Nicole Kidman Says Her Kids Were “Shocked” By Her Appearance in Destroyer

The actress opens up about taking her work home with her at the end of the day.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Nicole Kidman is one of our most transformative actresses (remember how thoroughly she became Virginia Woolf in The Hours?), but few roles have been as grueling to undertake as an L.A. police officer badly “damaged,” as she says, by an undercover operation gone wrong in the recently released Destroyer. Karen Kusama’s grim cop drama sees Kidman use prosthetics and wigs and makeup to become nearly unrecognizable, but as the director David Hare once said of the actress, “Nicole acts all the way down.” That means Kidman wore not only her character’s clothes home from the set at night, but also her distressed state of mind, as she reveals in W‘s annual Best Performances package. Here, she opens up about the difficulties of the role—for which she’s nominated for a Golden Globe this Sunday and during which she almost fell into near-depression—but also about the hardships of taking on such parts and going home to her family, the like-mindedness of her artistic children, and even the first date she ever went on.

Tell me about how Destroyer came to you.

Destroyer came to me, well, actually it didn’t come to me. It went to somebody else and they didn’t want to do it. And I was in contact with Karen [Kusama], but not sort of in relation to any particular script. We’d sat down a couple of years prior and talked. So then when I heard that she was directing it and I read it, I put my hand up and said, “What about me?”

Really? Maybe she just didn’t think you’d be interested.

I don’t think I’d be the first choice for that. You wouldn’t go, “I know who we should get for this, right?”

Yes. Well, it’s very dark.

And also I think just the idea, whether I could be that… then I started to doubt whether I could do it. That cop that’s been through so much.

And it’s very American in a funny way, too.

Very American, very angry, distressed, and disturbed. And she had a particular vision for it, Karen, so I had to morph into that vision for her.

Nicole Kidman wears an Armani Privé dress; Cartier earrings; Cornelia James gloves; stylist’s own veil.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

What was the hardest part about playing the character?

Existing in that state of being for the period of time that it took, which was a long period of time. Also being in pretty much every frame of the film, which I haven’t done for a long time. The idea of carrying the weight of all of that. You know, she’s a director who allows the camera to stay on you and you have to fill it with just everything that’s inside. Even though it’s a very sparse script, it requires all of the history and all of that damage. It needs to be there and palpable.

The interesting thing about it, knowing you, is that she’s so isolated. And you’re so warm. You are! You’re close to so many people. This woman is so cut off. It was like I stopped seeing you all together. There was no shred of you in there.


That must have been very hard to keep sustaining day after day.

Yeah. And it was also being really untethered, is how I describe it. It wasn’t like I had any idea where I was or if it was working. I just felt very untethered. I felt when Karen would say, “No, no. It’s working,” then I would sort of, you know, I would say, “Okay, just trust.” So much of my career is just going, “Okay I’m just going to abandon and trust here.”

I know that the wardrobe sometimes informs things for actors.

We took so long to find that leather jacket that I wear pretty much in every frame of the film.

And the jeans are very particular.

The jeans, yeah. I became so obsessed as the character that I ended up just never taking that off. I’d wear it home. I’d put it on first thing in the morning. I wouldn’t be getting dressed really at work. I just wanted to wear the costume home. And I almost entered a state of depression myself.

Comme des Garçons coat, T-shirt, skirt, tights, and boots; headpiece by hairstylist Malcolm Edwards. Inflatable latex costumes by artist Sasha Frolova.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

I was gonna say, when you work in a film like that do you separate from your family? I mean, it’s hard to just come home and bake cookies, you know.

I don’t bake cookies anyway, Lynn.

[Laughs.] I don’t know, make an art project—you do do that.

Yes, I do that.

So I mean, it’s hard to change gears.

It is, and I actually have artistic children, so they have an understanding already of the artistic journey. They have two parents who are artists, so they have music, they have acting, they have stories and ideas swirling around. So they’re naturally inclined towards that because they don’t know anything else. So they kind of know how to dance with it. I mean, they visited the set.

