“I feel, more than anything, just so honored that this was my first lead role,” she told Deadline, “and that this is the film that I’ve been nominated for.”
In the “deeply personal” film directed by Kornél Mundruczó, from a script by Kata Wéber, Kirby plays Martha, a Boston mother who goes through a yearlong journey of mourning, after her home birth ends in tragedy.
For the actress, the recognition serves as a tribute to all the powerful and resilient women she’d spoken with, in the course of making the film, who had shared with her their own experiences with loss. “Because honestly, every day throughout filming, it was always about the women that had sat with me and told me their stories,” she said. “So, that makes it, I guess, so much more meaningful.”
Currently working on a pair of Mission: Impossible films, Kirby spoke with Deadline from London, while waiting for the production to return from Abu Dhabi. Given limitations imposed on production imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, she says she feels “incredibly lucky” to be able to work during this time.
Also appearing this season in Mona Fastvold’s drama, The World to Come, opposite Katherine Waterston, Christopher Abbott and Casey Affleck, Kirby has a slate of exciting projects to come, beyond the Impossible films. Up next, she’s starring in Adam Leon’s Italian Studies and in Brady Corbet’s The Brutalist.
On the latter drama, Kirby also serves as an executive producer, and looking ahead, she’ll continue to pursue projects with this role in mind. “I’m so passionate about producing because I really want to find those stories that haven’t been represented yet,” she said, “so that little boys and girls growing up can see their experience represented on screen.”
At the 78th Golden Globes on February 28th, Kirby will contend in the category of Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. Other nominees in the category include Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman).