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Archive for January, 2006

January 27, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are in talks to play sisters in filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to the acclaimed family drama “The Squid and the Whale.”

Although details are being kept under wraps, the untitled comedy-drama takes place over a weekend and follows a mom and her son who visit the mom’s sister. It will be distributed by Paramount’s as-yet-unnamed new specialty film division.

Baumbach’s “Whale” of a movie has garnered six Independent Spirit Award nominations, including directing and screenplay mentions for Baumbach. The film also received three Golden Globe nominations, including motion picture musical or comedy.

Kidman recently wrapped shooting Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Visiting” for Oliver Hirschbiegel. Leigh, who is married to Baumbach, was recently in “The Machinist” and “In the Cut.”

January 27, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman hopes her Australia Day honour will encourage others to believe they too can succeed in their dreams.

Kidman was appointed a Companion in the general division of the Order of Australia (AC) for her services to performing arts as an acclaimed motion picture performer.

It also recognised her dedication to health care through contributions to improve medical treatment for women and children and advocacy for cancer research.

The honour coincides with the UN’s announcement that Kidman will be a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

In her role as UN ambassador, the 38-year-old Hollywood star will work to advance women’s rights and gender equality around the world with a special focus on issues such as ending violence against women.

She hopes to continue, and expand on, her charitable work.

“I hope that is actually the beginning of what I’ll be doing in terms of charity work and being able to use, I suppose, all of the things about being well known and somehow channel that in the right direction,” Kidman told the Nine Network from New York.

“So much of this world is about being able to just contribute to the level that you feel comfortable.

“And obviously, I’ve been given an enormous amount and so what I want to continue to give back, until my death really, is up to me, but it’s extremely important to me.”

She said to be appointed an AC was an honour.

“I am deeply moved that I have been chosen to receive this prestigious award.

“It is an honour beyond any of my expectations and I thank Australia for giving it to me.”

But such honours also had an underlying message.

“I hope that what it says to young Australians is that you can go for it, you really can,” she said.

“You can aim high and nothing has to hold you back.”

She said she still found her acting work enormously rewarding but relished other means of broadening her horizons, including charity work.

“I still find that (acting) incredibly powerful in terms of what it gives me as a person, but at the same time I’ve achieved a lot in relation to that and so it’s now trying, I suppose, to broaden your horizons,” she said.

“I constantly use the words give back, but that’s what I feel.”

Asked how Australians might view the honour her country had given to her, she said: “It’s more me saying thank you to my country”.

“Actually …. they made me what I am, and I’m very, very humbled and very grateful, so thank you.”

But she again dodged questions about her reported romance with Australian country music star Keith Urban.

“… I’m here to talk about my work and everything else,” she said.

“I don’t mean to jump on that (question), but (it’s) part of just taking things slowly, one day at a time.

“And also when the time’s right you talk about those things.”

January 27, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

The prime minister responded to criticisms that Nicole Kidman’s Australia Day honours was part of the cult of celebrity by saying all types of excellence deserved to be honoured.

“It is a nation of all the talents,” Mr Howard said.

“Surely if we recognise business excellence, sporting excellence, humanitarian commitment surely we can also recognise artistic excellence.”

January 27, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

Movie star Nicole Kidman become a U.N. goodwill ambassador for women on Thursday, pledging to travel the globe in the fight against domestic violence, human trafficking and AIDS.

“I hope that this will be a lifelong commitment for me,” Kidman, who is already a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Children’s Fund UNICEF, told a news conference.

It was her second honor of the day, having been named a Companion in the Order of Australia in her native country on its national day.

Kidman, who won a best-actress Oscar for the 2002 film “The Hours,” said her interest in the U.N. Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM, began while making last year’s “The Interpreter,” the first movie ever filmed at U.N. headquarters.

Her mother heard about a U.N. program helping Cambodian women revive traditional silk-weaving skills, phoned her up and said she should get involved.

Kidman then tracked down UNIFEM director Noeleen Heyzer and offered to help.

Kidman said she would still work as UNICEF ambassador, but would now concentrate on women’s issues.

Heyzer and Kidman plan to travel to Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Afghanistan and Cambodia this year.

“I have a lot of friends who say to me: ‘That’s so bleak, why would you take that?’ … I do believe there is enormous possibility to change this world,” Kidman said.

Reporters and photographers packed the auditorium where officials normally speak to a largely empty room on U.N. business.

“Compared to the Cannes film festival, this is a sedate crowd,” Kidman said.

January 27, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

Nicole Kidman has a new role – working to advance women’s rights around the globe as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N.

The Oscar-winning actress will work with the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, on critical gender concerns such as ending violence against women.

“I hope that I can act as a conduit, that I can be the person who tells some of these stories,” Kidman told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. “The way in which I was raised and the things I’ve seen in my life has led me toward this.”

Kidman, 38, looked relaxed throughout the interview, wearing a fitted black pants suit and wearing a ring on her left ring finger. The actress, who is divorced from Tom Cruise, has been romantically linked to country singer Keith Urban.

