Nicole Kidman: “I was not able to face the reality of my life”

March 23, 2003: Nicole Kidman is at the height of her career, she has just won the Oscar for best actress for The Hours, a film by Stephen Daldry in which the Australian plays the writer Virginia Woolf.

However, in the living room of the Beverly Hills Hotel where the after party of the ceremony is held, the consecrated star feels like a wave in the soul. Resplendent, rewarded, adored, Nicole has everything to be happy and yet… “I was sitting with this golden statuette in my hand. It was extraordinary and I felt more alone than ever. To be really honest, I was running away from my life at that moment. I was not able to cope to the reality of my life”will later analyze the actress in the columns of The Telegraph in October 2015. In this same interview, Nicole Kidman will explain the reason for this malaise, it can be summed up in one name: Tom Cruise. Her divorce from the actor occurred in 2001, she still has not cashed in, and it is certainly not this golden statuette that will manage to annihilate her pain.

However, behind the appearance of the fragile star with a porcelain complexion, a woman with a strong character remains lurking in the shadows. And this woman will soon find the light. Daughter of a biologist, psychologist and writer and a teacher in a resolutely feminist and Catholic nursing school, Nicole Mary Kidman was born in Honolulu (Hawaii) where her father teaches. The family then returns to Australia, to Lane Cove in New South Wales, where Nicole and her sister Antonia, who will become a journalist, will grow up. At 10, Nicole discovers her vocation by playing the wicked fairy of the Wizard of Oz at school. Two years later, she takes dance lessons, convinced that this discipline will be her future. Incidentally, Nicole frequents the cinemas of Sydney and is passionate about the seventh art by dreaming of being the new Katharine Hepburn.

A mother, two families

Tall (1.80 m), redhead, Nicole also looks like “Miss Kate”. She is however very shy as she confessed to Audience in November 2020: “When I was younger, I looked at my shoes whenever a guy showed any interest in me. Even today, when a man watches me – my husband included – I blush!”

After acting classes in Melbourne, then in Sydney, she played in the early 80s in the series Five Mile Creek. She then met George Miller, the director of madmaxwho hires him for Vietnam, a war series he produces. With Miller’s help, she landed the lead role of white calm, a maritime thriller that Orson Welles had once tried to direct with Jeanne Moreau. Filming in the open sea is an ordeal. Nicole Kidman had to suffer the pangs of hostile elements: hurricane, mosquitoes, technical problems, production manager burnout… But it was a box office triumph.

Hollywood reaches out to him. Tom Cruise also liked the film and especially this slender, red-haired actress he fell in love with. Immediately, the influential actor convinced the producers to thunder days, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, to call her for a casting. “I remember that I was walking and that I was very nervous”, says Nicole Kidman in the columns of People Magazine in November 2016. “I then saw Tom Cruise driving a Porsche, I believe. He got out of the car and drove past me.” As an absolute fangirl, Nicole is stuck. “It took my breath away.” She was not at the end of her surprises… Cruise and Kidman married on December 24, 1990 in a chalet in Colorado and everyone expected the announcement of a happy event in stride. Nicole does become pregnant shortly after their union, but loses the baby to an ectopic pregnancy. The verdict is terrible: her chances of giving birth to a child are almost nil. Cruise and Kidman blame the blow and then opt for the adoption of Isabella, born in 1992, and Connor, born in 1995. They will play for ten years the most glamorous couple of the 90s.

Her couple with Tom Cruise will make the headlines of the press during the 90s. Between them, it’s a real alchemy marked by this touch of modernity at the time: Nicole is ten centimeters taller than her husband. After a miscarriage in 1990, Tom and Nicole adopt Isabella and Connor, now aged 29 and 27, but the Church of Scientology keeps watch. After a second miscarriage in 2000, Tom and Nicole divorced. Nicole will see very little of her first two children who were raised by the Church of Scientology and therefore consider their mother to be a “suppressive” person since she is Catholic. In 2005, she finds love again with singer Keith Urban who will do a rehab for her. They have two daughters: Sunday, 13, and Faith, 11, born to a surrogate mother. In the columns of Vanity Fair in December 2013, she declared that Keith Urban is “the man of her life”. Tom, if you’re reading us…

“Separating myself from Tom Cruise was the best thing that could have happened to me”

However, behind the scenes their love is gradually being lost. In question: Scientology and Tom Cruise. A devout Catholic, Nicole does not want Isabella and Connor to be brought up according to the precepts of the sect which has acquired official religious status in the United States. In 2015, Marty Rathbun, a former Scientologist, stated in the documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, having been commissioned by Scientology to facilitate the separation between the two actors. Catholic and daughter of a psychologist, Nicole Kidman is described by the religious organization as a “potential source of trouble”. However, Nicole Kidman succeeds in persuading her husband to move away from the sect during the filming of Eyes Wide Shut. Scientology counterattacks by hiring a private detective to follow her. His phone is tapped. And Tom Cruise ends up filing for divorce. Stunned, Nicole will then make a headlong rush, devoting herself headlong to acting.

