Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Mary Kidman, AC (born 20 June 1967) is an Australian actress, spokes model, and humanitarian. After starring in a number of small Australian films and TV shows, Kidman's breakthrough was in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm. Her performances in films such as To Die For (1995), Moulin Rouge! (2001), and Rabbit Hole (2010), received critical acclaim, and her performance in The Hours (2002) brought her an Academy Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe Award. Her other films include the box office hits Days of Thunder (1990), Batman Forever (1995), The Others (2001), Cold Mountain (2003), The Interpreter (2005) and Australia (2008). Kidman has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNIFEM since 2006. In 2003, Kidman received her star on the Walk of Fame. In 2006, Kidman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia's highest civilian honour, and was also the highest-paid actress in the motion picture industry. As a result of being born to Australian parents in Hawaii, Kidman has dual citizenship of Australia and the United States.

Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her father, Dr. Antony David Kidman, is a biochemist, clinical psychologist, and author, with an office in Lane Cove, Sydney, Australia. Her mother, Janelle Ann (née Glenny), is a nursing instructor who edits her husband's books and was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby. At the time of Kidman's birth in 1967, her father was a visiting fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health of the United States. The family returned to Australia when Kidman was four and her parents now live on Sydney's North Shore. Kidman has a younger sister, Antonia Kidman, a journalist. She is of Irish descent through her great-great-great-grandparents, James and Bridget Callachor, who settled in Sydney in 1842. Kidman attended Lane Cove Public School and North Sydney Girls' High School. In 1984, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, which caused Kidman to temporarily halt her education and help provide for the family by working as a massage therapist at age 17. She studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, and at the Phillip Street Theatre in Sydney, with actress Naomi Watts. This was followed by attending the Australian Theatre for Young People. Kidman's first appearance in film came as a teenager in the Pat Wilson music video for the song "Bop Girl". By the end of 1983, she had a supporting role in the television series Five Mile Creek and four film roles, including BMX Bandits and Bush Christmas. During the 1980s, she appeared in several Australian productions, including the soap opera A Country Practice, the mini-series Vietnam (1986), Emerald City (1988), and Bangkok Hilton (1989). She also made multiple guest appearances on Australian television programs and TV movies. In 1989 Kidman starred in Dead Calm as Rae Ingram, the wife of naval officer John Ingram (Sam Neill), held captive on a Pacific yacht trip by the psychotic Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane). The thriller garnered strong reviews; Variety commented: "Throughout the film, Kidman is excellent. She gives the character of Rae real tenacity and energy." Meanwhile, critic Roger Ebert noted the excellent chemistry between the leads, stating, "...Kidman and Zane do generate real, palpable hatred in their scenes together."

In 1990 she appeared opposite Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder, playing a young doctor who falls in love with a racecar driver. This was Kidman's American debut and was among the highest-grossing films of the year. That same year she auditioned for the role of Molly in the blockbuster film Ghost but lost the role to Demi Moore. In 1991 she co-starred with Naomi Watts in the independent film Flirting, and received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Billy Bathgate opposite Dustin Hoffman. She and Cruise re-teamed for Ron Howard's Irish epic Far and Away (1992), which was a modest critical and commercial success. In 1993 she starred opposite Michael Keaton in My Life and Alec Baldwin in the thriller Malice, which also featured Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Pullman, and Anne Bancroft. During an interview, Kidman revealed she refused to screen test for the role of Jenny in Forrest Gump (1994), a part that went to Robin Wright Penn.
In 1995 Kidman played Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever opposite Val Kilmer and Jim Carrey. The movie was a blockbuster, and became the second-highest grossing film of the year. As of 2010, it also is the highest-grossing film in which she has appeared. Kidman's second film in 1995, To Die For, was a satirical comedy that earned her critical praise. For her portrayal of the murderous newscaster Suzanne Stone Maretto, she won a Golden Globe Award and five other best actress awards.Kidman continued to star in many films such as The Portrait of a Lady (1996) and The Peacemaker (1997) opposite George Clooney. In 1998, she appeared in the film Practical Magic alongside Sandra Bullock, and starred in the stage play The Blue Room, which opened in London. In 1999, Kidman and Cruise portrayed a married couple in Eyes Wide Shut, the final film of Stanley Kubrick. The film opened to generally positive reviews but was subject to censorship controversies due to the explicit nature of its sex scenes.

