Nicole is featured on the May 2019 issue of Vanity Fair where she talks about Big Little Lies Season 2, her family, and gives us a glimpse into her life!
The Big Little Lies star reflects on her career, her marriage, her faith, and the sisterhood of her hit TV show.
Nicole Kidman is one of the few movie stars left in Hollywood. Her chameleonic acting abilities are legend; her beauty, profuse. She is poised and regal—a perennial showstopper. It’s hard to imagine that she is even human. Almost two hours into our hike in Nashville’s Radnor Lake State Park, however, Kidman becomes undeniably mortal.
“I have to pee,” she announces. That makes two of us. Looking around, we see nothing but road ahead and road behind. “It’s 30 minutes this way,” she gestures, “and an hour that way.” Then, in her lilt, says, “And I think we may be lost.”
I look her straight in the eye and break the news. We’re going to have to go in the great outdoors. Dressed all in black—parka, beanie, cargo pants, sneakers, and backpack, carrying coffee, water, and apples—and not a stitch of makeup on, the glamazon climbs a small hill and flashes those baby blues: “Remember, it was you who didn’t want to go to a café.” Then, from behind the tree, “Keep asking me questions!”
Our hike around the roughly 1,400-acre natural reserve is not the first time our paths have crossed—in Australia, shortly after she married Keith Urban, she giddily told me about her hope to give birth; in Los Angeles last year, she courageously ate worms for Vanity Fair’s Secret Talent Theater, a heroic display still collecting views on YouTube.
This time, we’re on a dirt trail winding through nature where you could easily get lost for hours—and we nearly did—looking for a notoriously elusive owl. Despite the cold, we pass a few clusters of people—some carrying long-lens cameras. “That’s our paparazzi,” Kidman says with a laugh. But we’re in Nashville—and here the sights are trained on actual wildlife. A group of young women passes us, and I’m shocked none even do a double take at the Oscar-, Golden Globe–, SAG Award–, and Emmy-winning star. “No wonder you love Nashville,” I tell her. “Total privacy,” she concurs. I learn over my time spent here that “Nashville etiquette” means letting people live their lives in peace. “See? This is why I live here.”
This bucolic Tennessee life offers respite from Kidman’s wildly dynamic and duly prolific career, making her a once-in-a-generation talent with no signs of slowing down. There was the role that ignited it all, in Dead Calm (1989). She took a risky star turn that paid off in Gus Van Sant’s To Die For (1995), then stayed busy with big studio films like Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Oscar-nominated Moulin Rouge! (2001), and, in that same year, The Others. She got her best-actress Oscar for playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002). More obscure artistic adventures followed—Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2003) had her crawling on all fours in a dog collar; Birth (2004) drew controversy for a scene in which Kidman bathed with a child. Films like The Stepford Wives (2004), Bewitched (2005), and The Interpreter (2005) skewed more commercial, though to less acclaim. In Fur (2006), as Diane Arbus, she shaves Robert Downey Jr.’s entire body. She launched her production company, Blossom Films, with the festival hit Rabbit Hole, then pushed new limits in Lee Daniels’s follow-up to Precious, The PaperBoy. Last year she was nearly unrecognizable in the gritty neo-noir Destroyer, and then as the Southern mother to a gay son in the coversion-therapy film Boy Erased, both while DC Comics’ Aquaman grossed more than a billion dollars. Big Little Lies, the seven-part series that received 19 nominations and 13 awards, marked a return to the small screen, where she got her start as a teenager in Australia. This V.F. cover makes her 10th.
“I’ve done weird films and I’ve done things that are so obtuse, which I’m still committed to because I like performance art and not conforming to what everyone expects of you. I don’t think in normal terms.” She laughs as she tells me, “Keith always says, ‘You’re so not mainstream.’ ”