Wednesday, June 18, 2008

VOGUE: Nicole Kidman & Australia

In an interview with Vogue's John Powers, Nicole Kidman talks about her return home for the filming of Baz Luhrmann's highly anticipated epic, Australia, and the other role she's about to play - Mummy! Here are a few excerpts from the interview and some gorgeous photos that accompany the story taken by photographer extraordinaire Annie Liebovtiz.

Excepts taken from Vogue Magazine's Feature Story - source:

The last time we met, the topic of babies never came up. I'd flown down to the set of Australia, a big, old-fashioned epic, about the soul of the land Down Under in the days leading up to World War II, that's a bit like an Aussie Gone With the Wind. Kidman stars as Lady Sarah Ashley, a refined Englishwoman who comes all the way to the outback to look for her missing husband at their homestead in the Northern Territory. She winds up getting involved with a tough local cattle drover, played by Hugh Jackman, whose closeness to the Aboriginal people has made him something of an outcast.

"Oh, John," she whispers, "it's so lovely of you to have come all this way to see us. I'm not quite myself this morning. I was up all night with a bladder infection."I am shocked. Not by the medical update, mind you—Kidman can be surprisingly free with unexpected intimacies—but by her breathy, British accent. Has she gone Madonna on me since we last met? It is only later, as I watch her and Jackman do a scene together, that I realize the truth. She isn't being grandiose. She is simply burrowing her way into the character of Lady Sarah, a character so airily aristocratic that Luhrmann has begun calling his star "Baroness."

Kidman and Luhrmann share a different kind of affinity—she's at once his Muse and his Galatea—and her faith in him is absolute."Nicole came over to my house for a Super Bowl party in 2006," Jackman tells me, "and she knew I was talking to Baz about doing the movie. She said, 'You must do it, you must do it.' And I asked, 'Have you read the script?' And she said, 'No, it's Baz. I don't need the script.' " He laughs. "You know, there aren't a lot of A-list actresses who'll sign on sight unseen."

Throughout the production, Kidman and Urban had made a point of seeing each other every few days. "We just gently, gently sort of fell into each other," she says. "We were just two lonely people who went, 'Ah, there you are.' " They married a year and a half later in the suburb of Manly, on Sydney's northern beaches. These days, she and Urban are never apart for more than five days at a time. "I'm so committed to this relationship, and so is he," she says. "I don't have addiction problems, but love is a very powerful force in my life. It's my fatal flaw and my virtue."

And now there's the baby. Pregnancy hasn't diminished Kidman's flamboyant love of a good time—she recently tossed a party at her pal Naomi Watts's house and made a grand entrance carrying an enormous python. Nor has it made her any less mercurial: A couple of days after she tells me that she can't imagine thinking about future film projects, I read that she's developing a biopic of the great, ill-starred British singer Dusty Springfield, written by The Hours's Michael Cunningham.

"Would you like to touch it?" asks Nicole Kidman. I lower my hand onto the rounded curve of her stomach. It's as firm to the touch as a melon. "I just felt some kicking," she says, giving me the look of unbridled delight you might expect from a 40-year-old woman who's soon to bear her first child."The whole experience is so primal," she says.Our surroundings, most assuredly, are not. We're at the top-floor bar of the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan's Battery Park and enjoying the healthiest of refreshments, bottled water and a lavish fruit plate from which Kidman—a devotee of red meat—takes everything but the strawberries (she's allergic). It's a clear spring day, and down below us is the harbor that Kidman's husband, country-music star Keith Urban, says looks a bit like her native Sydney.Casually dressed in a tight black pullover and jeans—punctuated by the trademark red soles of her black Louboutin heels—Kidman remains strikingly thin for a woman seven months pregnant. So thin, in fact, that I've heard people say they don't believe she's actually with child. When I mention this, she gives the laugh of one who's learned not to be fazed by all the silly things people think."Just look at how I'm sitting here with my legs apart"—her knees splay out at a 45-degree angle. "This is the way you have to sit when you're pregnant."

"Nicole is a thoroughbred," says her dear friend Baz Luhrmann, who directed her in his upcoming film Australia. "She is highly strung, highly volatile, highly everything."Her mercurial moods lie close to the surface. She's eager to laugh, unafraid to cry, easy to take offense—she's attuned to the hidden fishhook in every remark. When I casually mention that she's starred in lots of movies in recent years, her mouth tightens: Am I implying that she's too ambitious? Well, no. Once she grasps that I'm actually praising her Old Hollywood work ethic, she instantly brightens and, with her most radiant smile—she carefully offers gradations—welcomes me back into her good graces. This is not a woman who shies away from intensity. These days she's most at ease talking about her children. Kidman already is a mother, of course, and she takes care to sing the praises of her adopted daughter, Isabella, fifteen, and son, Connor, thirteen. But carrying a child is clearly something new and overwhelming."When I first saw the baby on the ultrasound, I started crying. I didn't think I'd get to experience that in my lifetime," she says. "I like the unpredictable nature of it. To feel life growing with you is something very, very special, and I'm going to embrace that completely.

"My sister has had four kids, and she says that when you're pregnant you draw people to you who are genuinely happy. She's right. It taps into that thing in human nature that is universal and collective and beautiful."Indeed, the whole experience of her pregnancy has filled her with a profound new appreciation of just how rich and mysterious the world actually is:"You can fight life," she says. "You can wriggle and squirm and say, 'This isn't right.' But I'm glad I've learned to let things flow. I'm now so much more capable of receiving love and giving it in a far different way. So to be given the blessing of a child at this stage of my life…you just say, 'Wow, this was meant to be.' "

The complete story appears in the July 2008 issue of Vogue.


  1. When Liebovitz does it, she does it right. Nicole looks beautiful, but the backgrounds in those photos are breathtaking.

  2. Yeah, love Annie's photos! I have a feeling some of the backgrounds are set design, though, and not actual Australian landscaping - still Nic looks amazing!


Please let us know your thoughts. xo

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin