‘I was nervous’: Star’s Kidman kiss
Locking lips with her heroine Nicole Kidman and filming steamy scenes with a chivalrously shy Hugh Grant were not in the job description when Matilda De Angelis signed up to BINGE's blockbuster drama The Undoing.
But the 25-year-old rising star did not flinch when director Susanne Bier decided her character needed to be more edgy - in fact, she agreed.
"Susanne and I talked a lot about this and we both wanted to pose Elena to be extreme," the Italian beauty told Vogue Australia.
"She had to make (Kidman's character) Grace feel very uncomfortable and you always have to wonder what she's going to do next, what's the next move … she's unpredictable."
De Angelis, who is making her international debut as ill-fated femme fatale Elena in the HBO thriller alongside megawatt names like Kidman, Grant and Donald Sutherland, tells the magazine's November issue, on sale today, that she couldn't have wished for a better introduction to the global stage.
However, finding out she had to kiss Kidman - who she has followed as a fan since childhood - got the nerves jumping.
"I can't tell you if she was a good kisser or not," De Angelis said, "because I was too nervous in that moment. I was more worried about myself - I'm not a good kisser."
Praising her Aussie screen idol, she said Kidman is "perfect all the time but she changes every time. And the scene is never the same with her, so it's a constant surprise. She has this freedom and this beautiful instinct and that really inspired me.
"I tried to steal everything I could from her, just watching her."
She also tells Vogue how in a post-#metoo world, scenes like those De Angelis found herself playing are subject to more scrutiny and supervision than ever before. The Undoing had an "intimacy co-ordinator" on set who put De Angelis in control and offered useful advice.
"You choose how to be touched and what to do and you have to take control of the situation. That's how you're not a victim."
Perhaps surprisingly, her more experienced co-star in Hugh Grant "was more nervous than I was" De Angelis reveals. "He was really attentive and caring, so all good."
De Angelis is strident that shows like The Undoing and Kidman's wildly-successful Big Little Lies, will continue to play a crucial role in highlighting themes like inequality and the abuse of power - and that #metoo was only the beginning.
"It's important to tell the story over and over again until it is clear for everyone."
Originally published as 'I was nervous': Star's Kidman kiss