Nicole talks about Aquaman, Big Little Lies, and the need for equality in film roles.

Nicole Kidman doesn’t like to give lectures – but she will do it anyway when it comes to issues she is passionate about, such as women in the film industry.

Since adding an executive producer credit to her resume for the hit series Big Little Lies, in which she also stars alongside Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, Kidman is passionate about pursuing more women-led projects.

“We wanted to craft something because we were frustrated because there wasn’t the roles for us and our friends and for the women we know have extraordinary talent and they are not being given the chances they should be given,” she said.

“For them to work and to be received in that way builds a bridge for us to do more and also for other women and producers and male producers who believe in female-driven projects.”

Speaking to Fairfax Media at the Dior gala in Melbourne on Saturday night, Kidman said there is still a huge gender imbalance in the industry.

“It doesn’t mean that it’s done. I constantly say this now. People say, ‘It’s so fantastic … [but] there’s only a few series that are female driven, we have to do so much more just to have equality,” she said.

Kidman is currently working in Queensland shooting Aquaman and was working as late as Friday night before arriving in Melbourne on Saturday.

“I am sworn to secrecy, that’s the nature of those films. But yes, I was in a [water] tank.”

The Academy Award-winner said while 2016 was hugely busy filming Big Little Lies and Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, this year she had been able to have four months off.

“It comes in waves. It’s a long journey life but you stick at it and stay in that place of going, ‘I have opportunities and I am going to keep going,” she said.

Kidman has two of her most memorable gowns in the House of Dior exhibition, although the chartreuse one she wore to the 1997 Oscars – named one of the best Oscars dresses of all time – is a reproduction.

“I have the couture dress at home. This one in the exhibit is from the runway. I have the one John Galliano actually fitted and made for me … my daughters will inherit that dress,” she said.

“I have a lot of the [red carpet] dresses and I treat them as works of art because that’s what they are. I want the [dresses] to be kept. I am entrusting them to my daughters and hope they will value them as much and place them where they should be placed.”

Kidman said the chartreuse dress was a bold choice then by red carpet standards but “not for me, I was living in London at the time”.

“I had a strong friendship with John Galliano and a lot of the designers, Karl Lagerfeld. It was incredibly rarefied air to be able to say, ‘I’m going to go to Paris.’ But it was also kind of fun. You’re dealing with these houses, these designers who are creative and extraorindary.”

Kidman, who turned 50 in June, said she approaches red carpet dressing nowadays with “reverence”.

“A lot of the time you are wearing these dresses … just to be able to put them on you feel like you are going to the ball, as Cinderella. You’re still very much modelling the dresses and that’s the task at hand and I take this seriously,” she said.


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