celebrity

Motherhood, Scientology, and a public divorce: Nicole Kidman’s life in the spotlight.

Nicole Kidman has worn a lot of different hats in her career.

She was the glamorous Satine in Moulin Rouge, former lawyer Celeste Wright in Big Little Lies, and Manhattan therapist Grace Fraser in The Undoing.

Now, the 53-year-old actress is set to act, sing and dance as she portrays Angie Dickinson in Netflix's The Prom.

Watch the trailer for Netflix's The Prom below. Post continues after video.


Video via Netflix.

Directed by Ryan Murphy, the mind behind Glee and American Horror Story, the musical film follows a troupe of theatre stars who visit a small Indiana town in support of a high school girl who has been banned from taking her girlfriend to prom. 

Kidman is starring in the film alongside Meryl Streep, James Corden, and Keegan-Michael Key. 

Ahead of the film's release on December 11, let's take a look back at Nicole Kidman's life in the spotlight.

Nicole Kidman's childhood and career.

Nicole Kidman was born on June 20, 1967, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

At the time, Kidman's Australian parents, Janelle and Antony, were in the United States on student visas.

After her younger sister Antonia Kidman was born, the family of four returned to Sydney, where the two sisters attended primary and high school.

"I've always been aware of privilege, because both my parents came from nothing," Kidman told Glamour in a new interview. 

"When we moved to America, we had nothing. My parents had to go to the Salvation Army and get a donated mattress, which we all slept on, while my mum helped put my dad through his PhD as he came from a very poor family."

Listen to Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, below. Post continues after podcast.

ADVERTISEMENT

After discovering an interest in acting, Kidman studied at Sydney's Phillip Street Theatre alongside Naomi Watts.

By 16, she had landed her first role, making her film debut in Bush Christmas.

In the 1980s, the actress had several film roles, including BMX Bandits and Windrider, and appearances in A Country Practice.

In 1990, Kidman had her American debut in Days of Thunder, which became one of the highest grossing films of the year, before landing roles in Batman Forever, The Peacemaker, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge, The Hours, and Dogville.

In more recent years, the actress has starred in Australia, Lion, Aquaman, Big Little Lies, and The Undoing, alongside Hugh Grant.

Nicole Kidman's relationships.

Nicole Kidman was just 22 years old when she married Tom Cruise in 1990.

The pair, who met on the set of Days of Thunder just months beforehand, didn't waste any time getting married.

Following their wedding on Christmas Eve in Telluride, Colorado, the pair became one of the biggest couples in Hollywood throughout the 1990s.

Image: Getty.  

In the early years of their marriage, Kidman and Cruise adopted two children, Isabella in 1992 and Connor in 1994.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I was so young when I got married. I had two kids by the time I was 27, and I’d been married for four years. But that’s what I wanted," the actress told People

"I was so young. There is something about that sort of existence that, if you really focus on each other and you’re in that bubble, it’s very intoxicating, because it’s just the two of you. And there is only one other person that’s going through it. It brings you very close, and it’s deeply romantic."

In 2001, the couple's spokesperson announced their sudden separation after 11 years together.

Two days later, Cruise filed for divorced.

The separation reportedly came as a shock to Kidman.

According to court documents, Kidman claimed that Cruise suddenly left her without any warning. Within just 24 hours of telling her that he was leaving her, their separation was announced to the public.

"Our life together was perfect. It took me a very long time to heal," she told People.

"It was a shock to my system. That was a great relationship. I think it ran its course. I was really damaged and not sure whether [love] was ever going to happen again to me."

Image: Getty. 

While Kidman and Cruise rarely talk about their former relationship, Kidman said her marriage to Cruise gave her a certain level of protection in Hollywood in an essay written for New York Magazine in 2018.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Being married to Tom Cruise at 22 is something I’m always reluctant to talk about, because I’m married now to the man who is my great love [Keith Urban], and it almost feels disrespectful," she wrote. "That said, I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me – it was protection."

Although Kidman hasn't publicly discussed the reason behind her separation from Cruise, many questioned whether Kidman's dismissal of Scientology was behind their divorce.

In an interview with The Hollywood ReporterKidman shared, "I’ve chosen not to speak publicly about Scientology. I have two children who are Scientologists and I utterly respect their beliefs."

