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Wednesday, 31 October, 2001, 18:18 GMT
Nicole Kidman on work, life and love
Nicole Kidman in The Others
Kidman wants to be a good mother above all else
BBC arts and entertainment correspondent Rosie Millard talks to actress Nicole Kidman about her career and her relationship with ex-husband Tom Cruise. This is the interview in full.

RM: You've just been filming The Hours with Stephen Daldry. I read that Meryl Streep was your role model, is she someone you aspire to?

NK: I think she's the greatest actress of her generation if not the greatest of all time. She's conducted her life with such aplomb. She's managed to raise lovely children and sustained her marriage and had an extraordinary career as well. I suppose as a woman I think: 'You're so gifted and such a great person as well'. I admire her in all areas.

RM: There are also lots of people that say you're a star in the true old fashioned sense; you're very reminiscent of Grace Kelly in this film. Do you feel like that?

The thing for this year is live for the moment, live for the day

Nicole Kidman

NK: I don't feel like that at all, it's weird, I feel very Australian and very gawky at times and ridiculously shy, at other times confident but no, I certainly don't try to be like that.

I don't know why that's suddenly become attached to me. I just love to act, it's that simple, it gives me joy and it feeds my soul. I don't know why, it just always has and I respect it as an art form and I love working with people and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to do it.

'Best experience'

RM: Now you're coming back to London, I've read so many rumours about things you're going to be doing.

NK: I definitely want to do another play here. The Blue Room was creatively the best experience I've ever had. I would go to work every day walking on air. It was just one of those things where I'd always wanted to do theatre and I was so nervous beforehand. And suddenly it was such a success and I was working at this wonderful theatre, the Donmar.

Tom's career is one of the greatest of all time, he's managed to sustain this extraordinary level of success since he was 17 and that's flabbergasting

Nicole Kidman
It was everything you want to do as an actor, just go to work and have fun so I would love to come back. I'm more nervous to come back as there will be such expectation but I really believe in supporting theatre and it's so important as an actor to do that and to push yourself. And if that means failing it means failing.

RM: Your career does seem to have just gone from success to success, with not always obvious choices.

NK: I've had successes and huge failures, which I'm glad I've had, it's part of a journey. To appreciate the successes you have to have had the failures and you have to accept that it is a journey and it's not just tomorrow or the next day or next year.

If you think of it in terms of my life and when I'm lying on my deathbed, what do I want to feel about who I am? It's about the experiences, not so much "this made tons of money". It's about looking back and thinking "that was a fantastic part of my life" or "I really learnt something from that" or "I got to meet someone who became a lifelong friend".


RM: People will compare your career with Tom's and there was a lot of things saying you'd upstaged him recently, does that ever cross your mind?

I've had successes and huge failures

Nicole Kidman
NK: No, in terms of our careers, his is one of the greatest of all time, he's managed to sustain this extraordinary level of success since he was 17 and that's flabbergasting. I don't have the ability to do that. I just don't. And I know the next film he's got coming out, Vanilla Sky, is fantastic and I saw him working on that and I think he's going to be amazing in it.

RM: Do you hope you'll be able to have resolution with him?

NK: We're a family. Still. And that needs to be protected. And it's been very embarrassing and very humiliating experience in terms of all the things that have gone on over the last few months and to sit here and talk about it just doesn't seem right.

RM: You're off to Australia to learn to fly a helicopter I believe!

Chopper licence

NK: Yes, let's move on to that! Yeah, I'm going to learn to fly a helicopter, I hope to. 2001, it's been a horrible year for me personally and now for the world, it's horrible to say that but it has, the events that happened in America and the way in which times have changed.

But the thing I've taken out of it is that it's a very long life and it needs to be filled with many things besides work and so if I think about getting my chopper licence... I've put it off and off... well, I'm just going to do it! The thing for this year is live for the moment, live for the day.

RM: In summation, what do you hope to have achieved in this extraordinary catalogue of things that you've done?

NK: I would hope that I have two children that look at me, the most important thing, and say, "You're a great mum". That would make my life.

See also:

03 Aug 01 | Film
The Kidman and Sykes show
06 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Kidman looks to future
07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Kidman set for London stage
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