From the Back Cover
From the introduction by Nicole Kidman
I first met Susan Batson in New York just a week before I made Peacemaker. We worked together in earnest for two years on Eyes Wide Shut in London and on every film I've done since, wherever they've taken us. This book you hold is called Truth, and that title precisely describes the core of the work Susan Batson and I do together.
I can't create unless I have truth--I have to feel it. Susan helps me to find the truth in myself and use its purity, intimacy, and honesty to make my work real. She's helped me to nurture and protect truth in myself and in the characters that I've played. What I've learned from Susan is how to keep the truth alive no matter what. There's so much more to acting than just creative success. It runs thicker and deeper than that. It has to--it's in my blood, it beats through me. I know that it's in Susan's blood, too. I feel like we've been together my whole life.
A great teacher can make anything seem possible. So many of the actors I've admired and idolized and, in a few lucky instances, been blessed to work with, were shaped and inspired by teachers who opened them to the possibilities of their art. Among actors, Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, and Jeff Corey are just as legendary as their pupils Marilyn Monroe, Robert Duvall, and Jack Nicholson. I am confident that Susan Batson will go down in history as one of acting's legendary teachers. I only hope that my work can contribute to her legend.
I'll always be grateful that I found her. And now, through this book, you've found her, too.
About the Author
Actor, writer, director, producer, teacher, and coach Susan Batson has been called a "technician of the spirit" by the New Yorker. In private consultation on film sets all over the world, and in her New York- and Hollywood- based Black Nexxus acting studios, Susan Batson has enjoyed the privilege of working with Nicole Kidman, Juliet Binoche, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, Jami Foxx, Sean Combs, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Connelly, and countless other actors searching for truthful connections between themselves and the characters that they play. Nicole Kidman, who has worked closely with Susan for more than twelve years, hails her as a uniquely insightful acting coach with "a hell of a lot of pure talent," while Oscar winner Juliet Binoche praises Susan's ability to "shake you like a tree and get the fruits down." Susan Batson was publicly thanked by Kidman during Kidman's post-Oscar-win press conference for The Hours, and by Tom Cruise in his Golden Globes acceptance speech for Magnolia.
Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Susan Batson began her lifelong excursion into the art of acting at Adele Thane's Boston Children's Theater. She graduated from Emerson College's Theater Arts Program and received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship to study with Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen, and Herbert Berghoff in New York. She was in the original cast of Hair and became a protege of theater legends Joe Papp and Harold Clurman, a member of the Actor's Studio, and a recipient of a New York Drama Critics Award, an LA Drama Critics Award, and an Obie. Susan Batson has consulted with writer/director Spike Lee on several of his films and was a producer of the hugely successful Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs.
Susan Batson has been profiled in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and Backstage.