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Nicole Gets 'Bewitched'!, ET Online, May 26th 2005

The prolific NICOLE KIDMAN has mastered everything from belting out ballads in 'Moulin Rouge' to becoming VIRGINIA WOOLF for 'The Hours.' Now, the Oscar® winner has perfected ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY's famous "Bewitched" nose twitch for her role in the highly anticipated big-screen version of the beloved 1960s sitcom!

"Everyone just kept telling me I looked so much like Elizabeth Montgomery," laughs Nicole, "so that was the first thing that got me interested. And then I watched the series as a little girl -- almost every episode. It was on at 6 o'clock in Australia, and I loved it."

In the big-screen re-imagination of the fun show, in theaters June 24, Nicole plays Isabel Bigelow, a beautiful woman spotted by down-on-his-luck actor Jack Wyatt (WILL FERRELL), who's hoping to revive his career by playing Darrin Stephens in an update of the TV classic. When Jack sees Isabel, he knows she'd be perfect as his on-screen wife Samantha Stephens, TV's most lovable witch.

Unbeknownst to him, she's more perfect for the part than he thought -- Isabel is an actual witch! But she's just looking to meet a nice mortal and live a normal life. Isabel's father Nigel (played by the always-entertaining MICHAEL CAINE) isn't thrilled when he finds out about her interests in the mortal world, that is, until he meets, and becomes enamored with, Iris Smythson (SHIRLEY MacLAINE), the actress who will be playing Samantha's mother Endora in the film.

"It's funny and entertaining and pays due respect to 'Bewitched' the series and to Elizabeth Montgomery," says Nicole. "It's kind of lovely to play something that was established by somebody else and give it the respect that it deserves."

The original show, which ran from 1964 - 1972, starred Montgomery as Samantha, the witch married to an ordinary man, (played first by DICK YORK and then by DICK SARGENT) who tended to depend on her magic to solve her family's problems, which caused plenty of hilarious chaos.

What's not known to many is that the signature nose twitch was not a part of the original script. It was discovered almost by accident when WILLIAM ASHER, the show's producer -- and Elizabeth's husband -- noticed she made the motion when she was angry or annoyed, but she was unaware she was even making the gesture!

After five seasons of playing the hapless Darrin, Dick York was forced to quit due to a painful back injury. Many at the show believed it was the end of the successful series until Dick Sargent stepped in for the final run of the show.

NORA EPHRON, director of megahits like 'Sleepless in Seattle' and 'You've Got Mail,' takes the helm of the romantic comedy, and funny folks JASON SCHWARTZMAN, AMY SEDARIS and STEVE CARELL also star.

Watch ET for more on 'Bewitched'!

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