They did?

And they were shocked at the way I looked. But they would, you know, they watch. I have a beautiful photo of my oldest daughter sitting next to Karen in the chair with the headphones on, watching, riveted to the screen. But it’s more my discipline of having to go, ‘Okay, I’m existing in this and not putting that on them.’ So even though I’m carrying it, and that’s a parent a lot of times, anyway. You’re carrying a lot of things that you don’t share with your children or that you’re protecting them from. You know, that’s just the journey of a parent. When you’re doing it artistically as well, so it’s not just life and the struggles of life, you’re also dealing with, ‘I’m not gonna lay this character on them.’ I’m trying it. So it’s jarring and it’s difficult and it’s not something that comes easily. It’s kind of like learning as I go along. Luckily my husband is very, you know, he gets the space that’s needed to create in.

Best Performances: Featuring Nicole Kidman, Claire Foy, Rami Malek, and 29 of Hollywood’s Biggest Stars

Claire Foy wears a Burberry top, corset dress, socks, and shoes; Charvet scarf. Emily Blunt wears a Burberry dress, shirt, socks, and shoes; stylist’s own top.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Kiki Layne wears a Prada top and headband; Tiffany & Co. earrings. Jonah Hill wears The Row jacket, shirt, and tie.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Margot Robbie wears a Chanel cardigan and skirt; stylist’s own top. Michael B. Jordan wears a Calvin Klein 205W39NYC cardigan and vest; Brioni trousers.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Nicole Kidman wears an Armani Privé dress; Cartier earrings; Cornelia James gloves; stylist’s own veil.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Mahershala Ali wears a Prada suit; his own top and bracelet. Amy Adams wears a Givenchy dress and belt.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Eddie Redmayne wears a Givenchy shirt and pants. Rami Malek wears a Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello shirt.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Saoirse Ronan wears a Celine by Hedi Slimane dress.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves. Hair by Malcolm Edwards at Art Partner; Makeup by Lucy Bridge for MAC Cosmetics at Streeters London; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Gary Card at Streeters London. Men’s wear editor: Sam Walker. Hair for King: Angela A. Perrantes; Grooming for Jordan: Carola Gonzalez for Malin & Goetz at Forward Artists; Hair for Jordan: Jove Edmond; Hair for Layne: Larry Sims for flawless at Forward Artists. Produced by Jeffrey Delich at Padbury Production; Production Manager: Lauren Sakioka at Padbury Production; Local Producer: Meghan Gallagher at Connect the Dots; Local Production Coordinator: Jane Oh at Connect the Dots; Photography Assistants: Sarah Lloyd, Tony Ivanov, Kyle Holmquist, Keith Coleman, Scott Froschauer; Retouching by Graeme Bulcraig at Touch Digital; Production Assistants: Michael Osborn, Nikki Patrlja, Dan Fleming; Fashion Assistants: Allia Alliata di Montereale, Nadia Beeman, Sharon Chitrit, Megan King, Brejon Golden, Jonnie Atkinson, Lindsey Hartman, Rosa Schorr; Set Assistants: Nicole McBride, Collin Lebrasseauer, Seth Powsner, Olivia Giles; Ballet Dancers: Morgan Quinn, Jaclyn Hamric, Corey O’Brien, Dominic Eustes; Tailors: Isa Kriegeskotte, Karla Yvette Miranda, Nastassia Bauta; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Heirloom LA, Kitchen Mouse, Electric Avenue, Cast Partner.
Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased and Destroyer

“In Destroyer, I play a cop who’s been through a lot—she’s very American, very angry, distressed, and disturbed. I wasn’t the first choice for that role—it went to somebody else and she didn’t want to do it. I read the script and put my hand up and said, ‘What about me?’ ” Did the wardrobe contribute to the character? We took so long to find the leather jacket that I wear in pretty much every frame of the film. I became so obsessed with that jacket, I would wear it at home. I put it on first thing in the morning. My kids visited the set and were shocked at the way I looked. You know, I’ve been working as an actor since I was 14 years old. It’s a choice, but it’s also a calling. Sometimes, I kind of try to move away, but it always pulls me back.

