Vanessa Kirby describes watching a live birth to prep for new film

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Vanessa Kirby says she learned to appreciate the “sacredness of the feminine” while preparing for her upcoming Netflix film, “Pieces of a Woman.”

The 32-year-old shadowed an obstetrician and even witnessed a difficult live birth to get ready to perform the film’s harrowing and and tragic 23-minute, single-take, home-birth scene, she revealed in a new interview.

“I watched her for six hours go through a really difficult labor, no painkillers, forceps,” 32-year-old Kirby recently told Harper’s Bazaar of observing a woman going through labor. “It got really, really difficult…I watched her go on a completely lone journey, like an odyssey, through the most primal, almost divine…And I saw the power and the fear in all of it.”

Watching a woman give birth was a formative experience for the actress.

“I came away far more of a woman in appreciating the sacredness of the feminine in a way that I don’t think I had fully realized,” she said. “I feel like I had lived something in human experience I hadn’t lived before.”

She continued, “It brought everything that I sort of had known intellectually into being, which is, this is like the magnificence of being a woman, and its creation essentially.”



She was filled with emotion after witnessing the miracle of life, sharing that “it almost gave birth to the film inside my heart.”

Kirby portrays a woman who loses her baby after having a home birth. The movie highlights the emotional journey her character endures while dealing with grief as well as her difficult relationships with her husband and mother.

“The Crown” actress recently revealed in a Netflix Q&A on the movie that the home birth scene was done in one take with the “intention to make it as authentic as possible,” and portray “birth in all its glory, in its difficulty, and its pain, and its horror and its majesty,” according to IndieWire.

Kirby stars alongside Shia LaBeouf in the Kornél Mundruczó-directed film.

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