“I was very lonely and I didn’t want to be,” recalls the Big Little Lies actress.
For 12 years Nicole Kidman has been happily married to Keith Urban, which is why she doesn’t often talk about her previous marriage to Tom Cruise.
But this week, during her Life In Pictures talk at Bafta in London, the actress spoke of the loneliness she felt after her marriage to Cruise ended in 2001 – after he filed for divorce.
“In my case, I went and met somebody and fell in love and had a whole different path in terms of what I wanted to do,” Kidman said, referring to meeting her now husband, Urban.
However, in doing so, the actress admitted she had to consciously make time in her life to do so. At the time, Kidman had just won an Oscar for her performance as writer Virginia Woolf in The Hours.
“I was very lonely and I didn’t want to be. So I went, ‘OK, I’m going to try and meet my partner’, and that takes time,” Kidman explained. “It can’t be working all the time and flitting around the world.”
Kidman was only 23 years old when she married Cruise, admitting: “I fell in love very young and got married very early.”
A recent study found that 34% of 25-34 year olds are lonely ‘often or very often’ while 36% of 34-44 year olds felt the same.
“I managed to meet a wonderful man and I now have two children out of that marriage which has given me incredible nourishment and unbelievable blessings to have them,” Kidman said.
The pair married in 2006, and now they have two children together.
She continued: “It highlighted to me the idea that I needed to go and have more of a real life because I had an incredible artistic life, I just didn’t have the balance there.”
Just last month, the actress revealed that her marriage to Cruise helped her to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault. Writing for New York magazine’s women and power series, the Oscar-winning actress said:
“I got married very young, but it definitely wasn’t power for me. [But] it was protection… being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed.”
It wasn’t until she and Cruise divorced that Kidman felt she had to face new and different struggles in her career, especially as a woman.
“I would work, but I was still very much cocooned,” she explains. “So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it’s almost like I had to grow up.”
However, Kidman admitted that she nearly walked away from the film industry after the birth of her daughter, Sunday. But her mother stepped in and gave her some invaluable advice.
“I said to my mother, ‘I’m done’. She was like, ‘Hmm, I think you’re going to want to keep your job’, and it was fantastic advice because as a woman, yes, you’re in this place now but it’s best to keep your toe in your career because I think you’re going to want to be able to go back to it,” Kidman said.
“I’m so glad I have a very opinionated and strong mother who’s very wise. I bristle but I do listen to her.”
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