Who is Nicole Kidman?
With a long list of awards, honors and achievements in her kitty including the Australia's top civil honor the Companion of the Order of Australia, one Academy Award, three Golden Globe awards and one BAFTA, Nicole Kidman is undoubtedly one of the reigning actress that Hollywood takes pride in. An actress by profession and a philanthropist by heart, Kidman is an iconic figure that the world looks up to. Having an affinity and talent for acting at a young age, Kidman trained herself professionally for it. Ever since her debut at the Australian film industry, Kidman showed signs of making it big which seemed much more a convincing dream when she moved over to Hollywood. ‘Days of Thunder’ was her first American movie. Over the years, Kidman has been a part of some of the best Hollywood flicks and has contributed heavily for the success of each of them including, ‘Batman Forever’, ‘To Die For’, ‘Moulin Rouge’, ‘The Others’, ‘The Hours’ and so on. Other than being an artistically endowed actor, Kidman is also extremely benevolent and generous. She has been actively involved for various causes including the welfare of women and disadvantageous children. Additionally, she was appointed goodwill ambassador of the UNICEF and United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
Childhood & Early Life
Nicole Kidman was born to David Kidman and Janelle Ann. While her father was a biochemist, clinical psychologist, and author, her mother was a nursing instructor. She has a younger sister named Antonio Kidman.
Both her parents were Australian citizens but were temporarily in United States on educational visa when Kidman was born. Thus, young Kidman could claim citizenship of both Australia and the United States.
Kidman returned with her parents to Australia at the age of four. She attended Lane Cove Public School, post which she was enrolled at the North Sydney Girls' High School.
Since the young age, Kidman was bit by the acting bug which was prevalently seen all through her primary and high school years. She even enrolled for a class at ballet.
However, the unfortunate incident when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer caused Kidman to forgo her studies. She worked as a massage therapist to assist the family financially.
Later on, Kidman attended the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne and Phillip Street Theatre in Sydney. She followed this up by attending the Australian Theatre for Young People.
Kidman took up acting, drama and mime. Her ingrained talent for the same, coupled with good looks, made Kidman’s professional venture into the world of entertainment a natural move.
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Kidman’s debut in the film industry was in the remake of the Australian holiday season favourite ‘Bush Christmas’ in 1983. Thereafter, she did quite a couple of films including ‘BMX Bandits’, ‘Watch the Shadows Dance’, and ‘Windrider’. Other than films, Kidman was also seen in various television series, such as ‘Five Mile Creek’, ‘A Country Practice’ and the miniseries ‘Vietnam’.
In 1988, came ‘Emerald City’. The film had Kidman playing a supporting role with panache. She did complete justice to her role and was duly praised by both public and critics.
The big leap in Kidman’s career came with the release of the film ‘Dead Calm’ in 1989. Her role of Rae Ingram garnered rave reviews and brought her international fame and recognition.
Since then, there was no looking back for this talented and versatile actor who gave one hit after the other. ‘Days of Thunder’ was Kidman’s big ticket to success in Hollywood. The film was not only her debut in the American film industry but also featured in the highest-grossing films of the year.
Kidman was enjoying the much deserved career success. Revelling in the accomplishment, however, she did not lose focus and paid utmost attention to her career graph which was escalating upwards. She gave some terrific performances in films like ‘Flirting’, ‘Billy Bathgate’, ‘Far and Away’ and ‘My Life’.
Years of Stardom & Success
1995 was a super successful year for Kidman. She bagged the lead roles for the movies ‘Batman Forever’ and ‘To Die For’. While the former has been highest-grossing live-action film as of 2011, the latter won her, her first Golden Globe award.
While her films were faring well at the box office and receiving much popular and critical acclaim, Kidman did not forsake the love for theatre and was seen playing in the David Hare play, ‘The Blue Room’, which opened in London.
Next, she starred opposite Tom Cruise for the film, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. Though the film gained positive reviews at the opening, it was later subject to censorship controversies due to the explicit nature of sex scenes.
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Kidman’s next venture for the big screen was with the British American film, ‘Birthday Girl’ where she played a mail-order bride.
The versatility of Kidman was put to test in the year 2001 when two of her movies, which were entirely different from each other, were released. While ‘Moulin Rouge’ was a musical feat wherein she played the character of a cabaret actress and courtesan, ‘The Others’, a Spanish horror film had Kidman play the role of a Catholic mother of two. Least surprisingly, Kidman was commendable in both the films and attracted much positive response.
Following this, Kidman featured in Stephen Daldry's ‘The Hours’. The film had Kidman playing the role of an author who is suffering from bouts of depression and mental illness. She played the character with so much conviction and excellence that she was bestowed with an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for the same, in addition to the numerous critics’ awards.
Downfall & Revival
The escalating super successful fantasy tale of Kidman’s professional career came to a halt in 2004 and 2005. ‘Birth’, ‘The Stepford Wives’, ‘The Interpreter’ and ‘Bewitched’ all bombed at the box office badly and brought the career graph of Kidman to an all-time low.
Kidman was next seen opposite Robert Downey Jr. for the film, ‘Fur’ in 2006. Though the film did not fare exceptionally well at the box office, the actors did receive positive review for the same. ‘Happy Feet’, which was released in the same year, had Kidman as one of the voiceover artist.
