Nicole Kidman was so overcome with shock when she saw her dad’s body in his coffin she burst out laughing.

The ‘Expats’ actress, 56, was left devastated when her psychologist father Antony Kidman died aged 75 in 2014 after suffering a fall when visiting his Nicole’s sister Antonia in Singapore.

She has now told Elle about going into shock when she saw him lying in a casket for his funeral: “I literally started laughing because I was so grief-stricken and so devastated. My body and my psyche just couldn’t handle it.”

Nicole also said her grim habit of laughing at inappropriate times has followed her ever since.

She added: “Even at other times in my life, I’ve laughed at inappropriate times because I have this weird short-circuiting.

“It’s like you need this moment to keep you alive, in a way, otherwise you’ll die. It’s too much pain.”

Nicole used her experience at her dad’s funeral to create a scene in ‘Expats’ where her character Margaret starts laughing uncontrollably when she and her husband Clarke (played by Brian Tee) visit a morgue to view a body that matches the description of their missing son.

The series shows Margaret agonised by the fact her son has gone missing in a Hong Kong night market, and Nicole said playing the part as a mum-of-four in the Amazon Prime show was a heavy burden.

She added: “(Margaret) will not give up hope, which was probably the thing I related to – that desire to go, ‘No, I know deep down, my child is out there and I’ll find my child.’

“She’s got this dogged refusal to accept anyone that tells her differently. She just won’t stop. And that’s what I think I empathised with.”

Nicole stressed away from her stressful roles she has a “very full life” with her friends, family and kids – Bella, 31, and 29-year-old Connor who she had with ex-husband Tom Cruise, 61, as well as Sunday, 15, and 13-year-old Faith with her 56-year-old current partner Keith Urban.