A who’s who in Destroyer

Nicole Kidman’s latest film, Destroyer (in cinemas 25th January), sees the A-list actress taking on one of her most transformative roles to date. It’s a riveting and gritty crime thriller with an ensemble cast whose past credits include everything from superhero fighting powers and award-winning science fiction storylines. With the film coming to cinemas next Friday, we’re taking a look at the actors and actresses who have transformed on-screen.

Nicole Kidman

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Australian actress and producer, Nicole Kidman needs no introduction. With over 80 projects under her belt, she’s been nominated for multiple awards and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Kidman began her acting career in her native Australia with the 1983 film Bush Christmas and has grown to become one of the most recognised actresses in Hollywood. She’s known for her excellent commitment to the characters she portrays, going method and transforming her appearance with prosthetics.


Sebastian Stan

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Known mostly for his portrayal as Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in Marvel’s Avengers, Sebastian Stan is captivating alongside Kidman in Destroyer. In addition to being part of the Marvel Universe, Stan co-starred with Margot Robbie in I, Tonya which saw him play Jeff, the on-off boyfriend of Tonya Harding.  Stan got his start in acting having spent a year at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London before moving back to America to pursue the big screen.


Toby Kebbell

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English born actor Toby Kebbell is no stranger to an action-packed film. He’s starred in Dawn of the Planet Apes, Fantastic Four and Wrath of the Titans. Kebbell’s most critically acclaimed role in Control won him the award for Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.


Tatiana Maslany

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Canadian actress, Tatiana Maslany shot to fame in the science fiction series Orphan Black. The role earned her an Emmy, as well as TCA & SAG Awards.  She’s the first Canadian actor in a Canadian series to win an Emmy in a key dramatic category. Maslany is also a big fan of improv, having done comedic improv for 10 years and participated in the Canadian Improv Games. Maslany is just starting to climb the Hollywood ladder and her future is looking very bright.


Karyn Kusama

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While not appearing on the big screen, director Karyn Kusama has certainly left her mark on the film industry. Her directorial debut, Girlfight (2000) starred Michelle Rodriguez as a troublesome teenage girl who uses her anger in boxing after discovering the sport while picking up her brother up from training. Kusama not only directed the film but she also wrote and produced it. Having graduated from NYU, she spent her early years of her career working as an editor on documentary films and in production on independent film and music videos. Kusama’s films have had strong feminist themes, with female protagonists who are flawed. No doubt we’ll be seeing more of her work soon!

Destroyer is in cinemas 25th January.

Destroyer – Review

Nicole Kidman has had a long history of transforming in her roles. From her Academy Award winning performance in Hours saw her wear a crooked prosthetic nose to her scruffy look for The Paperboy,

Look at her gaunt and sunken face in the brittle Destroyer, it looks as though Kidman goes to great lengths for this gritty thriller.

Directed by Karyn Kusama, who also gave us phenomenal films such as  The Invitation and Jennifer’s Body, the film revolves around LAPD detective Erin Bell. When she was young, she was placed undercover with a gang of grungy bank thieves. However, the whole operation went haywire and now Erin suffers from the consequences. Alcoholic, gruff, and estranged from her daughter, when a murder arrives on her beat

Like a combination between True Detective and Point Break, Destroyer is a formidable piece of work that is anchored by Kidman’s gruelling performance. It really is the actress who keeps this piece moving and, in a similar way to Atomic Blonde, when she takes the punches, she truly takes the punches. She is affected by everything and Kidman makes us feel every bruise. There’s great support from Sebastian Stan and Tatiana Masalany but Bradley Whitford’s performance is the true scene-stealer here as a pompous and crooked lawyer.

Nicole Kidman in Destroyer

Toby Kebbell’s villainous Silas should stalk the whole film. His menace or craze should be haunting, just as Kidman’s Erin is stalked by the mere thought of him. But he is barely seen and underused (as per the norm in Kebbell’s portfolio.) With a ridiculous hairstyle reminiscent of a Charmed villain, It’s a shame because the film has to have Erin brood on a proper monster of a man but, instead, it never comes to fruition.

Karyn Kusama’s previous work The Invitation was an adept and different look at the horror/thriller genre but with Destroyer, it feels like a step back because there is a lack of originality. The story does twist in an unpredictable manner and is shot gorgeously but then falls back on usual clichés. For once it would be nice to see a film with a detective who isn’t gruff nor an alcoholic but still has the battle the seedy underground. The genre-tropes, much like the punches, are felt here.

It is the same with the music. Theodore Shapiro’s score is reminiscent of Johnny Greenwood’s for You Were Never Really Here which gives it this generic feel. Synth heavy night time scenes with some softer violins – it’s like composers have the archetype and it doesn’t feel original in Destroyer. That being said, the sound design is impeccable and every crunch of bone upon bone

Overall, the film is a good maudlin police drama where you are gripped enough to follow the story to the bitter end. There are some absolute gorgeous scenes here including a snow-scape that is one of the most beautiful shots I’ve seen. Kidman goes to massive depths in order to transform into this character and it shows here. Though the film may feel somewhat predictable in places, the emotional and physical heft that Kidman goes through is enough to keep you invested.

Destroyer is out in cinemas 25th January!