n 2002 Kidman received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 2001 musical film Moulin Rouge!, in which she played the courtesan Satine opposite Ewan McGregor. Subsequently, Kidman received her second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The same year, she also had a well-received starring role in the horror film The Others. While in Australia filming Moulin Rouge!, Kidman injured her ribs; as a result, Jodie Foster replaced her as leading actress in the film Panic Room. In that film, Kidman's voice appears on the phone as the mistress of the husband of the lead character. The following year (2003), Kidman won critical praise for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, in which the prosthetics applied to her made her almost unrecognisable. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, along with a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA, and numerous critics awards. Kidman became the first Australian actress to win an Academy Award. During her Academy Award acceptance speech, Kidman made a teary statement about the importance of art, even during times of war: "Why do you come to the Academy Awards when the world is in such turmoil? Because art is important. And because you believe in what you do and you want to honour that, and it is a tradition that needs to be upheld." In the same year Kidman starred in three very different films. The first film, Dogville, by Danish director Lars von Trier, was an experimental film set on a bare soundstage. In the second film, she co-starred with Anthony Hopkins in the film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel The Human Stain. The third film, Cold Mountain, a love story of two Southerners separated by the Civil War, garnered her a Golden Globe Award nomination. Kidman's 2004 film Birth was nominated for the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, and Kidman was nominated for another Golden Globe Award.

Kidman appeared in the Diane Arbus bio-pic Fur. She also lent her voice to the animated film Happy Feet, which quickly garnered critical and commercial success; the film grossed over US$384 million worldwide. In 2007, she starred in the science fiction movie The Invasion directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel where it was reported that she received $26 million for her performance. Although it was a critical and commercial failure, Kidman said that she has no control over the success of her films. She also played opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black in Noah Baumbach's comedy-drama Margot at the Wedding. She also starred in the film adaptation of the first part of the planned His Dark Materials trilogy of films, playing the villainous Marisa Coulter. On 25 June 2007, Nintendo announced that Kidman would be the new face of Nintendo's advertising campaign for the Nintendo DS game More Brain Training in its European market. In 2008, she starred in Baz Luhrmann's Australian period film titled Australia, which is set in the remote Northern Territory during the Japanese attack on Darwin during World War II. Kidman played opposite Hugh Jackman as an English woman feeling overwhelmed by the continent. The film was a box office success worldwide. Kidman was originally set to star in The Reader, a post-war Germany drama, but due to her pregnancy she had to back out of the film. Kidman appeared in the 2009 Rob Marshall musical, Nine, portraying the character of Claudia Jenssen. Also in 2009, Kidman was the front face of an international spread Schweppes commercial. In 2010, she starred with Aaron Eckhart in the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Rabbit Hole, for which she vacated her role in the Woody Allen picture, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger.

TV Guide reported that Kidman will star in The Danish Girl, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name, playing Einar Wegener, the world's first post-op transsexual. She will also produce and star in a film adaptation of the Chris Cleave's novel, Little Bee in association with BBC Films. She recently lent her voice to a promotional video that Australia will use to support their bid to host the 2018 World Cup. The five minute video was broadcast at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In June 2010 it was announced that Kidman and Clive Owen will star in an HBO film about Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn entitled Hemingway & Gellhorn. James Gandolfini will serve as executive producer to the film written by Barbara Turner and Jerry Stahl. The film will be directed by Philip Kaufman and reportedly will begin shooting in 2011. She also stars alongside Nicolas Cage and reunites with Batman Forever director, Joel Schumacher for the action-thriller Trespass. Cage and Kidman star as a married couple that are taken hostage on the project that is now in post-production. On 17 September 2010, it was announced that she will return to Broadway next year to portray Alexandra Del Lago in David Cromer's revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. Scott Rudin will produce the play and James Franco will be playing Chance Wayne. In February 2011, it was reported that Kidman is in talks to join the cast of Park Chan Wook's Stoker.

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