In the 2000s, she did not stop filming, chained successes, became the greatest actress of the moment, adored by the public, admired by critics, respected by her peers who praised her professionalism. On the heart side, apart from ephemeral relations with Lenny Kravitz or a businessman, more than ten years after Calme blanc, it is rather dead calm. And then miraculously, Nicole Kidman, ready to love again, met her compatriot Keith Urban in 2005, a folk and country musician. The couple married on June 25, 2006 in Sydney and (re) miraculously, Nicole gave birth to a baby girl two years later in Nashville (Tennessee). More than fifteen years have passed and Keith and Nicole seem more in love than ever. The Tom Cruise years seem very far away.“Separating myself from Tom Cruise was the best thing that could have happened to us. It allowed both Tom and me to experience another love story on our own.” (, December 2018). We will not know more, as the 54-year-old actress, who played Princess Grace of Monaco in 2014, has apparently adopted the adage of the Queen of England: “Never complain, never explain”.

Her BFF: Naomi Watts

It was in Sydney that Nicole Kidman met her best friend, Naomi Watts, in the late 1980s, when the two were casting for a bikini ad campaign. Since then, between the two blondes, it’s life and death. When “Nic” has to decline the beautiful leading role of Veil of Illusions, by John Curran, she entrusts it to her girlfriend. It is also with Naomi that Nicole will take refuge after the divorce from Cruise. Nicole and Naomi? Star sisters… Much has been said about Nicole Kidman’s physical evolution, from red-haired post-teen to seemingly cold blonde star. We also talked about cosmetic surgery. Regarding this subject, she declared in 2021 to People Magazine : “I tried Botox, but I stopped because I didn’t like my face anymore”. Some have expressed doubts, but deep down, isn’t that the raison d’être of an actress: to transform or to reincarnate?

Big brands, big business

Highest paid actress of the 2000s, she multiplies in parallel the big contracts: N ° 5 of Chanel (2004) – 12 million dollars of fee for the advertising directed by Baz Luhrmann -, Omega (2005), Nintendo (2007), Schweppes (2009)… Karl Lagarfeld would say of her: “Nicole? She’s perfect!” What did you expect? To shoot certain commercials, the actress could receive up to 5 million euros. In the end, 10 to 12 days of work or representation.

His career


A bizarre maritime thriller from Phillip Noyce starring Billy Zane. Nicole earns her ticket to Hollywood.


After two blockbusters with Tom Cruise, she embodies in this indie film by Gus Van Sant a Miss weatherwoman with an ambition as devouring as it is destructive. His talent is recognized.


Legendary film by Stanley Kubrick which always arouses debate. She continues to excel in the roles of ambiguous women with murky motivations.


In front of the camera of her compatriot Baz Luhrmann, Nicole is at the top of the glamor in this colorful musical.


She tries her hand at the fantasy genre under the direction of Alejandro Amenábar. Good pick: the film is successful and will be a hit.


Filmmaker Stéphane Daldry puts on a fake nose to embody Virginia Woolf in this biopic. Her performance earned her the Best Actress Oscar.


She interferes in the universe of Lars von Trier in this intimate drama which will cause a sensation in Cannes. The public does not follow.

2004: BIRTH

A film by Jonathan Glazer, in which she plays a woman who meets a child claiming to be the reincarnation of her late husband. Reality or illusion? Another failure, variety dubs Nicole “the poison of the box office”. Bad pass.


She plays a nymphomaniac in love with a serial killer in this bitter thriller by Lee Daniels. Big sensation in Cannes and success on arrival.


She becomes a television icon with this series which has two seasons. She also collaborates with Amazon on the feature film Being The Ricardos (2021) and with Apple TV for the series Roar (2022).


A rather violent Vikings film directed by the young filmmaker Robert Eggers. Nicole embodies a Scandinavian queen. And it suits him well.

See also: Video: Happy Birthday Nicole Kidman: her physical evolution!

Renaud Leclercq

We wish to thank the writer of this short article for this remarkable material

Nicole Kidman: “I was not able to face the reality of my life”

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