Since her first film and television appearances thirty years ago, Nicole Kidman has been one of the biggest movie stars in the world (Days of Thunder, Far and Away, Batman Forever), an awards magnet (To Die For, Moulin Rouge!, The Hours), and an artist willing to appear in work as diverse and risky as Dogville, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, and Rabbit Hole. Kidman’s latest film, The Paperboy, fits squarely into the latter category, and also sits among her finest work to date. In the latest film from Oscar-nominee Lee Daniels (Precious), Kidman plays death row groupie Charlotte Bess in 1960’s South Florida. Bess has fallen in love with inmate Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) and tries to help investigative reporters Ward Jensen (Matthew McConaughey), Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo), and Ward’s younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) secure his release. The sexy neo-noir murder mystery ultimately serves as Jack’s coming-of-age story, in which Charlotte ends up playing a crucial role. The polarizing reactions the film has received so far are understandable, but no one can deny that the entire cast does incredible work. Kidman is such a passionate supporter of the film that while she has been in Paris filming Grace of Monaco, she’s been calling back to Los Angeles in between scenes to talk about The Paperboy. I recently enjoyed such a conversation with Kidman, and was immediately taken with her generosity and candidness. Here’s what Kidman shared with me about Daniel’s unique approach to working with actors, her on-screen relationships with Efron and Cusack, and filming The Paperboy.