Actor Nicole Kidman covers the May 2019 issue of Vanity Fair US. Samira Nasr styles Nicole — who is barely recognizable with the pixie hairdo — in images by Collier Schorr. / Hair by Recine; makeup by Mark Carrasquillo
The ‘Big Little Lies’ star reflects on her career, her marriage, her faith, and the sisterhood of her hit TV show, telling all to Krista Smith in ‘Nicole Kidman Burns Brighter Than Ever’.
At 51, Kidman is that historical Hollywood age when women, especially leading ladies, are expected—or forced—to fade to black, perhaps a Broadway role or cameo as the lights dim. Instead, Kidman burns bright as ever. After the success of 2018 are two pivotal roles, as Mrs. Barbour in The Goldfinch and Gretchen Carlson in Jay Roach’s still-untitled Roger Ailes biopic.
“There isn’t a shelf life like there used to be,” Kidman tells Smith. “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.”
The second season of ‘Big Little Lies’, with Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley, debuts next month on HBO. The bonds among the women is legendary at this point.
“Nicole and I talk about this often. I’d been in a show with maybe one other woman, but never five female leads,” says Witherspoon. “I never even had that many conversations on-screen with women who had the same size part as me. It’s pretty amazing to get to work with this group. I feel like it’s a singular experience I’ll never have again.’”
Knowing the story of the female camaraderie is the key reason why Meryl Streep didn’t hesitate one moment when the call came to join the cast for the second season. “The fans wanted more, I wanted more. I signed on without even knowing what the part was because I had such confidence in this group and just how smart they all are and how high the bar was going to be.”
Witherspoon describes the ultimate girls’ night. “Can you imagine that we got to go to dinner with Meryl every week? And hear her stories!? It’s like years and years of actresses being siloed off, and finally they let us intermingle. You can only imagine the conversations that we had. It was a really amazing experience of sharing our indignities and our triumphs, and just every rainbow of the female experience in our business.”
Besides her devotion to acting, her marriage and being a devoted mom, Nicole Kidman has a long history, appointed in 2006 as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. Last year, she donated $500,000 to support the U.N. Trust to End Violence Against Women.
“With ‘Big Little Lies’ and the role of Celeste, she took on an additional role—working with advocates and survivors,” says Esta Soler, who runs the non-profit Futures Without Violence. “Two days after winning the Emmy she came to San Francisco and stood with survivors and advocates to promote prevention and education.”
Kidman takes the lessons into her own home, though she concedes it’s a challenge. “I was talking to Sunday about there being little girls in different parts of this world who don’t own their bodies. A man owns their body. Her eyes were like ‘What?’ We’re trying to educate about those things. But it’s giving the information gently, and then guiding.”
Ummm, Nicole, we don’t know how to break it to you, but we’re having the same battle in the USA right now. The interview continues, with way more revelations about Nicole Kidman: her talent, her sisterhood and her activism. Add in Keith Urban and their children, and it’s a perfect — if very demanding — quintet of a To Do List. Read on at Vanity Fair.