A TO BE WANT ‘I WIFE AND GOOD THAT ER – MOTH GIVING RES REQUI S UP’ THING
Nicole Kidman is in the midst of a career renaissance. She tells Grazia why 50 is the new time to flourish
SHE MIGHT BE one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars – and have just joined Instagram – but Nicole Kidman has long sought to keep her private life just that: private. She and husband, country music star Keith Urban, moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2007, where they still live with daughters Sunday Rose, 10, and Faith, seven, far removed from the LA scene.
But last week, perhaps as she was 7,000 miles away from her family in Shanghai, as part of her ambassadorial role with Omega, Nicole was in a reflective mood. ‘ The thing you really learn when you have children and a career – and particularly when you’re an older mother – is the preciousness of time; and therefore trying to balance everything and be willing to say no to
things,’ she told Grazia at the launch of the Swiss luxury house’s new Constellation watch. The actor says that principle means everything from turning down offers of theatre work (‘ The problem is you miss bedtime – and that, for me, is something I’m not willing to do’), to putting any thoughts of directing on hold (‘I want to be a good wife and I want to be a good mother, so that requires giving things up that I want sometimes’), all while enforcing firm family rules. ‘Keith and I are pretty strict with the boundaries on what we allow, in terms of work, into our home. I just got the office out of my house and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. We don’t even have a TV in our bedroom; we’re that couple. And no computers in the bed.’
Nicole insists that when she’s not working, she’s just like any other Nashville mum – albeit one with children who aren’t afraid to let their opinions be known. ‘I have two really girly girls. Part of their rules for picking them up from school is that I wear a dress,’ she laughs. ‘ That’s particularly my youngest daughter. I showed up once in my workout stuff and she was just so embarrassed.’
The anecdote has a touch of Big Little Lies about it – the cult book-turned-tv show, in which Nicole played a housewife trapped in an abusive relationship, forced to put on a brave face at the school gates. As well as starring in it (winning a Golden Globe and Emmy for her role as Celeste), Nicole also produced the series with her friend Reese Witherspoon. ‘ There’s not enough good roles and we wanted to create our own roles. So we developed it ourselves, we sold it and we produced it and out of it came this huge success. That was incredibly empowering. It was so nice to be in control of our destiny.’
Indeed, some have said the success of Big Little Lies is a sign that the Hollywood glass ceiling is beginning to shatter. So, a year on from #Metoo, does Nicole feel the industry has changed? ‘I think there’s been an extreme swing of the pendulum in terms of it becoming a part of the conversation, but has it actually instigated enormous change? ‘No, not yet,’ she says. ‘ There is still a dearth of [female directors]. There’s definitely not parity and it’s something that I hope doesn’t get lost now in the conversation.’
Her forthrightness is evidence of why Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann says he loves working with Nicole. ‘She’s a woman of substance,’ he said. And it’s that substance, and her commitment to ‘the sisterhood’, that makes Nicole pleased they managed to persuade HBO to do a second season of Big Little Lies (out next year) and sign up a female director, Andrea Arnold. ‘ We’ve brought in Meryl Streep and we’ve also given really strong storylines to Renata [Laura Dern] and Bonnie [ Zoë Kravitz].’ So how did Meryl fit in? ‘She’s so one of the girls, but also a complete professional. There’s nothing diva about Meryl; she’s there, she’s a worker, she’s completely on time and she is a joy to work with. And we play adversaries in it,’ she laughs.
Oscar buzz is building around Nicole for her role in Boy Erased, in which she plays a mother struggling with her son coming out as gay. Hollywood is calling it a ‘Kidmanaissance’. ‘It used to be that when you turned 50, as a woman, it was pretty much your career could not flourish, so to suddenly have this resurgence in my career – so many choices and so many opportunities – is a fantastic thing.’
Nicole credits her parents for raising her to be resilient enough to make it through 36 years in Hollywood – a career that has, of course, included a very public divorce from Tom Cruise. ‘I try to just go through life, you know, and move forward,’ she says. ‘I always try to feel, “OK, well, if this didn’t work out, there’s that, there’s that, there’s that…”’ And, it seems, a lot more where that came from, too. Nicole Kidman is an ambassador for Omega watches; omegawatches.com
KEITH AND I DON’T HAVE A TV IN OUR ROOM – WE’RE THAT COUPLE
From left to right: Nicole in Shanghai wearing one of the new Omega Constellation watches; at the 2018 SAG awards; with husband Keith; working alongside Meryl in season two of Big Little Lies