with Cruise. "It was just the three of us, sitting in a room. He knew us and our relationship as no one else does. He'd say, 'We're all on an equal level here. We all throw ideas out. Some will be laughable, some great. We've all got to be willing to look like idiots.' So many times the relationship with a director can be an actor's nightmare. Ours was incredible. It transcends making the film. He changed my life so greatly, inspired me, gave me confidence."
Making "Eyes Wide Shut" took so long that superstar Cruise had to give up other projects and a great deal of money. "For me it was no sacrifice," he says. "He became a dear friend and a mentor. Sometimes I'd look at him and think, This guy made '2001'! I'll carry this experience the rest of my life."
Some have said that with the all-controlling Kubrick gone, the film is subject to possible changes. "Warners doesn't want to cut it," says Cruise. "If anyone tries to do it, they've got to get through me. There's no way that's going to happen. It's our movie, Stanley's movie, and no one's going to touch it."