Following their split, Cruise married Katie Holmes and together they had a daughter, Suri, who is now 14 years old. The couple later divorced.

Interestingly, fans have pointed out a curious pattern in Tom Cruise's marriages.

His ex-wives, Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, were all the exact same age when they separated from the actor – 33 years old.

Read more: The 33 conspiracy: Why Tom Cruise divorced his three wives once they turned 33.

Following her divorce from Cruise, Kidman was briefly engaged to Lenny Kravitz between 2002 and 2003. 

"It just wasn't right," she later told Vanity Fair. "I wasn't ready. We weren't ready."

Image: Getty. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Lenny Kravitz's daughter, Zoe Kravitz, later starred alongside Kidman in Big Little Lies.

In 2005, Kidman met Keith Urban at the 2005 G'Day USA gala.

For four months after they first met, Urban struggled to pluck up the courage to call the actress.

"I wasn't in a very healthy place in my life. I'd never have thought she'd see anything in a guy like me," he shared on Interview. "But at some point, I plucked up the courage to call those numbers and she answered, and we started talking and we talked and talked and talked and talked and it was effortless."

After just a few months of dating, Kidman knew she wanted to marry the country singer.

The couple got married on June 25, 2006, in Manly, New South Wales. The wedding was attended by the likes of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Baz Luhrmann, and Naomi Watts.

They welcomed their first child, Sunday Rose, on July 7, 2008, and their second child, Faith Margaret, through surrogacy on December 29, 2011.

"I wish I could have met [Keith] much earlier and had way more children with him, but I didn't," Kidman later told Vogue. "I mean, if I could have had two more children with him, that would have been just glorious."

Image: Getty. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In a recent interview with Glamour, the 53-year-old opened up about her marriage to Urban.

"I have a very good relationship. It is a very soothing, comforting place for me to go, and he's a very strong, warm, kind man. I'm very fortunate to have that in my life, because it's a really strong place to be able to go and curl up. And this is a lonely world, right?" she said. 

"That's sort of an extraordinary thing to have found, particularly later in my life. But it saved me, as well, which is a beautiful thing to have."

Nicole Kidman's relationship with her eldest children.

When Nicole Kidman accepted an award for her role in Big Little Lies at the Golden Globes in 2018, her acceptance speech led to a flurry of questions from fans and media alike.

While Kidman had thanked her two youngest children in her speech, many questioned why she had failed to mention her two oldest children – 27-year-old Isabella and 25-year-old Connor – who she shares with her ex-husband Tom Cruise.

In September 2019, Kidman opened up to The Sun about her difficult relationship with Connor and Bella.

"Motherhood is about the journey. There are going to be incredible peaks and valleys, whether you are an adopting mother or a birth mother. What a child needs is love," she said.

"They have made choices to be Scientologists. It’s our job as a parent to always offer unconditional love."

Connor and Isabella Cruise in 2012. Image: Getty. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In the years following Kidman and Cruise's separation, it’s been claimed on multiple occasions that the Church of Scientology caused a significant fracture in Kidman’s relationship with her adopted children.

In Steve Cannane’s book Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia, it’s alleged that after Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s relationship ended, the Church of Scientology tried to turn Nicole’s children against her.

Actress Leah Remini, who was previously involved in Scientology, backed up the claims, alleging that Isabella and Connor consider their mother a "suppressive person" – a person who has publicly renounced their faith and is no longer allowed to be in contact with other members of the church.

In her memoir, Remini recalled being in the car with Isabella and Connor, and asking if they had seen their mother recently.

"Not if I have a choice," Isabella answered, according to the book. "Our mum is a f*cking SP [suppressive person]."

While Kidman's relationship with her two oldest children might not be entirely conventional, according to the actress, the reports surrounding an alleged rift between her and her children are completely false.

In 2016, Bella was asked by New Idea if she still speaks to her parents, to which she replied: "Of course we talk, they're my parents", adding, anyone who says otherwise is "full of sh*t".

Speaking to Woman's Day, Connor described his relationship with his mum as "solid".

"I love my mum. I don't care what people say, I know that me and Mum are solid. I love her a lot. My family means everything," he said.

Feature Image: Getty.

For more on this topic:


Sign up for our weekly "TV and Movies" newsletter. Every week, our Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik gives you a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews.



00:00 / ???