Nicole Kidman is extraordinarily talented, down to earth, and just downright gorgeous inside and out. She also shows no sign of slowing down, even with a life of incredible highs and remarkable lows, like her very public divorce from Tom Cruise. Despite these ups and downs, Kidman just keeps living with an open heart —find out how in the following 42 facts about Nicole Kidman.
40. Lovely Love Song
You can catch Kidman singing a Frank and Nancy Sinatra duet with British pop star Robbie Williams in “Somethin’ Stupid.” It was a Christmas-time chart topper in 2001 that everyone was singing along to in the UK.
39. Poppy in the Field
Standing tall at 5 feet, 10.5 inches, Kidman was already 5’9″ when she was only 13 years old, quickly earning her the nickname “Stalky” in high school for being taller and lankier than all her classmates.
Odd, though, that she peaked so quickly. If someone is already 5’9″ when they’re 13, you kind of expect them to be the size of Yao Ming when they’re an adult. Too bad: she could have been a basketball player.
38. High Heels and High Standards
Kidman, tall glass of water that she is, stood 4 inches taller than ex-husband Tom Cruise. She was rarely ever seen wearing heels when she went out on the town with him.
37. Good Woman
Just because she’s an incredibly talented actress, singer, and all-around performer, doesn’t mean Kidman limits herself to the stage and screen. In 1994, Kidman became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and 10 years laters she was honored by the United Nations as a “Citizen of the World.”
36. A Way out
Perhaps Kidman’s success comes from her painfully shy childhood and her ability to create a world of her own, an ability that still spills into her adult life and her acting talents. She still doesn’t like walking into a crowded restaurant by herself or going to a party on her own. She has even been labeled as an “ice queen” while on the red carpet.
35. A Thing of the Past
Often we see those who have achieved massive success and fame as infallible. After all, we only see what they look like today, with the entire world calling their name. But often, their stories involve a fair amount of hardship and struggle. Case in point: Kidman also suffered from a stutter as a child, but took the necessary steps and lessons to overcome it.
34. Naturally Gifted
At the tender age of three, Kidman’s parents enrolled her in ballet. It was later on, in her high school years, that her natural talent for acting emerged. Funny: my parents put me in piano lessons when I was little…but I’m still waiting for the talent that will make me an internationally recognized superstar.
33. From a Young Age
Kidman was first inspired to become an actress when she saw Margaret Hamilton perform as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Kidman has said that she would also love to play the Wicked Witch one day.
32e From Afar
Tom Cruise saw Kidman (and subsequently became infatuated with her) in her first major motion picture, the Aussie film Dead Calm. The actor then talked his manager into flying her overseas to co-star with him in Days of Thunder. He flew her out to see him! Now that is an eye-catching maneuver.
31. Splitsville Gone Public
If you think your last break-up was bad, just be thankful it didn’t happen to the light of 20,000 flashbulbs in your face, or to the tune of a thousand paparazzi photographers yelling your name. Every newspaper covered the shocking news of Kidman’s divorce from Cruise. Kidman admits it was a very difficult time for her, and she had to move in with long-time friend and fellow Aussie Naomi Watts, who helped her get back on her feet.
30. Wise Words
If Kidman could travel in time and give advice to her 13 year old self, it would be: “be happy.” Conversely, if she could give advice to herself in 13 years, it would be: “I told you so.”
Kidman was born in Hawaii, and her Hawaiian name is Hokulani—a name she shares with a baby elephant born at the Honolulu Zoo around the same time that she herself was born.
28. No Pain, No Gain
Dedicated actress that she is, Kidman wore a corset to the extreme in an effort to get her waist down to 18 inches for Moulin Rouge! During the process, she actually broke a rib.
27. Hard to Make the First Move
Kidman’s now-husband, country music singer Keith Urban, waited four months before asking her to go out on a date. She mistook his shyness for not noticing her, to which he said, “Yes, I did, but I just didn’t let on.”
26. She’s Gone Country
What’s was best part about farm life in the Kidman-Urban rustic retreat just outside of Nashville, Tennessee? Kidman says it was the “simplicity, the air and peace.” Oh, and they had chickens, black Angus cows, and six alpacas. The power couple put the property up for sale in late 2017.
25. To Pose or Not to Pose?
After Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner saw Kidman perform in the Broadway play The Blue Room, he desperately sought her out to pose nude for his magazine. That’s a compliment, I guess?
24. Family First
At the age of 17, when Kidman’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Kidman put her dreams of becoming an actress on hold to take up work as a massage therapist to help her mom with physical therapy while in recovery.
23. Walk on the Wild Side
Nothing wrong with a little danger. Some of the most dangerous things Kidman has ever done in her life include jumping out of a plane, racing around a car track at 200 mph, and scuba diving with sharks.
22. Girl’s Got Style
Kidman inherited her mother’s affinity for antique clothing picked up from the flea market. She loves 1940s lace and florals, and collects vintage clothes.
21. Nothing Is Impossible
The one talent Kidman wishes she could possess? The ability to sing opera exquisitely. I guess she’ll have to console herself with only having the ability to sing every other genre at a world-class level.