Comme des Garçons coat, T-shirt, skirt, tights, and boots; headpiece by hairstylist Malcolm Edwards. Inflatable latex costumes by artist Sasha Frolova (throughout).

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Amy Adams in Vice

“My role in Vice is Lynne Cheney, Dick Cheney’s wife. It’s a huge responsibility to play a living person. I didn’t meet Lynne, and that’s interesting too—playing somebody who’s alive but whom you’ve never met. Plus, I age from 20 to 70 in the film, so that was another challenge.” Did her conservative politics affect your performance? I really just absorbed her point of view. Whether I agree with it or not doesn’t really matter. To get into character, I would have long debates about policy and politics as Lynne Cheney with our director, Adam McKay. I called him many names. I teased him about wearing shorts on set and how that was disrespectful. But I didn’t swear, because Lynne wouldn’t swear.

Valentino gown; Valentino Garavani earrings; Marc Jacobs boots.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Saoirse Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots and On Chesil Beach

“This is the first time I’ve played any queen or monarch. Mary had to hold herself in a certain way when she was presenting herself at court, but when she was on her own, in her intimate quarters, she was quite different. I began to feel like a bit of a boss. A boss queen!” Did you learn any royal skills? Yes, I learned to ride. My horse in the film was also Wonder Woman’s horse—his name is Prince, and he is the biggest diva I’ve ever met. Prince doesn’t do anything for anyone, especially me, and had a nervous cough that you’d hear right before we’d do a take. Everything I did was for that horse, just to get his approval.

Balenciaga dress and shoes.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You

“The director of the film, Boots Riley, had been following me for quite a while before I finally met him. He handed me the script for Sorry to Bother You literally put it in my hands. I was like, Who is this strange person? When I read the script, I realized I had no idea how deeply strange he is. But his strangeness revealed itself to be another form of beauty.” Growing up, who was your cinematic crush? Jennifer Love Hewitt. I loved her. I couldn’t comprehend anything, except that she was beautiful. What’s your favorite Halloween costume? I’m always the Joker. Every year. Soon there will be a black Joker movie, and it will be me.

Maison Margiela Artisanal Men’s Designed by John Galliano suit; Tiffany & Co. earrings; John Hardy cross necklace; Chrome Hearts thick chain; Hoorsenbuhs long chain; Stanfield’s own rings.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots

What was your first red-carpet outfit? I was 18. The Australian equivalent of the Emmys is called the Logies, and I was nominated. It was my big moment, the biggest thing that had happened to me. So I went all out on the dress: It was very short at the front, long at the back, lots of layers, bright colors, and shiny fabric. It was, like, orange, black, orange, black—with a big bow at the back. I had stipple-looking hair, and I was very tan. It was…a look. I don’t regret it, because I was 18 and having fun. I can dress boring for the rest of my life.

Staud coat; Giu Giu turtleneck; Vex Clothing tights; Urstadt Swan gloves; Manolo Blahnik shoes; stylist’s own veil.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Timothée Chalamet in Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy [which is about a father and his son, who is addicted to drugs] was a script they’d been trying to get made for 10 years. Every guy actor my age had gone up for it. I’ve been lucky, but a lot of the bigger Hollywood movies like Spider-Man, things like that, I didn’t get. So, for Beautiful Boy, I did a lot of research and read about drugs, and I brought the books to my first meeting with the director. I could see in his eyes that he was thinking, This kid is nuts. But I felt this movie—the subject of drug addiction—was so important. I wanted to make an anti-glorification-of-drugs movie. And I think we did.” Did you meet Nic Sheff, whom you play in the film? Yes. I met him a week before we started shooting. And there was nothing about Nic that fit my stereotype of an addict. That was the learning grace of this movie: Nic is alive and well, but the reality is, it’s a day at a time. You never really beat it. You lost so much weight. Was your mom worried about you? My mom was worried! I lost 18 pounds. First, I’m in a movie where I was having sex with a peach, and then it was like, “I got another movie!” She said, “Great!” And then I had to tell her what it was about.

