Highlights from Nicole Kidman’s BAFTA career retrospective

Last night, Nicole Kidman came to BAFTA’s London HQ in Piccadilly for their annual A Life in Pictures series – and here’s all the interesting things she had to say.

The BAFTA A Life in Pictures talk features an actor looking back over their career during an onstage Q&A with the assistance of some clips. Kidman’s discussion was 90 minutes long and really interesting. She was so lovely, funny and articulate and I devoured every word she said.

As you can imagine, I have a lot of material to work with, so to start with I’m going to give you a break down of standout bits.

– She began with To Die For and said her and director Gus Van Sant really campaigned for Joaquin Phoenix, who was unknown at the time, to get a part and threatened to quit if he wasn’t hired

Meg Ryan was originally offered the part of Suzanne Stone but Kidman threw her name into the ring after Ryan turned it down

– She is very director driven, choosing projects more for the director than anything else, because she always likes a close bond with them and to work as a team

Baz Luhrmann pitched her Moulin Rouge! by sending her roses and asking her to be his Satine. She was thrilled to be asked to be in his project until she realised it would be a musical as she “can’t sing”

– She still doesn’t have confidence in her singing abilities but credits the film with helping her “discover her voice”

– She recalled how her late father came to set one day and his jaw dropped when he saw her doing Satine’s trapeze routine with all the suited dancers

– The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and the response was mixed, so she is glad that it has become so well loved. She said it was a shame most films aren’t given the time to find their audience now, as they seem to disappear after opening weekend

– With The Hours, she didn’t think she could play Virginia Woolf and suggested herself for Julianne Moore’s part. She tried to pull out of the role because she didn’t think she could do it – and then she won the Oscar!

– She admits her accent isn’t exactly like Woolf’s but they decided hers was too difficult to understand so they softened it

– After having her daughter Sunday with husband Keith Urban in 2008, she wanted to take a step back and prioritise her personal life after years of putting her career first. She was thinking of giving it all up and living on their Nashville farm but her mum encouraged her to keep her foot in the industry, and she’s glad she did

– She had her first producing credit for Rabbit Hole and it gave her the producing bug as she liked being able to take control of a project

– Kidman refuses to be pigeonholed and feels sorry for actresses that are only offered the same thing. She’s grateful she can go from Big Little Lies to Destroyer when others can’t. She also puts this down to her not being afraid to take risks and try new things and more experimental, independent films.

– She’s always on the look out for Australian projects and loved being able to use her native accent in Lion. She also helps vouch for her fellow Australians, mentioning she recommended Ben Mendelsohn for a film once.

– She’s glad she had seven hours to unravel her character Celeste in Big Little Lies – doesn’t think it would have been as effective in a feature film. She didn’t know there would be a season two when she working on one.

– She loves the cinema and still takes her family to one in Nashville but can appreciate the popularity of television and can admit that Big Little Lies had a wider reach than anything she’s done before

– She’s happy to take supporting parts – in films like Boy Erased – if she wants to help shine a light on an important story

– She never watches rushes or playback and still doesn’t know which is her best side because she doesn’t want to have vain thoughts in her head when she’s acting.


I warned you that she had a lot of good stuff to say! I will be delving into some of these points deeper soon and sharing some of her full quotes with you, so stay tuned for those over the next couple of weeks.


  1. […] You can read my full highlights from Nicole Kidman’s A Life in Pictures here. […]


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