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Eyes wide open: She's not a housewife, but ‘Stepford Wives' star Nicole Kidman yearns for her own kind of domestic bliss -, June 8th 2004

Her character in 'The Stepford Wives' bakes everything from scratch and loves to fluff and fold, but actress Nicole Kidman doesn't see herself as much of a homemaker.

"Domestically, what am I good at?" she said in a recent interview. "I like cooking. It actually relaxes me. I don't see it as work.

"Otherwise, forget it. I can't sew. I'm a very poor knitter. Actually, I can wrap Christmas presents really well."

Kidman and co-stars Bette Midler, Glenn Close and Faith Hill met with reporters last week to promote the movie, which opens Friday. A comic reworking of the 1975 horror hit, based on a book by 'Rosemary's Baby' author Ira Levin, Kidman stars as Joanna Kresby, a high-powered TV executive who intimidates her husband (Matthew Broderick), is consumed by her career and has a knack for being right. After losing her job, the couple move with their two children to the strangely perfect Connecticut suburb of Stepford.

There, Joanna discovers Stepford's husbands have achieved domestic bliss by turning their wives into sexy robot homemakers.

It's a satire, Kidman insists, that proves perfection can't bring happiness. "I'm nowhere near perfect, and I'm not ever trying to be," she said. "Actually, the thing that I find most attractive in people are their flaws and their imperfections."

Now famously divorced from Tom Cruise, Kidman has subsequently been linked with every man she so much as has dinner with.

She is also at a career peak. After winning the 2003 Best Actress Oscar for playing author Virginia Woolf in 'The Hours,' she's one of Hollywood's most in-demand stars. She's currently filming 'The Interpreter,' a thriller with Sean Penn, in New York. Next, she's set to play Samantha opposite Will Ferrell in the big-screen version of 'Bewitched,' and will sing and dance as Ulla, the Swedish sexpot, in the new film version of 'The Producers' with Broderick and Nathan Lane.

Does she see her success as intimidating to potential dates?

"I don't see myself as terribly powerful or successful," she answered. "(I'm) just absolutely loving what I do. . . . I suppose that what I grapple with is that I still haven't learned how to balance things. When you're passionate about what you do, how are you then passionate about someone in your life?"

That's why Kidman, who adopted two children with Cruise, has recently hinted she may walk off the red carpet for a life of domesticity. Asked to clarify her thoughts about career vs. homelife, she said, "I suppose what I'm implying is that at some stage I would love to have another child. I would love to settle into a relationship that's really important to me and I actually am not good at the balance at that.. . . I don't see the two combining. I think that's a big problem in our society."

Still, Kidman is enjoying her adventures in parenting. She laughs when she talks about the travails of having a 12-year-old daughter, but she's dead serious about discipline, watchfulness and taking time.

"You work really hard at it," she said. "And you find out that they went to someone's house and watched a DVD and you call up the mother and say, ‘Hey, that was R-rated.' I mean, you're constantly all over them. And it's hard to get information out of a 12-year-old. Whew!" she laughed. "It's like being a sleuth."

Does she let her kids watch her own films, especially the sexually provocative 'Billy Bathgate' or 'Eyes Wide Shut,' in which she makes love to Cruise?

"Oh, yeah," she said. "They don't see (them). I had a terrible situation where I had this American Cinematheque tribute and they were desperate to come. My son hadn't been allowed - I thought that he was too young - to come to the Oscars (which I now regret), but I took them to this thing and then they showed clips from ‘Eyes Wide Shut,' " Kidman said, miming horror and panic. "I was like, ‘Get under the table!'. . . So you work hard and you fail and you succeed. But that's parenting, isn't it?"

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