Kidman on Globes red carpet walk, family life, and playing Princess GraceBy Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LOS ANGELES—“We will probably never have again that experience in our lives where we got to walk the red carpet together as nominees,” Nicole Kidman said in our recent interview about that special night out with her husband, singer-composer Keith Urban, at the last Golden Globes. “It was so emotional and so important to us.”
Both lost in their categories (Nicole was up for best supporting actress in film and best actress in a TV miniseries or movie; Keith for best original song) but the gracious couple took their loss in stride. They were seen being very sweet and affectionate during one of the after-parties.
Nicole said “Keith flies in and out,” adding that she does the same—for their respective work—but they make it a point to “have a certain amount of time that we’re not separated from each other.” And from their two daughters, Sunday Rose, 4, and Faith Margaret, 2.
New film in London
She elaborated: “I’m starting a film in London (‘Before I Go to Sleep’) for seven weeks and then I’m done for a while. Then Keith goes on tour. We all go on the tour bus with him which is a whole different thing (laughs). But that’s actually very relaxing for me because that’s when I can actually write (more about this later). There’s something about traveling around that doesn’t sound exciting but it actually is. Because I am not performing. It’s Keith who’s doing the show every night. His tour starts in August. As a family, we call it a road trip—an extended road trip (laughs).”
The actress pointed out: “Luckily, last year I took on Grace Kelly and I didn’t work for the first half of the year (she was referring to her film, ‘Grace of Monaco’). I did ‘The Paperboy’ and ‘Stoker’ the year before.”
Nicole beamed with pride when she talked about her two girls with Keith, who is a new judge on “American Idol.” “They are their own little entities,” she said. “Sunday looks like Keith. Everyone says Faith looks like me. But in terms of personalities, the one thing they do have is music in their blood. They both have a very strong musical sense, which is already apparent. That is amazing to me. I encourage that very much because I’d love to have a little Urban band.”
Sunny and Faith are being raised by Nicole in the same way she was brought up by her mother, Janelle Ann Kidman. Nicole recalled: “My mom made us believe that even as young girls, we could do anything. She was also a big believer in not letting anybody break your spirit, and not bowing down and conforming. I hope to give my children that same kind of strength. There’s a lot of peer pressure these days. A lot of young girls feel the need to conform to what society expects of them. It’s nice to not do that. You have to be willful and spirited. I would prefer that to a very subservient child.”
For now, Nicole can bring Sunny and Faith to her sets. She relished having them around as she shot “Grace of Monaco” in the south of France. “My little girls are not in school yet so they were able to come to France. I was able to put one of them in a little French school. The great thing was how the production set it up so I could bring them. I had a little room for them. Because of their ages, they’re very excited to be around, just hanging out with mom. Probably in five or 10 years, they’ll be like, ‘No way!’ (laughs). But now, they are still excited.”
The glamorous mom smiled as she recounted, “When I said to Sunny, ‘Are you coming to the set?’ She was like, ‘Yeah!’ She packed up all her stuff and we rode in the car together. I had a bed there for them to have a nap in. So it was a very good situation.”
She fell in love with the Mediterranean location. Nicole said, “I would like to buy a house there in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat but my husband was like, ‘No.’ But I loved spending time there. I will certainly go back and holiday there again. The beauty for us as actors and musicians is that we get to be the gypsies of the world in a way.”
And in the horror-drama “Stoker,” which also stars Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, Nicole’s director came all the way from Korea—
Park Chan-wook. The Seoul-born filmmaker’s credits include the Cannes Film Festival winners “Oldboy” and “Thirst.”
“As an actor, it’s just magnificent to work with different directors, stories and characters,” the Aussie actress said. “Park is incredibly skilled as a filmmaker. He’s very educated and knows exactly what he wants. That’s really apparent in this film. He chooses the color of your hair, what you’re wearing, jewelry, everything. He chooses it all. He’s intense and precise but he’s soft spoken. I know that he is revered and loved in Korea.”
While Park does not speak English, it wasn’t a problem according to Nicole. “Strangely enough, it wasn’t that hard,” she claimed. “When I did ‘The Others’ with a Spanish director, Alejandro Amenabar, he didn’t speak that much English. He speaks a lot more English now. I am used to working with directors whose first language is not English. Park doesn’t speak English but he has a fantastic translator.”
In “Grace…,” Nicole has a French filmmaker, Olivier Dahan, who directed Marion Cotillard in the acclaimed “La Vie En Rose.”
On playing Princess Grace, Nicole admitted, “It was daunting, taking that on because she’s such an icon. But at the same time, she was a real person. Much of the film is about demystifying her, showing her as a human being under all of that. As I researched her more and more, I loved her more and more because she was a very good person.”
Herself a red carpet trendsetter, the actress gushed: “Playing Grace brought back my love of fashion because the clothes in the film were just gorgeous. Grace’s style, elegance, grace and the exquisite craftsmanship of her clothes, and the way she presented herself, were inspiring. It made me stop wearing jeans and T-shirts. I also got to work again with the House of Dior. And Cartier did the jewelry.”
She writes, too
Nicole revealed another side of her: She writes. “I’m working on adapting something right now and I don’t know whether that will come to fruition,” she shared. “Strangely enough, ‘Stoker’ was written by Wentworth Miller, the actor. I am caught up raising my children and also trying to do some performances amidst all of that. So there’s no chance of me finishing writing in the next couple of years. But maybe in the next decade, if I’m still around, I would be able to write something and have somebody direct it. I don’t think I’d want to direct if I wrote the script. Then I’d be too exposed (laughs).”
(E-mail the columnist at email@example.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)
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