Nicole Kidman has remained one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses since she stepped onto the scene in the ‘80s. The Oscar winner has certainly run the gamut over the years, whether it be belting out songs in musicals such as the upcoming movie The Prom, or taking on transformative roles. But we rarely hear about the behind-the-scenes struggles a sought-out talent such as Kidman has dealt with.
The Aussie actress, who started working when she was 16, opened up about one thing that was specifically difficult for her in the early years. In her words to The Sydney Morning Herald:
When I was alone, when I was single, I think [fame] was much harder because there wasn't a shield. There wasn't a place to go and to work through it, with a partner. I was lucky because my sister would come. I remember her flying to Cannes [in 2001] because it's frightening walking up that red carpet with all that scrutiny, feeling very insecure and not quite sure where to go or how to survive.
Now here’s something that’s not talked about much when it comes to young Hollywood actresses. Once one becomes a leading lady, there’s this sudden expectation to hold one’s own and be able to attend massive events, perhaps without any context about the flood of people joining you. As Nicole Kidman shared, she found it especially difficult to navigate her career when she was single because all eyes were on her all the time, and that was a scary situation to be in regularly.
We tend to imagine Hollywood stars as the epitome of confidence, but as for most people, the spring in one’s step doesn’t just appear overnight. As Nicole Kidman explained, she was grateful for her sister in the early years of her career, who would often accompany her to major outings such as the Cannes Film Festival.
Back in 2018, Nicole Kidman talked about this in the context of her first husband and frequent co-star Tom Cruise. Apparently having him by her side when she was breaking out in Hollywood was helpful to her in more ways than being married to Tom Cruise connotes:
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. That said, I got married very young, but it definitely wasn't power for me -- it was protection. I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned.
Along with being in love with her Eyes Wide Shut co-star, Nicole Kidman felt much safer with a husband by her side because she felt it shielded her from sexual predation. Especially considering Tom Cruise was (and still is) a powerful leading man in Hollywood, there was certainly some kind of unspoken protection the actress had in her young years that kept her away from some uncomfortable situations.
Nicole Kidman’s recent comments about her early relationship with fame do perhaps paint a rough picture of Hollywood in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and that made her feel unsafe by herself. Hopefully as the actress has grown, the industry has done so with her. The actress stars next with Hugh Grant in HBO’s The Undoing, premiering on Sunday, October 25. Check out what other series are available this fall season.