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A movie might be a director's medium -- but in the case of Nicole Kidman, she was willing to say "no" to filmmaker Lee Daniels when he asked her to use the N-word in the controversial new drama The Paperboy.
Daniels, who is African American, wanted to explore the racial tensions in the story and asked Kidman to say "n***er" in character, but the star refused.
"I asked her to use the N-word," Daniels revealed Wednesday during a press conference for The Paperboy. "I could feel the racial tension there in the town. She said, 'I won't do it.' I told my producer, 'She won't do it!' Then he mapped it out -- 'Lee, day one she is on a washing machine, day two she is urinating on Zac Efron, day three she's having telepathic sex... I think you can forgive her."
In the pulpy '60s drama, Kidman, 45, plays a trashy bleached blonde who is obsessed with getting her imprisoned lover, John Cusack, off of death row. She enlists investigative reporter Matthew McConaughey and his kid brother Efron to help with the case and ends up bedding young Efron's character.
Kidman explained why she didn't feel comfortable using the racial slur -- even for a film set in an overtly racist era.
"I just didn't feel it was right for the character," the actress explained of why she wouldn't say the word. "I have a son [Connor Cruise] who is African American. I just didn't feel like it was right."
Still, Kidman insists her refusal didn't impact the film or Daniels' vision.
"What I try to do as an actor is fulfill a directors vision. I have opinions, but at the same time I'm not there to stop him from anything," she said. "I've really tried to do that in every film. I never want to pull them off their vision."