I Don't Care If You Are Nicole Kidman, Lets See Some ID, The Daily Record, April 12th 2005
NICOLE Kidman has one of the most recognisable - and beautiful - faces in movies but even she had to produce photo ID to get on to her latest film setThe 38-year-old Aussie faced the stringent daily security measures because of the unique location of The Interpreter - the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Guards there made no exception to their meticulous process of checking out everyone who passes into the building, not even if that person was Nicole or her co-star and fellow Academy Award winner Sean Penn.
She said: 'It never changed over the three months that we filmed at the United Nations.
'There was no cutting corners. It would take five or 10 minutes just to get through the gate and no matter how many times they saw you that day they'd check your identification.'
But, in typically non-diva fashion, Nicole doesn't complain.
She was well aware The Interpreter was making film history as the first movie ever to be allowed to be shot inside the famous location.
And access to the top-security site was vital as most of the film's drama unfolds in the UN headquarters.
In the film, Nicole's interpreter character of the title accidentally overhears a plot to assassinate an African leader when he addresses the General Assembly.
The movie is the latest in her hectic schedule of recent years - which includes her Oscar-winning role in The Hours, the musical sensation Moulin Rouge, American Civil War epic Cold Mountain and sci-fi remake The Stepford Wives.
Nicole will also be seen soon as nose-twitching, modern-day witch Samantha in the big-screen version of hit Sixties TV comedy Bewitched.
However, the star was revelling in a welcome break from the cameras when we meet in Los Angeles.
She beamed: 'I've just had four months off and everyone says I look better for it.
'I've been in Sydney and just kicking back ... that's Australian for relaxing.
'I'm one of those people who, when I work, I work really hard but then I can easily shift into getting used to not doing a lot.
'So I've just had a lovely time where I've been able to relax on a deep level.'
Mention of Down Under triggers a pang of homesickness and the star reveals that she's already missing her beloved family.
She said: 'I have a sister, Antonia, who is almost like my twin and we are incredibly close.
'There were only the two of us growing up and we went through a lot together.
'I've just left Australia and I'm pining for her now.'
The actress also reveals the likeness with her brunette sister was even more striking when she donned a dark wig for her role in The Stepford Wives.
She said: 'Everyone kept telling me I look like my sister, which I like because I think she's really, really cute. I've always wanted to look like her.
'If you see us together, my sister and I speak the same and have the same mannerisms. She's the same height and everything.'
Fuelled with this information, the image of pairing the Kidman girls for a big-screen production is almost too tantalising.
However, the chances are non-existent. Antonia presents her own TV show in Australia and is not interested in being an actress.
Nicole said: 'She learned that very early on, and she went, 'No way...it's not for me'.'
The star regularly credits her family - Antonia and her parents - as the rock on which her success has been built.
She said: 'I have a very strong family support, I'm very fortunate. My father and mother are still married after 45 years and are pretty together people.
'So I would say that without that group of people I would not be here at all.'
Nicole now has her own family - Isabella Jane, 12, and nine-year-old Conor Antony - whom she adopted during her 10-year marriage to Hollywood big-gun Tom Cruise.
She has put up with constant speculation about the men in her life since she and Cruise divorced in 2001.
Most recently, she's denied rumours she was dating millionaire Steve Bing - the father of Elizabeth Hurley's son Damien - insisting they are only friends. HOWEVER, the star does admit that she would like an addition to her young family. Conceding a rare intrusion into her private life, she smiled as said: 'I made a big mistake once when I said I'd like to have a baby. But yeah, I'd love to have another child.'
Nicole works hard to protect her children from the glare of publicity.
She said: 'I never take them to premieres and they've never been photographed for magazines. I'm absolutely a maniac about that.
'The only photos of them that have ever been printed are paparazzi shots caught using long lenses.
'Even then, I always beg, 'Please, please don't.' It jeopardises the kids.'
Nicole is even cautious when asked about what the kids see as her qualities as a mother. She said: 'I hope when they are older you'll ask them and they'll answer that themselves.
'But I would hope they'd say I'm compassionate and that they always know someone is on their side, no matter what.'
Despite dodging intrusive lenses, Nicole is adamant her youngsters cope with having a famous mum and dad.
She said: 'They are very strong little people. Tom and I are very protective of their identities and not having them exposed to everything that we are involved in.
'I think that is paying off in terms of them being able to form themselves on their own.'
Although she's clearly a family girl, Nicole has yet to make her roots in any one part of the world.
She admitted: 'I'm a gypsy, I have a home in Sydney but I love being an actor who works around the world.
'At this stage I don't live anywhere, which disturbs people when you say that.
'My kids are American so I spend an enormous amount of time in the US.
'But I am Australian and fascinated by the world, so I do a lot of travelling.'
The Antipodean craving for discovery helped when it came to researching her role in The Interpreter, for which Nicole spent time with UN language experts.
Her biggest find, she claims, was how many play musical instruments.
She explained: 'A lot of the time if you have an aptitude for languages then you usually have a musical aptitude.' So the musical discovery was incorporated into her movie character.
She revealed: 'At first I was to play the cello, but how could I get a cello on the back of the Vespa my character rides? So we used the flute instead.'
Even more exciting, Nicole's interpreter has a special knowledge of an African dialect called Ku - which was completely invented for the thriller.
Even now, Nicole insists is is tough to look at ease when you are talking in a language which doesn't exist.
She said: 'A number of other actors had to speak it too, so you couldn't just show up and speak gibberish. It had to have a consistency of sound.
'It was much harder than learning French or Spanish for the film.
'When you are only learning sounds it is much more difficult to memorise something that has no reference.
'I couldn't speak a word of Ku now. It's like when you studied for your exams and as soon as they were over you couldn't remember a thing.'
Despite her modest claims, in reality the smart actress has not let her schoolgirl lessons slip - even those in a dead language.
She admitted: 'I learned Latin for six years. My mum insisted because it's the basis of many languages.
'It means I can read things when I'm in Rome
- The Interpreter is released on April 15
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