The next couple of movies released with Kidman in the lead role did not do much to revive her career. Though the 2007 film ‘The Golden Compass’ and 2008 film ‘Australia’ earned mixed reviews, her acting was notable and earned much praise and acclaim.
Year 2009 witnessed the release of the movie ‘Nine’, wherein Kidman played a brief role. The film despite earning mixed reviews brought Kidman a couple of nominations.
Since 2010, Kidman has been seen in a number of movies such as ‘Rabbit Hole’, ‘Just Go with It’, ‘Trespass’, ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’, ‘The Paperboy’ and ‘Stoker’. A couple of her movies which are due to release are ‘The Railway Man’, ‘Grace of Monaco’, ‘Anchorman: The Legend Continues’ and ‘Before I Go to Sleep’.
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Appearance at the Commercials
Other than films, Kidman has been a regular feature at advertisements. She was the face of the Chanel No. 5 perfume brand. Her three-minute appearance in Channel No. 5 made Kidman the record holder for the most money paid per minute to an actor at US$12million.
She became the face of Ninetendo’s advertising campaign as well as international Schweppes advertisement.
Kidman has been involved with a lot of philanthropic work over the years. She has successfully drawn attention of the world towards disadvantaged children across the globe. For her relentless work towards uplifting the living condition of these children, she was appointed a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in 1994.
Kidman joined hands with the Little Tee Campaign for the fight against breast cancer. She took active part in designing t-shirts and vests to raise money for fighting the disease. Kidman was motivated for this cause after watching her mother battle with the disease.
In 2006, Kidman was appointed goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). She has played an active role as an ambassador for the organization. Kidman not only conducted various international conferences and meetings, she raised awareness through media and brought before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs the subject with an appeal to support the International Violence against Women Act
Nicole Kidman’s filmography experienced a big leap in the year 1995 with two of her films, ‘Batman Forever’ and ‘To Die For’, creating ripples at the box office. The films not only performed amazingly at the box office, (Batman Forever grossing a whopping $336.53 million the highest ever by a live-action film as of 2011), but gained huge popular and critical acclaim. She also won her first Golden Globe award for the movie, ‘To Die For’.
‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘The Others’ released in 2001 hit the jackpot at the box office. While the former claimed $179 million, the latter grossed about $218 million. The films earned several nominations at the prestigious awards, eventually winning Kidman her second Golden Globe award.
‘The Hours’ was a widely appreciated film both in the popular and critics’ category. The film grossed $108 million and won Kidman numerous critics' awards, including her first BAFTA, third Golden Globe, and first Academy Award.
Awards & Achievements
She has been honoured with Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2006 at the Australian Day Honors for her contribution to the world of cinema and her philanthropic works.
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In 2009, she appeared in a series of postage stamps featuring other reputed Australian actors as well. Each of the actors appeared twice, once as their own self and once in the character for which they were presented with the Academy Award.
She was thrice nominated for the Academy Awards out of which she won once for the movie ‘The Hours’. With this, she became first Australian actress to win the Best Actress Academy Award.
Out of the ten nominations at the Golden Globe awards, Kidman won thrice for the movies: ‘To Die For’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘The Hours’. She was thrice nominated for BAFTA awards, eventually winning once for the movie ‘The Hours’.
Kidman has been six times nominated for AACTA awards, which she won for her work in ‘Vietnam’. At the Critics’ Choice Awards, this talented actress was nominated seven times. She claimed the award once for her performance in the film, ‘To Die For’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Australian stage actor Marcus Graham was the first man in the life of Nicole Kidman. Though the two were in a live-in relationship, nothing formalized between them to walk up to the altar.
In the mid-1980s, she shared an on-and–off relationship with her Windrider co-star Tom Burlinson.
It was however, while working on the sets of ‘Days of Thunder’ that Kidman fell in serious relationship with co-actor Tom Cruise. The two tied the knot on Christmas Eve 1990 in Telluride, Colorado. They had two adopted children, a daughter, Isabella Jane and a son, Connor Anthony.
A decade after living together, the two separated stating irreconcilable differences as the reason behind the split-up. From 2003 to 2004, Kidman dated musician Lenny Kravitz. She even had a small fling with Robbie Williams.
In 2005, she met Keith Urban, an Australian country singer, at G'Day LA, an event honouring Australians. The two walked up to the altar on June 25, 2006 at Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in the grounds of St Patrick's Estate, Manly in Sydney. They have been blessed with two biological daughters, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban and Faith Margaret Kidman Urban.
Born to Australian parents, this ace actress enjoys dual citizenships, that of Australia and United States, since she was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She moved to Australia only at the age of four.
She is the first Australian actress to win the Academy Award in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role for the film, ‘The Hours’. She has been nominated thrice in the category.
Her three-minute appearance in Channel No. 5 made her the record holder for the most money paid per minute to an actor at US$12million.
She was the face of quite a few brands including Chanel No. 5 perfurme, Ninetendo’s advertising campaign as well as international Schweppes advertisement.
Interestingly, at a height of 5’ 11”, she was 4 inches taller than her ex-husband Tom Cruise and as such, was rarely seen in heels while she was with him. Post the dissolution of the marriage; she however dons high heels, often seeing eye to eye to actors with a height at 6’ 4”.