"If it's truthful, then the rest follows," said Kidman. "It has a sense of authenticity, because it is life, in our darkest times the most incredibly strange and funny things happen."
The most difficult scene for Kidman? For Eckhart?
"It was the same one," Eckhart offered. "I was a jerk," which sends them both into spasms of laughter, as if to brush away the perilous angst of that moment.
"It was a big one, when we both discuss the actual death and blame ourselves," said Kidman. "But I just love you in that, that's just so … you were so real."
"There's such a buildup on those scenes, an anticipation," Eckhart added. "You're coming at them with different energies, that feeling of I have to accomplish this, when really you don't have to accomplish anything. I did learn something that day because I said, why don't you just calm down and try the scene, which worked, at least for me."
Still, the piece and its roil of emotions haunted both of them throughout the 28-day shoot.
As Eckhart put it: "You just take a slice out of your life and say for this time I'm going to foster these feelings."
"Whether it's reading a novel, seeing it as a play, seeing it as a film, there is a power to these kind of stories," said Kidman. "Most of us will experience devastating loss at some stage in our lives, and I think the way in which a couple goes through the most terrifying loss and somehow they keep putting one foot in front of another, that just brings me to my knees.
"I dreamt a lot through this production," she said quietly. "I didn't sleep that well. It really affected me on a subconscious level. I just wanted to do this justice."