Vanessa Kirby watched a woman in hospital give birth for her 'Pieces of a Woman' role
INSIDER 2hrs ago
Vanessa Kirby posing for the camera: Kirby picked up the Best Actress award at Venice for her role. Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images © Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images Kirby picked up the Best Actress award at Venice for her role. Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
  • Vanessa Kirby sat in on a real-life birth to prepare for her role in Netflix's upcoming drama "Pieces of a Woman."
  • Kirby herself has not experienced childbirth, but in the film's opening sequence, her character Martha performs a long and graphic home birth.
  • Kirby said of the experience: "I sat next to her on the bed and vaguely waved. I was in awe. Her mother was there too. I hardly breathed for six hours."
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Vanessa Kirby said she sat in on a real-life birth in preparation for her leading role in Netflix's new drama "Pieces of a Woman." 

In the movie's highly publicized opening scene, which unfolds as a long, 30-minute continuous sequence, Kirby's character Martha endures a painful home birth. 

But during an interview with The Sunday Times, Kirby said that she was initially unable to visualize the scene because she has never given birth, so she decided to try and gain access to a maternity ward and watch a patient give birth live.

"We had asked permission and unbelievably she said yes. Not sure I would. Some random actress in there," she said. "I sat next to her on the bed and vaguely waved. I was in awe. Her mother was there too. I hardly breathed for six hours."

Vanessa Kirby et al. standing in front of a window: Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby played a married couple in Netflix's "Pieces of a Woman." Netflix © Netflix Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby played a married couple in Netflix's "Pieces of a Woman." Netflix

Kirby continued explaining that she did not provide any encouragement for the mother-to-be and remained quiet through the birth. She said: "Can you imagine? 'Go on, girl!' No, I was silent. It was a greater achievement than I've seen anybody do. There were forceps."


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However, Kirby added that "halfway through a difficult contraction" the mother looked over to her. She said: "I blew her a kiss. Why? So embarrassing. And when he was actually born the nurses brought me round to see him come out. I was crying my eyes out. All color came back to the mother. It was holy. And then I was introduced, and they went, 'Oh God, Princess Margaret!'"

Kirby has won huge praise for her harrowing performance and picked up the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival in September.

In the movie, she stars alongside Shia LaBeouf who plays her abusive partner. And during the same interview with the Times of London, she expressed her support for survivors of abuse following accusations made against LaBeouf by his former partner musician FKA Twigs.

She said: "I stand with all survivors of abuse and respect the courage of anyone who speaks their truth. Regarding the recent news, I can't comment on an ongoing legal case."

Following the allegations, Netflix removed all mention of LaBeouf from the film's award campaign material. 

Read More:

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Netflix has removed mentions of Shia LaBeouf from its awards campaign following abuse accusations

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