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Nicole Kidman Speech: Be Curious

Learn English with Nicole Kidman. A conversation with Nicole Kidman, moderated by Krista Smith of Vanity Fair, before the Los Angeles premiere of her movie DESTROYER at AFI FEST 2018.

Nicole Mary Kidman AC is an American-born Australian actress and producer. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and five Golden Globe Awards.

In this speech, she also quotes: “I’m still very curious. I still have this passion for the work and for being on the set. Sometimes it falls and you just go, I’m never, ever going to be any good ever again, and then something happens and it ignites and you’re off. I love it and I still love it to this day.”

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Nicole Kidman Quote:

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“Whatever you do in life, don’t give up on your own dreams.” Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman – FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Krista Smith:

Over 70 performances you’ve had, of characters that you’ve played to me when I look at some of this stuff, and obviously, this year you have two films, Boy Erased and Destroyer, which you guys are lucky enough to be going to see after we finish chatting. But it seems like your work is only getting better and more interesting as you go along in your career. Do you look at things differently now than you did, let’s say when you were just starting out and we first met you when you came, it was dead calm, I think. And then you went into Days of Thunder and you kind of started your path here in America with that?

Nicole Kidman:

I started actually at 14 in a film called Bush Christmas. And I got to get out of school for six weeks. And, but I think my whole journey has always been trying to find characters. And as an actor, you’re very much, you’re not in the driver’s seat. I mean, you need a director to choose you. You audition a lot, particularly when you’re young, it’s like, that’s what you do. And sometimes you get the role and sometimes you don’t.

And I think you just have to have a passion and sort of view it as a long term because for me it was always the journey. I wanted to go and explore the world. I wanted to explore the human psyche. I wanted to live a well-examined life. And by doing what I do and being given the chance to be able to act, it’s taken me on this extraordinary road and I’ve worked with the greatest directors in the world, I’ve been around the greatest minds. I’ve been the recipient of some of the greatest writers and their words. So, it’s an amazing place to be, but I never would’ve thought that it was going to be like this. I dreamed big, but not like this.

Krista Smith:

And how do you sustain that passion and curiosity and energy to take on what you do because you do give a hundred percent at every single performance, whether it is a supporting or the lead?

Nicole Kidman:

I mean, it ebbs and flows and that’s the truth of it. There’s times when you go, I just don’t have anything left to give. And there’s been times when I’ve gone, okay, I’m now drained. I don’t know where I’m at in my life. I’ve got to go and find, and I always say, you know, you have to have the life to then be able to go and put it into your art. And I’ve had a crazy life. I just have, and I’ve also had, I’m a highly sensitive person and I also attach very strongly to people. And so, with that comes all of the emotions that are attached to that. And that then gives me the well to draw from.

But I’m also just, I’m still very curious. I’m still, I still have this passion for the work and for being on the set, and that time between action and cut, it is still extraordinary to me. And sometimes it falls and you just go, I’m never, ever going to be any good ever again. And then something happens and it ignites and you’re off. And I love it and I still love it to this day.

Krista Smith:

Now you’ve said before that Moulin Rouge is the film that if you see it on TV, you have to watch it. Perhaps, I don’t want to say one of your favourite films, but how important was that moment and that character, what you did in Moulin Rouge with Baz and playing Satine?

Nicole Kidman:

I mean, I grew up in a family where musicals were considered the best that, that was what you wanted to do. My family, we would stand around the piano. We would sing. That was, but I don’t have a great voice. I have a medium voice, but I don’t have a voice that could sustain a Broadway show, eight shows a week for, you know, years. But suddenly Moulin Rouge came along and it was like, oh my gosh, I get to sing and dance and act, which is what they used to do.

I mean, the great actresses all could do all of those things. So, it was kind of like being given this opportunity. Then of course I freaked out and went I can’t do it, and Baz kind of had to push me into it. And he’s such a showman, Baz. I mean, he just, so he almost willed that performance and that out of me. And I’d always said, I wanted to make a love story as much as I make so many dark films. And I explore all the territories that are, you know, I like going into places that are considered uncomfortable and dangerous. I also love, love. And I just had never been in a great love story. And I see Moulin Rouge is a love story and I love being a part of that and putting that in the world.

Krista Smith:

That was one of the great love stories. It was so great to see the little bits of it here. And speaking of those dark characters, obviously, Destroyer is, what struck me about this film was first off, you’re unrecognizable in it from when you see it on the poster. The just physical transformation that you did, obviously in makeup and hair and that. But it was your whole walk and your body and your voice. You almost changed from the inside out.

Nicole Kidman:

I mean, that’s what you do as an actor. I don’t like focusing on the hair and the makeup and all of those things, because I still believe in the mystery of the performance. And there’s such a desire now for people to tell you everything and dissect everything and give you. But there’s magic involved. And I love keeping that magic too so that then people just watch the film.

I mean, I have to say this year, I got given, well, it was last year, but they’ve seemed to have come out within a couple of months of each other. But Boy Erased and Destroyer, to have both those characters in the same year is amazing at this time of my life. And they’re both really extreme and you’re not seeing Boy Erased tonight, but by talking about the two, one of them is they’re both mothers, they’re both on a path trying to heal what they’ve done to their children. And I find that really powerful and emotional. And I love that they’re so different, but strangely enough, they’re on the same path. And that was really, really interesting to me. And I actually did Boy Erased, I had four weeks off, and then I went straight into Destroyer. And then I collapsed.

Krista Smith:

Yeah. I was going to say because it’s a very physical performance and it’s also very masculine, but yet so deeply feminine.

Nicole Kidman:

Well, I would say it’s deeply female.

Krista Smith:

Yeah, it is.

Nicole Kidman:

Which is a weird thing to say, but I do see it as deeply female because her motivations are female. I mean, you haven’t seen the movie yet, but there’s a moment when, and only a woman gets to experience this when she finds out she’s pregnant and it’s a flash. She’s high, she’s doing cocaine and that is devastating for her. That’s the beginning of her relationship with her child.

So, that’s a female situation for her. That is, and it’s so complicated and devastating. It leads her on this very, very destructive path. But she’s maternal and she’s operating from a maternal force. It may have been a maternal force that has made massive mistakes, has not been there, and has not been what we call a good mother. But she’s a mother and the basis for so much of her motivations and her drive is from that. And her shame and her pain. Thank you for having us.

Krista Smith:

Thank you. Enjoy the film.”[/read]

Nicole Kidman

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