Charvet shirt.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Claire Foy in First Man

Growing up, what was your favorite toy? I had a disgusting pillow until I was about 21. Shamefully, I took it to university. Do you get nervous before filming? Oh, yes, I get nervous. It’s a gradual process of trying to work yourself up to being brave enough to be on set. You always worry that everyone’s going to say, “Ooh, we’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake.” What was the name of your first pet? Thumper. And the first street that you lived on? I don’t know. So you’re a one-name sensation: Thumper is your porno name. Thumper it is.

Burberry cape; Falconiere bonnet.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

What was the first record you bought? Bon Jovi. “Livin’ on a Prayer” is such a good song. I love a good emotional ballad. The greatest YouTube hole to go down is Leona Lewis when she was on The X Factor. Every week, she just came and delivered. Occasionally she’d take her shoes off. Do you watch other reality shows? I’m quite excited because The Hills, which is my original reality-TV guilty pleasure, is coming back. I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Heidi Montag. Do you have a secret skill? Yes. I’m incredibly good at being early. I’m always the person who gets to the airport four hours early. I drive everyone crazy.

Dior Men jacket and pants; Urstadt Swan gloves; Givenchy boots.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther

Do you have a favorite movie villain? For me, it’s a tie between Heath Ledger as the Joker and Michael Fassbender as Magneto. Villains, like Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, are the most interesting characters. They are the ones you can empathize with—they want you to not like them, but you can still understand their motivation.Even though you’re the villain in Black Panther, do people on the street still say “Wakanda forever” to you? They don’t immediately realize that my character is not exactly pro-Wakanda. Midway through saying something, it registers: Oh, he wasn’t really with Wakanda. But by then they’ve already committed.

Is it difficult to act when you’re basically naked? I’m always naked. So, no.

Hermès sweater.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Joanna Kulig in Cold War

“The director, Pawel Pawlikowski, wrote the part of Zula for me. I knew that the inspiration for the character came from his mother. Zula is her real name, and, like me, she was blonde. I saw her photo.” Was that the hardest part about portraying the character? No. The hardest part was the dancing. In general, I have a problem with coordination. I spent six months in a Polish folk ensemble learning how to dance. We partied together, we drank together, and we’d dance for six hours during a concert. It was like a family, and I started to build the character of Zula. Soon, I had her thoughts and personality. And I finally learned how to dance!

Chloé dress; Louis Vuitton hat.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Elizabeth Debicki in Widows

“I was a dancer for many, many years, and I thought I was going to be a ballerina. When I was about 12, I went to a summer school for the Australian ballet and I was already taller than my teacher. So I remember saying to myself, I’m going to have to rethink this plan.” Did you audition for Widows? Yes, I put myself on tape in my friend’s garage. How glamorous! I remember wearing a lot of eyeliner. I picked out some hoop earrings. And, funnily enough, in the finished film, she ended up looking a lot like she did in my test.

Marc Jacobs coat; Noel Stewart headpiece; Cornelia James gloves; Falke tights; Vivienne Westwood shoes.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk

“I took a break from making films. My son, Ian, was getting to the age, around sixth grade, when kids are starting to spread their wings, and everything that was being offered to me was outside of Los Angeles, except for TV. I didn’t want to travel to make films. So I like to say I was one of the first movie actors who made the leap into television.” Do they call Beale Street your comeback film? I like to use the LL Cool J song: “Don’t call it comeback. I been here for years.”

