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The stars are bathed in warmth at 'Birth',, October 27th 2004

Nicole Kidman's new movie, Birth, has given life to a good deal of controversy, but the star was all smiles at the film's premiere Tuesday night.

The good cheer was kicked off by fans who somehow infiltrated the lobby of the theater and yelled out "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, hey, hey, hey!" as their countrywoman walked in. "Nicole, you're beautiful!" one fan screamed.

"I feel like I'm 5," giggled Kidman, radiant in her frothy black Lanvin frock.

She's much more muted in the film, which opens Friday. It stars her as a grieving widow whose dead husband might have been reincarnated in the form of a boy.

And on the red carpet, there was plenty of talk about a comment made by her movie mom Lauren Bacall, 80, at the Venice Film Festival in September, when she told a reporter that co-star Kidman, 37, isn't a legend yet.

The no-nonsense Bacall said Tuesday that she is so over the brouhaha.

"I think legends are dead. Legends are in the past," Bacall said. "I don't consider myself in the past. And I don't want to talk about that anymore. It's a dead issue."

And guess what? Bacall said she and Kidman, who worked together in the minimalist drama Dogville, are close. "We're friends. We have mutual respect for one another," Bacall said. "She calls me her New York mother."

Bacall's "New York daughter" Kidman, meanwhile, fielded questions about that bath scene she shares with her 11-year-old co-star, Cameron Bright. Kidman isn't bothered by talk about being in a tub with a child "because it wasn't really an intimate scene," she said. "I believe that the boy is a man, and at no point do I ever think that he's a genuine boy.

"I grapple with the idea, and I hope that it's true, that my dead husband has come back."

Plus, a little notoriety never hurt a film, said Danny Huston, who plays Kidman's fiancé: "There's nothing wrong with controversy and scandal, because it creates buzz and people go see the picture. So I'm all in favor."

Young Bright isn't stressed about all the commotion, either. "I don't really care," he said. "I can't wait to see the look on people's faces because nothing really happens."

Kidman, the real-life mother of two, has plenty happening on the professional front. "I'm shooting Bewitched," she said. And once she's done, "I'll probably spend some time with my kids after I finish wiggling my nose."

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