Nicole Kidman does not have a fan in Pamela Smart. The convicted murderer, who’s serving a life sentence in a maximum security New York prison for the 1990 murder of her husband, says she thinks Kidman’s depiction of her in the 1995 movie To Die For is an embarrassment. In an interview posted by People, Smart said Kidman got her character all wrong.
“I would say to Nicole Kidman that she’s an acclaimed actress and I believe she’s a good person. She has a family. She has children and that as a mother, she should take a look at the character that she’s playing.”
According to Smart, who was interviewed for the Reelz Channel docu-series Murder Made Me Famous, Nicole Kidman never met with her before she took on the part in the 1995 flick, and she ultimately found the Oscar winner’s portrayal of her to be embarrassing and one-sided.
“It was embarrassing. I mean, she played me as like a complete airhead. And I’m not that person. So it’s hard because I’m constantly hated for being something. I’d probably hate myself if I didn’t know myself, based on what they say.”
The convicted murderer also questioned Kidman’s research methods, saying the Aussie actress didn’t even try out find out more about the character she was playing.
“She never came to see me. She never spoke to me. She never tried to find out anything to the contrary of, you know, the script that they gave her. And that she played a one dimensional character.”
While Nicole Kidman’s character in To Die For isn’t named Pamela Smart, the movie is based on Joyce Maynard’s novel of the same name, with a storyline that mirrors the relationship of Smart and her 15-year-old lover Billy Flynn, who were found guilty of conspiring to murder her husband, Gregg. Kidman played Suzanne Stone in the movie, an aspiring journalist who plotted with her teen lover (played by Joaquin Phoenix) to kill her husband. Kidman won a Golden Globe for the role.
While Pamela isn’t impressed by Nicole’s work, Nicole Kidman reportedly petitioned for the life-changing role and got it without so much as a screen test. In a 1995 interview with the Los Angeles Times, director Gus Van Sant said Kidman called him at home to ask for the job, and he ultimately cast her over the phone without doing a screen test.
Kidman, who was based in Australia at the time, revealed that she flew to the U.S. and binge-watched American TV for three days to prep for the role. Nicole said she could connect with her character based on the culture in the country at the time.
“The hypnotic effect of television is just extraordinary. The way in which it gets into you… you can’t turn it off. Watching all those talk shows, all the yelling…You have to go ‘Whoa!’ That’s how I understood [Suzanne]. That’s what she’s been raised on. So she’s a victim of society, a victim of that.”
Kidman also revealed that she relished playing the naive yet vicious character, a description Smart would likely take issue with.
“I’m vicious in it, totally vicious! It’s wonderful to be able to be that vicious.”
Nicole Kidman is not the first person to portray the notorious character. In 1991, Helen Hunt played Pamela Smart in the CBS TV movie Murder In New Hampshire, while Chad Allen played her teen lover Billy.
Take a look at the clip to see a peek at the Reelz Channel series, which references Nicole Kidman’s role.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]