Givenchy dress; Graham Tyler hat; Linda Farrow sunglasses.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate

“I painted in a movie called To Live and Die in L.A., but it wasn’t about painting—it was more about counterfeiting and killing people. In playing Vincent van Gogh, painting was the key to the character. I had to know what I was doing. The director, Julian Schnabel, would say, ‘Hold the brush like a sword’ and ‘There’s no such thing as a bad mark.’ I began to think that painting is about making an accumulation of marks. Acting is the same: You create a character scene by scene. It’s a series of marks that start a rhythm, and that rhythm sends you where you need to go.” Who is your cinematic crush? Warren Oates. When I saw him perform, I thought, That’s not an actor, that’s a man. It kind of broke my heart to find out he was actually a trained actor.

Balenciaga coat.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in Leave No Trace

“I play a girl who is with her father in the wild, far away from civilization. Since I live in New Zealand and couldn’t fly to America, I auditioned on tape. We had a lot of props: a bucket, a toothbrush, a sleeping bag, and a rabbit named Coco. I also ran through the New Zealand bush with a GoPro in my mouth and sent that off as well. I didn’t meet the director in person. Six months later, on Christmas, I found out that I had gotten the part.”

Moschino Couture dress; Capezio tights; Sergio Rossi shoes.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Steven Yeun in Burning

“I like filming death scenes. When I was on The Walking Dead, I had known for some time about my character’s death. I was really excited for that day—I was looking forward to getting my skull bashed in. In Burning, my death scene was really fun. That was the only time it snowed, which was unexpected, and it added some magic to the moment. Everybody fantasizes about what it would be like to die. If I could make a career out of being killed, it would be okay.” Do you have a secret skill? Yes. I’m really good at getting parking spots. I’m so confident that the spot is going to be there, that it’s always there. Right in front.

Gucci jacket, shirt, pants, hat, and shoes; Charvet tie.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade

“I have been acting since I was 5. My first job was doing the voice of Agnes, the youngest daughter, with the big ponytail on top of her head, in Despicable Me. I was in the sequel, but I was too old for Despicable Me 3, because I can’t do my 5-year-old voice anymore.” In Eighth Grade, there is a pool-party scene that is nerve-wracking. You wear a very awkward green bathing suit. Yes, it is anxiety inducing. I did not pick the bathing suit. They wanted a lime green one so my character would stick out. I still have it. I mean, I don’t go to the pool that much, but that’s my bathing suit now. I love it.

Gucci dress; Eugenia Kim hat; Sophie Buhai necklace.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Jonah Hill in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

In the film, your character, Donny, has a fantastic fashion sense. One of the things that inspired me was a photograph of Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco in the ’70s. I looked at it and was like, Oh, level-10 Marrakech! So Donny wears a lot of caftans and Moroccan stuff in the movie—kind of our Tom Petty and Yves Saint Laurent level-10 Marrakech. He also has a very calm, Zen outlook on life. Donny had conquered a lot of the things that were dark and demonic about himself, and he was able to be peaceful and calm. That was a joy to play. I miss being Donny— even his long blond hair. What was your most memorable birthday? My mom once sent a mariachi band to play my favorite song, “Feliz Navidad.” It was winter in New York and eight mariachis played my song. I was like, “Am I hallucinating right now?”

Raf Simons coat; the Row T-shirt and jeans; Paul Smith boots.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Kiki Layne in If Beale Street Could Talk

How did you find out you had the part in Beale Street? It was nine in the morning and Barry Jenkins, the director, called and woke me up. He just got to talking and didn’t introduce himself. Finally, he said, “Girl, do you even know who you’re talking to?” He went on to tell me that they were giving me the role! I was trying to rush him off the phone so I could really go crazy and cry and call my mama. What is your go-to karaoke song? “Drunk in Love,” by Beyoncé. Especially if you’ve got somebody that’ll hold down Jay Z’s part. That’s definitely the move. I feel like you have mood hair: Sometimes it’s long, sometimes it’s short—up, down. Oh, yeah, we gotta switch it up. You never really know how it’s gonna be: Will it be curly? Straight? And watch out when those colors start coming in!

Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello dress and boots; Prada headband; Tiffany & Co. earrings.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Carey Mulligan in Wildlife

“Paul Dano, who cowrote and directed Wildlife, called me and said he was going to send me the script. I was kind of flattered that he thought I could play Jeanette.” She’s a tormented character. Did you have trouble shaking her off at the end of the day? No. When you’ve got kids, they expect you to come home and be Mom, not some weird drunk woman. At the end of the day, I take off that hat, leave that person at work, and come home and watch the Food Network. I love Chopped. They make disgusting things, but I do like Bobby Flay. Chopped and Bobby Flay are the perfect antidote to films like Wildlife.

Michael Kors Collection dress; vintage hat from New York Vintage, New York; Tiffany & Co. earrings; Carolina Amato gloves; Capezio tights; Jimmy Choo shoes.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Yalitza Aparicio (far left) in Roma

“The shoot for Roma lasted six months. We shot in chronological order. It was a very long process for me. I had not seen any of Alfonso Cuarón’s films. I actually didn’t know who he was. Alfonso asked me not to watch any of his films until we were done with the filming. He didn’t want me poisoning my mind with any images or ideas.”

Marina de Tavira in Roma

“I was the only actor in Roma with any previous experience. It was really challenging. First-time actors—and many of them were children—have a completely different way of working. Alfonso Cuarón would play tricks on us—make things happen that we were not expecting. That way, he made real life appear on set.”

From left: Valentino gown. The Row gown; Tiffany & Co. earrings.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns

“The hardest thing about playing Mary Poppins was learning how to dance. One day, you’re handed a hat and a cane, and I was like, Oh, my God. And, also, the initial idea of taking on a character that iconic was daunting. But once I got over my fears, it was deliciously fun.” What was your first red-carpet outfit? It was for My Summer of Love, and I was far too tanned. I was wearing a very bright yellow dress. I always laugh at how sweaty I looked. Horrible. Who is your girl crush? Rihanna. I mean, come on. She’s smoking.

Louis Vuitton coat; Eugenia Kim hat; Manokhi gloves.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody

“The first thing I auditioned for I almost wasn’t allowed to audition for. I got a call from a casting director, and she asked to speak to the agent representing Rami Malek. I said, ‘Uh, speaking.’ She kind of laughed and said, ‘Call me when you have an agent.’ I go, ‘You’re already laughing—give me a shot.’ It was three lines in Gilmore Girls. I convinced her to let me read, and I got the part.” Besides in the film, have you ever sung any Queen songs in public? In Japan, with our version of the band, we dressed up in animal onesies and did “Bohemian Rhapsody,” like the original video. It was filmed, and I’m sure someone will get drunk and throw it out there into the ether.

Officine Générale pants; Atsuko Kudo Couture Latex Design gloves.

Photograph by Tim Walker; Styled by Sara Moonves.

Have you seen the film? Was it hard for you to watch yourself?

Yeah. I squirm. But I squirm a lot watching, so… you know, I’ve been working since I was 14 years old. It’s a choice but it’s also just the calling. I find it like I’m just pulled. I kind of try to move away sometimes and it just pulls me back.

You’re having this incredible moment the last few years. Has it been interesting for you to have this kind of flowering in a way?

I’m sort of astounded and I kind of always feel like it’s not really happening. You know? I always approach the work and everything as though… I think I probably always have that feeling of it’s probably gonna evaporate anyway. There’s a slight dreamlike quality to all of it anyway. But I’m astonished, yeah, I am.

What were the Emmys like? You won for Big Little Lies.

Amazing. When I won the Oscar I was, as I say, alone. And to win something like that with a family and to share that with my family had such weight. And standing there with that Emmy. Also, the other thing is I think winning an award like that, and I really feel this, it’s not about a singular thing. It’s very much an acknowledgement of everybody and the work and it always feels not me. So as much as it’s coming through me, it’s not me. Which is why I have a tough time going, “I’m taking this for me, because it’s not that.” It’s very much, part of the thing is always trying to acknowledge everyone that’s either helped you to get where you are or helped you to do the performance or helped you in your life, or picked you up when you were down, or nursed you through illness. There’s so much that goes into those moments. They’re fleeting but that’s where you get to go, “Thank you.” Does that make sense?

