Nicole Kidman: Blossoming in her own time
Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman talks to Metro about her desire to have more children and her many failures in the kitchen.
‘The one reason I’d love to win some major award again is because I have a partner now to share it with,’ laughs Nicole Kidman a couple of weeks before Christmas in Beverly Hills. ‘When I won the Oscar for The Hours in 2003, it just went past. I would so love that moment with Keith [Urban, her country-singing husband since 2006] because these sorts of things are very much about your marriage. We talk about Rabbit Hole as “our film” because he gave up a lot for me to make it. It’s definitely our daughter Sunday’s film too.’
The 43-year-old knows she will not win an Oscar this year, bar a Hollywood upset of unprecedented proportions. It might be Natalie Portman’s year for trophies but it is Kidman’s year for so much else – not least because of the release of Rabbit Hole, her first shot as producer of a critically acclaimed, money-making film, that rare but happy Hollywood combination.
‘It was about sheer will and a lot of begging,’ she says, laughing hard. ‘We tried to finance it right when the crash happened and people said: “Oh my God, nobody is going to want to see this film.”’
Rabbit Hole is a surprisingly uplifting, and at times immensely painful, story of a couple – Kidman’s Becca and Aaron Eckhart’s Howie – whose young son is killed in a traffic accident. It is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that Kidman fell for and her production company, Blossom, purchased the screen rights to.
Something internal – likely the grief associated with her sudden split from Tom Cruise in 2001 – propelled her towards the project. ‘I know that feeling,’ she says. ‘I know sitting in complete distress, looking around at people laughing and thinking to myself: “Will I ever laugh again?”’
This sun-drenched afternoon high above LA, she’s in a flirty, frilly shirt and jeans, skinnier and prettier than I expect. She is days away from the birth of hers and Urban’s second daughter, Faith Margaret, delivered by what she terms a ‘gestational carrier’. She got pregnant with Sunday in 2007, even though doctors told her she couldn’t have children.
‘I want more children,’ she says. ‘I love being around that life force. People ask: “Was this film really hard?” Well, it wasn’t hard to find the emotions. It was hard to keep them in, to put them back. And I cannot imagine doing this if I hadn’t had children. Something happens to you as a woman once you’ve given birth. You change on a cellular level. You change and are altered.’
Kidman is currently working on a romantic comedy called Monte Carlo, starring Glee’s Cory Monteith, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester and Justin Bieber’s girlfriend, Selena Gomez.
‘Originally we were developing that for me and Naomi [Watts, her close friend],’ she says. ‘And then the studio wanted to make it younger, so as a producer you step aside and go: “Oooookay.”’
Back at home in Nashville, Tennessee, where she visits the same coffee shop most mornings without incident, Kidman is not as au fait with pop culture as that cast list might infer. ‘I haven’t seen Gossip Girl, only snippets because of Leighton,’ she admits.
How important is having a life so far removed from her previous one as half of Tom And Nicole? ‘Totally important,’ she says. ‘That’s why I moved to Nashville. I envisioned this life and hoped it would come. Actually, if I hadn’t met Keith, I probably would have moved to somewhere like Oregon because I like being outside. I just get a lot of peace from taking a walk. If I hadn’t had that I would have gone crazy.
‘I love just going to Whole Foods. I’m a terrible cook so I get take-out stuff, heat it up and pretend I made it.’ Her culinary limit is ‘a little pasta’ she admits she wouldn’t dare serve to an Italian. ‘Keith cooked some pasta and broccoli last night, the sweet thing. He was like: “I can’t believe I can do this. I would order this in a restaurant.”’
On Kidman’s still-to-do list is: ‘Learning to roast a chicken – mine is either undercooked, which is dreadful, or overcooked and so dry; a really deep course in philosophy; I’d love to go and live in Italy for a good few months and work on my Italian; a great trip through India with my family; and, finally, I’d still really like to swim with sharks.’
Some would say Kidman has already done that – and survived.
Rabbit Hole is in cinemas from tomorrow.
"I’d like to be wise. You have to go through a lot to get there, but I’m willing to go through a lot." - Nicole Kidman