Alexander Skarsgard found it "difficult" to film domestic violence scenes with Nicole Kidman because she is so "warm and generous".

Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard

The 40-year-old actor plays a violent husband to Nicole's on-screen character Celeste in the HBO mini-series 'Big Little Lies' - and Alexander has revealed his co-star's affable nature made the intense scenes particularly difficult to shoot.

Asked how physically and emotionally draining those scenes were, he explained: "It was important every day after shooting a scene like that to check in with each other and make sure that we would reconnect and talk about how we felt about it and what we went through. We both knew that jumping in your car and going home after a scene like that is very tough.

"You need to share that connection with the person you just went through that with. I had the best partner in the world with Nicole in doing that. She's not only an extraordinary actress, but such a warm and generous person. That made it be even more difficult."

But Alexander - who also appears alongside the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley on the star-studded show - said it is important to tell domestic violence stories on TV, even though it can make for uncomfortable viewing.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "It's obviously a huge problem in our society. It's stigmatised. [Wives] are protective of their husbands and in certain cases they blame themselves and say, 'It takes two to tango. I'm partly responsible for this.'

"They don't really see themselves as victims sometimes. It's not until you talk to someone outside that you can get an outside perspective and you realise then, 'This is an abusive relationship that I shouldn't be in.'

"It's important to reach out and to have someone help you and talk to someone who can get you out of it. It's not your responsibility to change another person."

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