Nicole Kidman’s 13 Most Transformative On-Screen Roles, From Big Little Lies to Eyes Wide Shut

In 1990’s Days of Thunder, Kidman’s first role opposite soon-to-be husband Tom Cruise, she plays Dr. Claire Lewicki, a doctor charged with nursing Cruise’s NASCAR driver character to recovery in the aftermath of a horrific crash. Though a critical flop, Days of Thunder marked Kidman as one to watch — and it still has a cultish fan base nearly three decades later.


Kidman and Cruise’s second co-starring effort was Far and Away, the Ron Howard period piece about two Irish immigrants in turn-of-the-century America. Another film that was a popular success but a critical non-starter, Far and Away nevertheless found Kidman once again utterly transformed into the Irish émigré Shannon Christie.


Arguably Kidman’s most important role to date came with To Die For, the darkly funny crime comedy about an aspiring television anchor (Kidman, as Suzanne Stone). It earned the actress her first Golden Globe (she had previously been nominated, but lost to Mercedes Ruehl in The Fisher King) and, as a bonus, also features a 17-year-old Casey Affleck in his first role.


Kidman is luminous in the already overstuffed Batman Forever, which premiered later in 1995 with Val Kilmer as the titular Batman. She plays Batman’s love interest Dr. Chase Meridian, a psychologist — and though Batman Forever was far from Kidman’s most complex or lauded role, it still finds her again transformed, this time into the quintessential damsel in distress (albeit one with a PhD).


In the last of Kidman’s three roles opposite Tom Cruise, she plays his art curator wife Alice Harford in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. It’s an eerie, complicated role, in which Alice deals with her own suspicions and dissatisfactions while Cruise, Dr. William Harford, undertakes a kind of sexual odyssey.


Kidman was nominated for Best Actress at the 2002 Academy Awards for her starring turn in Moulin Rouge! opposite Ewan McGregor. It turns out, Kidman is also a capable singer in addition to a transcendent actress.


It’s not just Kidman’s capable acting that sees her so transformed in 2003’s The Hours — the film that earned her her first and only Oscar thus far. It’s also her prosthetic nose that completes her evolution into the writer Virginia Woolf.


Nowhere is Kidman’s skill better on display than in the minimalist Lars Von Trier masterpiece Dogville, in which Kidman plays a woman on the run from the mob who hides out in the small town of Dogville, Colorado. With a set simply demarcated by lines on the floor, the film makes the most of its all-star cast, with Kidman at the center of it all.


Adapted from the 1997 novel of the same name, Cold Mountain earned an Oscar not for Kidman, but for supporting actress Renée Zellweger. Nevertheless, Kidman is in top form as a young society woman surviving Civil War-time hardships in the eponymous town of Cold Mountain.


With The Hours and Cold Mountain behind her, Kidman embarked on an early-’00s period of creative triumph. Two years later, she appeared in an entirely different kind of film, starring as an actual witch — Isabel Bigelow — playing an on-screen witch — Samantha Stephens — in 2005’s Bewitched opposite Will Ferrell. The film itself was widely deemed a failure of an adaptation of the original sitcom — but Kidman was singled out as the movie’s redeeming factor.


Kidman earned her third Oscar nomination for Rabbit Hole, the 2010 drama co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest about a couple coping in the aftermath of their child’s death. Rabbit Hole also marked the feature debut of Miles Teller.


Last year, Kidman found herself back in the awards season conversation as Sue Brierley, the adoptive mother of Saroo Brierley, a young Indian man — played alternately by Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar — searching for his birth family. An extremely ’80s perm is just the start of Kidman’s on-screen transformation.


Kidman is one part of the all-star cast roped into HBO’s Big Little Lies, the limited series also starring Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, and Laura Dern. Kidman plays Celeste, the stay-at-home mom and wife of Alexander Skarsgard, whose picture-perfect marriage and children bely a fraught narrative of domestic abuse.