Kidman is ambidextrous. Naturally left handed, she taught herself how to write with her right hand for her Oscar-winning role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours.
19. It Doesn’t Kill the Cat
Kidman says she keeps one thing from her childhood that’s very special to her. But it’s not a doll or a blanket—she says it’s her curiosity.
18. A Hard Colour to Pull off
Kidman’s favorite color, in her own poetic words, is “the bluest of blue.” Conversely, her least favorite is “bright orange.”
Though she’s a fashion icon in her own right, Kidman’s personal fashion idols are all of the women Irving Penn photographed during his long-standing fashion career, most notably his wife Lisa Fonssagrives.
16. Hard to Tell
The trend Kidman hopes doesn’t exist 100 years from now is texting. Amen, sister.
15. Portrait of a Lady
If Kidman could have an artist paint her portrait, it would be by American turn-of-the-century artist John Singer Sargent. He was the leading portrait painter of his generation, and was best known for his luxurious Edwardian style.
14. Life Would Go on Swimmingly
Kidman says the animal that speaks to her most is an otter. We agree. Just like her, they’re cute, funny, and very intelligent.
13. Career Woman
If she couldn’t be the award-winning actress that she is, Kidman would want to be a scientist able to cure something very important, like cancer–but only if acting were no longer an option for her.
12. One Day She’ll Fly Away
Like most people, the superpower Kidman wishes she could have is the power to fly.
11. A Big Kid at Heart
Mr. Snuffleupagus, the fun loving, big-bodied, and long-eye-lashed muppet from Sesame Street, is Kidman’s favorite character from the children’s TV show.
10. Girl Power
Kidman’s ideal coffee date with a historical figure would be with Eleanor Roosevelt. She says she would love to drink a coffee with extra froth and lots of chocolate sprinkles with the former First Lady.
9. Step One to Any Good Meal
Kidman’s favorite food is homemade warm bread. Her least favorite? Ham.
8. Expensive Taste
In fact, Kidman’s a bit of a foodie—she says the best thing to have on pizza is truffles.
Kidman met her current husband Keith Urban in 2005, and it turned into a whirlwind romance. After only a month of seeing Urban, Kidman knew she wanted to marry him. In fact, they were married so soon after meeting that Kidman admitted they only got to know each other after the wedding—which is when Urban revealed a disturbing dark side.
Almost as soon as they were married, Kidman realized that Urban had a destructive substance abuse issue. It was a horrible period of their life together, and the already-fragile Kidman was pushed to the edge before finally deciding to stage an intervention for her new husband. Fortunately for the couple, Urban immediately checked into rehab, and has been happy and healthy since.
6. The Other Man
In 2017, Kidman’s love life made headlines again when she was seen kissing another man on the lips at the Emmys—a man who was most definitely not Keith Urban. Granted, the man was her Big Little Lies co-star Alexander Skarsgard. It was right after Skarsgard won an Emmy, and Urban was standing right beside her, but some people still found it strange that Kidman congratulated Skarsgard with a full-on kiss.
When asked about the incident on The Graham Norton Show, Kidman protested, “I kissed my husband too!” She continued, “I did kiss [Skarsgard], but you gotta understand, I did everything with Alex [while on set].” She then confirmed, “I’ve got an amazing, supportive, gorgeous husband who I love more than anything in the world.”
5. Church Schism
Scientology was blamed for Kidman’s divorce from Tom Cruise, but very little was known about the split’s awful details until former Scientologists revealed that Cruise and the Church of Scientology actually had Kidman’s phone tapped during their marriage.
4. A Mother’s Love
Although Kidman has two natural daughters with Keith Urban, she also has two adopted children with Tom Cruise, Connor and Isabella. Even so, she very rarely talks about Connor or Isabella, as they are both still deeply involved in the Church of Scientology with their father. But in 2018, while promoting her film Boy Erased, Kidman finally broke her silence on the Church and her children. When asked about them, Kidman said, “They are adults. They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists, and as a mother, it’s my job to love them.”
Nonetheless, Connor and Isabella reportedly refuse to speak to their mother since the divorce, and have called her a “suppressive person.”
3. True Loss
During her marriage to Tom Cruise, the media reported that Kidman had suffered from a miscarriage. The star was close-mouthed about the gossip for years, but in 2007 she revealed that the truth was much darker: she had actually suffered an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilized egg starts growing outside of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is extremely dangerous for the mother and must be medically terminated. Kidman confessed that the ordeal “was incredibly traumatic for me.” She also criticized the media, saying, “It was wrongly reported as miscarriage by everyone who picked up the story. So it’s huge news, and it didn’t happen.”
2. Killer Butterflies
Although fearless in other aspects of her life, Kidman suffers from Lepidopterophobia, a fear of butterflies and other winged insects.
1. Critics Love Her Too
Kidman had her “Star” placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. And it was well-earned. She’s won a staggering number of awards: she has five Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Film Award, two Emmys, and an Oscar. She was also the first actress from Australia to win the Oscar for Best Actress.