“We shined a light on domestic abuse,” said Big Little Lies’ Nicole Kidman tonight at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in her Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie win. Noting a “bigger message” in the HBO show, Kidman added, “It is a complicated and insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame and secrecy, and by you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more.”
In her second Emmy nomination and first win, Kidman was widely expected to take the prize over BLL co-star Witherspoon, American Crime’s Felicity Huffman, Fargo’s Carrie Coon, and Feud: Bette And Joan leads Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange.
The night has already seen Supporting wins for Big Little Lies’ Alexander Skarsgaard and Laura Dern, plus a directing Emmy for Jean-Marc Valee. After Kidman’s win, Big Little Lies went on almost immediately to win Outstanding Limited Series, making it one of the biggest victors of the night.
“I share this with you,” a clearly moved Kidman said to co-star and co-nominee Witherspoon tonight from the stage of the Microsoft Theater, also thanking Valee, David E. Kelly, her other cast members, HBO, BLL’s crew, and author Liane Moriarty.
For all the considerable talent in BLL, it was the Oscar winner Kidman’s performance as the abused, wounded and tightly wound Celeste Wright, trapped in a violent and toxic marriage, that was a magnet from the show’s February 19 debut. Based on Moriarty’s 2014 novel and resettled amidst the wealthy neighborhoods of Monterey, California from Australia, Kelley’s adaptation centered, as my colleague Joe Utichi so succinctly wrote, “around a murder and a town on edge.”
In my review of Big Little Lies, I called the show an “exercise in the exploration of very privileged people’s very real and seething problems.”
Despite a strong acceptance speech, Kidman was quickly the object of scorn on social media tonight, as she mentioned her daughters with husband Keith Urban, but did not note her adopted offspring with ex-Tom Cruise.