After the show [Oprah], we caught up with the women of Nine to find out a few of their favorites. Plus, what inspires these leading ladies? A backstage exclusive!
What’s your favorite book?
Nicole Kidman: My favorite book is War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy because it’s why I wanted to become an actor. But it’s not light reading.
Penelope Cruz: I have many, but I think the one I’m reading right now, I’m completely obsessed with. It’s an Italian book from Margaret Mazzantini and it’s called Venuto al Mondo. It’s not out here yet, but it will be. And I think it’s really a masterpiece. I just wake up in the middle of the night and start reading. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever read. It’s a love story told in flashbacks. Part of it happens during the war in Sarajevo. I won’t tell you anymore but it’s really, really beautiful.
Kate Hudson: One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Marion Cotillard: There are many books I love. I think it was two years I read, it’s not a book actually, but it’s been published as a book. It’s Harold Pinter’s acceptance speech when he got the Nobel Prize. Actually, I know the title in French, but it might be the same—they might have translated. It’s Art, Truth and Politics. Today, I would say this one.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
Nicole: Home to Sydney because we all live in Tennessee, but my whole family lives in Sydney, Australia, and Keith’s family lives in Australia. So I love to go back to Australia. And second, I love Italy.
Penelope: Apart from loving to travel around Spain, because it’s a very beautiful country, I love going to the Caribbean. Anywhere in the Caribbean where I can rest and run around barefoot.
Kate: Paris and the South of France.
Marion: Actually, I love to travel to France since I’m not there very often. I love Peru and India.
What’s your favorite meal?
Nicole: I think probably pasta, or when we were in Italy this summer, we had homemade pizzas straight out of the pizza oven. I had a pizza which was ricotta cheese and strawberries, which was amazing. It was just something that has to be experienced. We all thought, “No, we don’t want the strawberry pizza.” They brought it anyway, and we gobbled it down.
Penelope: I would say a Spanish dish that is called broken eggs. It’s done with fried potatoes and fried eggs. There is a trick about how to break the eggs on top of the fries. Also, because I know how to make that one.
Marion: This is the hardest question, actually. I’ll try to stay simple, and maybe I would say, I like Indian food. I like French food. I like Mexican food. I like Japanese food. And I love burgers. My favorite burger…since we are in Chicago, I would say the O’Brien burger on Wells Street. It’s a very good one. I had a lot of them when I worked here. And organic food, if everything can be organic…
What’s your favorite musical?
Nicole: The Wizard of Oz, once again, another reason I wanted to become an actor.
Penelope: All That Jazz
Kate: That’s tough. Bye Bye Birdie was what got me going, because I basically wanted to be Ann-Margret. But I would say my favorite, favorite musical…this is hard. There are so many. Can I do Broadway? A Chorus Line.
Marion: I’m a very big Singin’ in the Rain fan since I was a little girl. And the one that is very deeply printed in my heart is Annie.
How would you spend the perfect day off?
Nicole: Hanging out with my family, with my husband. He has a 1956 Lincoln, and we love to drive around in the Lincoln. I don’t mind riding on the back of a Harley as well, even though I’m a mother of three.
Kate: With my family, my son. We’d do everything and nothing, whatever we felt like. I’m looking forward to taking my son to the circus when I get home. We couldn’t do it the other day, and he was so disappointed because we got times messed up. And when I go home, I’m taking him to the circus. He’s such an imaginative kid, so anything that I get to watch his imagination start to go wild is like my favorite thing in the world to see.
Marion: The perfect day off would be with my friends and family, because I don’t have much time with them. It would be, actually, a musical day. [We would] sing and dance. A lot of my friends are musicians. It would be in a house in the country, and we would play music—singing and dancing.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Nicole: Not to worry because I have a lot of my childhood and teenage years worrying, worrying, worrying, and actually, it all works out how it’s supposed to work out. We’re all on our own path.
Kate: Then I wouldn’t be here! I would say keep doing what you’re doing. I mean, I have to say, in terms of advice, the older you get, the more you experience. For me, I sort of love looking back at the mistakes and the faults and the flaws. Those things are all part of this weird, wacky, crazy journey.
Marion: I would tell her that every experience, even if it’s a bad one, is an experience you have to live. I would also say, as much as possible, even if sometimes it’s hard, be yourself.
What’s your best beauty secret?
Nicole: No sun.
Kate: I always say sleep, but it’s not really a secret. Ice. … If you’re having one of those mornings, just stick your face in a bowl of ice.
Marion: I’m not very good at beauty secrets, but I think that sleeping is the best beauty secret. Sleeping 10 hours a night.
What inspires you?
Kate: Love. You know what really inspires me are people who I’ve met who are extremely devoted to something and dedicated and know how to balance their lives. Whoever it is. When I see someone who is really secure in what they’re doing and how they balance their lives. My mother is inspiring. She’s an amazing woman. And the older I get, the closer I get to my mother. Watching her journey into her life and to be interested in so many things and how she continues to balance our family…she’s a real matriarch.
Marion: Life, people, music, art, books, love. Well, life.
What are you grateful for?
Kate: Family. At the end of the day, you get to go home and you have that ground. And you have the people who are the most brutally honest with you and funny and fun. I’m grateful for that, and I’m grateful for health. And I’m grateful for Oprah!
Marion: To be healthy.