Nicole Kidman on Vanity Fair's December 2013 issue. "I was so young," Nicole Kidman tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner in the December-issue cover story, reflecting back on her marriage to Tom Cruise when she was just 23 years old. "And you know, with no disrespect to what I had with Tom, I've met my great love now. And I really did not know if that was going to happen. I wanted it, but I didn't want it for a while, because I didn't want to jump from one relationship to another. I had a lot of time alone, which was really, really good, because I was a child, really, when I got married. And I needed to grow up."
Kidman, who was playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours at the time of her divorce from Cruise, recalls shooting Woolf's suicide scene, walking into the River Ouse over and over again, as electric fans whipped up the river's waves. "Walking into the river with those stones in my pockets-I chose life," she says. "At the time, I was at a low point, and by playing her, it put me into a place of appreciating life."
When asked about the unreal level of fame she endured during her marriage to Cruise, Kidman says, "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. So it brings you very close, and it's deeply romantic. I'm sure Brad and Angelina have that-because there's nobody else that understands it except that person who's sleeping right next to you."
Kidman tells Kashner, "Having experienced extreme fame and now getting to a place where it's not so dominating in my life, I'm always surprised when I go somewhere and people know who I am." She explains that when it's seen through the eyes of her children "it jars me again, because they ask, 'Why do they want a photo?' and 'Why is that person saying hello to you when you don't know them?' All of that stuff has to be explained to a five-year-old. So I see it through a different perspective."
Kidman, who now lives in Nashville with her husband, Keith Urban, and their two daughters, tells Kashner she doesn't miss Hollywood. "The whole business side of it-it's too present. It doesn't suit me," she explains. "There's an enormous amount you have to give up if you want to have a family. You can have a certain career, but you can't be living in Hollywood, [where] absolutely everything, everything revolves around it. That wasn't my choice. I'd rather revolve around somebody else's career and then still find my own." Kidman says she loves living in Nashville, "because I can kind of have a very odd, idiosyncratic kind of path. I have stepped away from the fame part of it. I didn't find what I was looking for in fame. So I went, O.K., this is not for me. And it was such a blessing that I found somebody who said, 'Well, are you willing to move to Tennessee?' And I was 'Oh, am I willing to move!'"
Kidman talks to Kashner about how having children has affected her marriage with Urban, saying it "gives you some glue, [so] you're both kind of in there together and you're having to work through raising them, which brings up an enormous amount of personal things in terms of history and your own life. Yet if you kind of move into each other, you discover and heal a lot of things in each other, too. Well, that's what I've found for us-very, very healing, when it's gently, gently done."
Though Kidman calls her marriage "very, very peaceful," she admits to Kashner that she struggles between "giving my life to my lover and my children" and "giving my life to my artistic desires." Kidman says that's always going to be her struggle "because I'm passionate, so I want to be able to give completely to both, and that doesn't work always." She tells Kashner "it's a push-pull. It's uncharted. My husband and I are in uncharted territory because we're trying to find artistic expression but also we're incredibly connected as a family-we're very, very tight, very, very close, and I have a very, very primal protection of my family."See more from Vanity Fair:
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