NOT KIDDING AROUND
Fairlady|February 2020
At 52, Nicole Kidman is delivering some of her best performances yet. Her award-winning turn as domestic abuse survivor Celeste in Big Little Lies aptly coincided with the #MeToo movement, putting her at the forefront of the crusade for women in Hollywood – and beyond.
ASHLEIGH ROMAN
Nicole Kidman was first encouraged to hone her craft by New Zealand director Jane Campion, back when she was just a teen. ‘[She] was the first great mind to take an interest in me,’ says Nicole. ‘She pulled me off a stage in a local theatre where I was doing Sweet Bird of Youth, playing the princess at 14 – ridiculous!’ It was this formative experience of women supporting women that she now reflects on, at a time when women in the film industry are rising up and speaking out against the once covered-up scourge of sexual harassment and abuse.

Nicole has since become one of the most highly sought-after actors in cinema, having made a name for herself as versatile, passionate and professional with roles such as Alice Harford in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) the courtesan Satine in 2001’s Moulin Rouge! and her Academy Award-winning performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002).

And she doesn’t see any reason to start slowing down; stagnating is not an option either. ‘There isn’t a shelf life like there used to be,’ she says. ‘That’s why it’s so important to keep changing. We live longer now, if we’re fortunate. So there has to be a place to put all that creative energy.’

After 36 years on the big screen, Nicole took on her first TV role in 2017, playing Celeste in the critically acclaimed Big Little Lies. She and co-star Reese Witherspoon brought the show to life when they signed on as producers under their respective production companies: Blossom Films and Hello Sunshine.

Initially pitched as a movie, it was eventually developed into a limited series, with the pair in lead roles. ‘That’s pretty much what Big Little Lies was,’ says Nicole. ‘It was building opportunities for ourselves and our friends.’

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