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Alexander Skarsgård opens up about those "intense" Big Little Lies scenes with Nicole Kidman

''It was psychologically draining!''

By Anita Lyons
SPOILER ALERT! Please do not read on if you haven't watched the Season One finale of Big Little Lies
Alexander Skarsgård's abusive character on Big Little Lies may have been pushed to his death at the end of season one, but for the actor, the toll of playing such a role was "psychologically" draining.
While no longer a full-time player on the show - the audience are still embroiled in the aftermath of that fateful evening; paired with freaky flashbacks, detailing the monumental secrets he left behind.
But it was his abusive relationship with his wife on the show, Nicole Kidman, that took its toll - and not just on those that are watching.
In an interview with KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O on Monday, Alexander admitted that he felt "physically and mentally drained" while shooting scenes with Nicole, and often, Keith Urban would be watching.
"Those scenes were obviously quite intense to shoot," he said, while adding: "It was extraordinary to work with Nicole. She's not only an incredible actress but she's like the most lovely and generous and sweet woman.
"Of course those scenes were horrible."
Alexander also revealed that he and Nicole had time to get to know each other and develop "a trust before shooting the scenes" which was "crucial" to their working relationship.
"It was crucial because some of the scenes were so violent and physical," he said.
Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård on the set of Big Little Lies. (Source: HBO)
For those who have watched the show, you may have recalled the times when Celeste (Nicole's character) is pushed to the ground by Perry's hand.
Well, not only is Nicole a committed and inspiring actress, but it turns out she does her own stunts too!
"Nicole wanted to do it herself", he explained to the co-hosts.
"For the buildup of the intensity of those scenes it helps when you don't jump it up. When you can shoot the whole scene as one fluid motion, it helps make it more authentic to build up that rage."
"But of course it was very difficult," he added. "We were both incredibly drained and Nicole bruised after those days."
Nicole does her own stunts on Big Little Lies and even comes away with bruises! (Source: HBO)
In 2017, Nicole spoke about the harrowing scenes to the Hollywood Reporter.
"I went home and I threw a rock through a glass door. I was obviously holding all that rage at what had been done," she told the outlet.
Detailing one particular scene that left her feeling "humiliated", Nicole said: "I remember lying on the floor in the last episode, being in my underwear and having just been really thrown around. I just lay on the floor.
"I couldn't get up. I didn't want to get up. And I remember Jean-Marc [director] coming over and putting a towel over me in between the takes because I was just like… I just felt completely humiliated and devastated. And angry inside."
WATCH NEXT: Big Little Lies, season two trailer. Story continues after the post...
And it's not just Nicole's performance in the role that has been turning heads.
In season two, veteran actress Meryl Streep joined the star-studded cast, alongside Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Laura Dern, and from the very first episode the three-time Oscar winner proved exactly why she's one of the most celebrated actors of our time.
The 70-year-old plays Mary-Louise, Perry's grieving mother.
And there is one particular moment that has fans predicting an Emmy nod for Streep, when she screamed during a dinner table scene, stopping hearts everywhere.
Sitting alongside Celeste and her twin boys at the dinner table, Streep, still wrought with grief and anger, emits a terrifying scream that is seriously blood-curdling.
"The other day I was with some friends and their sons, not a patch on your dad, not a patch! I just felt so angry, angry that their mediocre, second-rate, pudgy, balding, middle-management sons are still alive and my Perry, my Perry ... I just wanted to scream," Mary-Louise says to her grandsons.
"So you know what I did? I did scream. You want to hear it? Ok," she says, steadying herself, then letting out a horrific screech.
The moment Meryl's character Mary-Louise screams at the top of her lungs. (Source: HBO)
Fans not only praised the actress for the incredible scene, but also commented on the connection between Perry's childhood and his nature as an adult.
"And in under 2 minutes you got a lot of Perry's background growing up," one YouTube commenter said, while another added, "She's actually pretty scary. Just like Perry. Good stuff".