When asked what led her to volunteer for what she says will be a lifetime commitment to women’s causes, the Australian-born Kidman said her parents were a big influence.

January 27, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

Mother’s Day arrived early for Nicole Kidman’s mom on Thursday at the United Nations. During a news conference about her commitment to women’s rights as an ambassador for the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Oscar winner revealed it was her mother, Janelle, who helped focus her attention to the cause.

The actress said the elder Kidman was listening to a BBC radio report last year about UNIFEM’s work in Cambodia to help rural women create economic alternatives, such as silk-weaving rather than being forced into exploitations such as human-trafficking.

“She calls me up and says, ‘You’ve got to hear this,’” recalls Kidman, 38. The actress then called UNIFEM executive director Noeleen Heyzer, eventually making what she hopes is a lifelong commitment to the program.

Kidman said she wants to bring her son, Connor, 10, and daughter, Isabella, 13, with her on UN visits that, in 2006, may include Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Afghanistan and Cambodia. “I believe that them seeing will help them step into their responsibility as privileged children,” she says.

January 25, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

Nicole Kidman wants to marry lover Keith Urban in a traditional Catholic ceremony. The screen beauty – who was brought up as a Catholic but dabbled in Scientology after marrying devotee Tom Cruise – is said to have re-discovered her faith. She reportedly wants a full church mass when she weds the rock star in March.

A source told Britain’s The Sun newspaper the actress has already started looking at chapels in her native Australia. The source revealed: “Nicole has always dreamed of a lavish church wedding – and it’s finally going to happen in March. “She’s been looking for the right venue around Sydney and is considering her favourite chapel. But it may be too public.”

The stunning actress is said to be “thrilled” she is tying the knot with Urban, who she was first spotted out with last year. A source said: “She’s the happiest she’s ever been in her life and doesn’t want a long engagement. “Keith proposed at Christmas and she was thrilled. They’re happy and in love.”

January 25, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

NICOLE Kidman has made her mark in Tinseltown but today will be recognised by the United Nations and with an Order of Australia.

The actor has been appointed a Companion in the general division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours for her services to performing arts as an acclaimed film actor.

The award also recognises her dedication to health care through contributions to help improve treatment for women and children and advocacy for cancer research.

“I am deeply moved that I have been chosen to receive this prestigious award,” the 38-year-old said of her Australia Day gong.

“It is an honour beyond any of my expectations and I thank Australia for giving it to me.”

Kidman cannot receive the award in person as she is in the US, where she has been appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Fund for Women.

She will use her fame to draw attention to battles against sexism, violence and disease in places like Somalia and Afghanistan.

“They asked me if I would accept and I felt slightly embarrassed,” Kidman said.

“That’s part of your duty when you’re in the public eye: if you can actually have a few causes you can help to raise a lot of money for.”

Kidman was one of eight to receive the highest honour of the Companion of the Order of Australia.

One of the 662 people honoured was NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney, who was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to law enforcement.

TV and radio personality Dr Karl Sven Kruszelnicki was honoured with an AM for promoting the understanding of science.

Outspoken Sydney Swans chairman Richard Colless was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for services to AFL.

Legendary boxing trainer and coach Johnny Lewis, who trained Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu, was recognised with an OAM.

The sister of media owner Rupert Murdoch, philanthropist Janet Calvert-Jones, was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the community through philanthropy and support for medical research, access to education in rural areas, development of significant cultural and botanical collections and to the print media.

Woolworths and IAG chairman James Strong was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his services to business and commerce.

Entertainer Graham Kennedy, who died last May, received a posthumous AO for his service to the entertainment industry as an actor, comedian and presenter.

January 25, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

NICOLE Kidman won’t be home to accept Australia’s top honour today – because she wasn’t prepared to leave the side of boyfriend Keith Urban.

The Hollywood star was due to be in Canberra for the release of the Australia Day honours list, but wouldn’t come without her boyfriend, officials revealed.

“We almost had Keith Urban to come and perform – it was so close. And if we had Keith, we would’ve had Nicole too,” an Australia Day organiser told Confidential.

With Urban out of the picture, organisers approached Russell Crowe to perform.

While reports this week said Kidman and Urban had broken up, wedding bells are apparently ringing again with the British press setting the pair a date in March, with a wedding in North Sydney’s Mary Mackillop chapel.

January 25, 2006   •  Category: Uncategorized0 Comments

NICOLE Kidman’s is the name that leaps out among the eight recipients of the top Australia Day award, the Companion of the Order of Australia, or AC.

The group also includes Melbourne philanthropist Lady (Marigold) Southey, Melbourne-born, Rome-based Catholic theologian Father Gerald O’Collins, several eminent scientists and Sister Mary Elphick, who helped establish Sydney’s Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

In all, 662 Australians from sports coaches to politicians to a co-founder of Melway are recognised in this year’s Australia Day honours list.

Kidman is cited “for service to the performing arts as an acclaimed motion picture performer”.

Background notes provided by Government House refer to her 2003 best actress Oscar for the film The Hours and to her star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame.

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