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Marie Claire, February 2004

Nicole Kidman: "10 truths About Me"

She's attracted to danger, haunts cemeteries, and roots for the bad girls. Nicole Kidman; Hollywoods brightest star, reveals her dark side.

1. I was born in Hawaii
"Most people are surprised when I say this. My father was working in Honolulu as a biochemist when I was born, and I spent the first few years of my life there. I even have dual citizenship [American and Australian] because of it, and so do my kids. When we moved to Australia and I told the kids at school that i was born in Hawaii, no one believed me. They'd say, 'you don't look Hawaiian!' so they made fun of me for that. That and the fact that I'd never eaten Vegemite.

2. I'm always cold.
"This has nothing to do with being born in Hawaii or having lived in Australia. I just prefer the heat because I always have a chill. Even though I'm fair-skined, I prefer the heat and sunlight. Still cold hands, warm heart!"

3. I'm an incurable romantic.
"I knew this from a very early age, based on the way I used to get lost in novels- Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights. My mother said to me recently, "You were never drawn to the good girls [in books and movies], always the dark girls, the bad ones"- and I still am. when Ii watched The Wizard of Oz,Ii neve rwanted to be Dorothy. The bad girls have much more intensity. But I suppose that's the part of me that wants to be an actress- I'm acting out that romantic side"

4. I love graveyards.
"My mother used to take me to the cemetery to vist my grandmother, and my mom and I would pick freesias together. I fell in love with graveyards then. They trigger your imagination. You look around and read the inscriptions and all the wonderful stories. You see all those names, dates, words- 'beloved mother,' 'beloved grandmother,' 'beloved husband'- and sometimes you even see two people buried next to each other, a husband and wife. I love seeing that - two people sharing a small sentence on a stone. and Ii used to think to myself, who would I like to be buried next to? I still love to walk through graveyards, and I even know where I want to be buried: Waverly Cemetery in Sydney, looking out over the ocean. "And, no, I have never made love in a cemetery. That would be too macabre. Though I have kissed in one!"

5. Sharks fascinate me
"As a child in Sydeny, we 'd be swimming in the ocean and then the bell would ring, meaning that a shark was spotted, and you'd have to run out of the water. And we'd all scream "Shark! Shark! Shark!' I'm not a daredevil or a thrill-seeker, I just love their peacefulness and their elegance. And when you scuba drive, you can feel their presence before you can even see them. I've done a lot of scuba diving with sharks, but never a great white--though i'd love to go down in a cage near one."

6. I always wanted to be an astronaut
"I often envision myself in space, weightless, when I want to relax. Ever since I first stared up at the stars, lying on my back in Australia, I've wanted to travel into space. I suppose it's about not wanting to be earthbound. But I don't know about paying exorbitant amounts of money to be one of those who goes into space that way. It's less romantic and slightly more distasteful."

7. I have a secret language with my sister.
"It began very early on because we were like two little peas in a pod-there were only the two of us in the family. We were very attached--and still are. And we'd speak our language in front of people--it was our own little bubble, how we could keep secrets. Then when we became teenagers, of course, that was when we'd do it in front of boys. So we'd be out at dinner and have our own conversations-and it used to sort of freak them out. I think it kind of turned them on, too! "I haven't taught the language to my kids, but my mother has cracked the code. Obviously she raised us-so she's on to it. But she's on to everything!"

8. I (mostly) do what my mother says.
"My mom knows she holds alot of power, and at times she's willing to relinquish it, but I think at other times she likes to hold on it. She's got an incredible sense of morality and a sense of grace, which I admire. But at the same time, sometimes, I'd like to be a little wilder, and so I have to battle within. I try to rebel, but then I always come back and do what she says--except when she told me, ' Don't be an actress!' Maybe it would have been better to be a director. You still get to be creative, you still get to tell stories, but you don't have as much focous on you. She also said. "don't get on the back of a motorbike,' and I still did that! Naughty! "And what my mother has created for her life, I have not actually fulfilled: She has been married 40 years, raised her children in one neighbor-hood, and there is a simplicity to her life I find quite beautiful-and it may just be because the grass is greener. But I hope that I give my children a set of values; even if they deviate from them a small amount of time, they will certainly consider and regard them within their heads, before they make decisions. That's all you can hope for as a parent: that when your children are out in a position of choice, they know what you would choose."

9. I'm a true-blue lefty.
'I'm so left-handed. some people can draw or pitch with their right hand, but not me. I also hold my pen very strangely. It took me a long time before I figured out why everyone's ink didn't smudge when they write, and I don't have great penmanship. But I think something like 2 percent of the women in the world ae lefties, so that always made me feel special."

10.I would wait a lifetime for the right man rather than settle.
"I felt that that was it [with Tom], and if I believed there was only one person for me, I'd be in a very bad position right now. I think it's just whether or not you find that person-because I think there's probably a whole bunch of them-and it's a question of whether your paths cross at the time when they should. Because a lot of it is timing. That's something you have to give over to; you can't control it. You can tell yourself, Id rather have somebody then nobody, or, Oh well, they'll make a good companion or be someone to grow old with, but I'd rather be alone than in something that I felt compromised in. I want to be able to give everything. And I think that all goes back to the gravestone, when you see those two names together , where they're buried together, and I suppose that all links up to the incurable romantic: who's the person who will be sharing that with you? And I hope there's someone."
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