Nicole Kidman on her ‘alpha’ daughter: ‘We don’t say bossy, we say leader’

T&C Dec-Jan Cover - White

Nicole Kidman covers the December issue of Town & Country to promote her supporting role in Lion, the film with Dev Patel as a guy who was adopted from India as a kid and then goes back to India in adulthood to find his birth family. Kidman plays his character’s adoptive mother, and people say that she’s great in the role, and that Kidman might even be shortlisted for some Supporting Actress awards. While I wasn’t feeling the trailer for Lion, I guess it’s better to see Kidman get the Oscar buzz rather than Rooney Mara (who is also in the movie). As for this T&C interview… it’s pleasant, but not particularly eventful. I thought the most interesting thing about it was the nicknames Nicole has for her young daughters – Sunday is “Sunny” and Faith is “Fifi.” How would you like to have the pretty name of Faith and end up with a dog’s nickname? Of course, my mom’s name is Faith and I call her “Faffy” to annoy her. Anyway, you can read the full interview here. Some highlights:

She has no pattern when it comes to choosing scripts: “I call myself the wild card because I have no idea what it is. I’m so spontaneous—sometimes to my detriment and sometimes my benefit—but it’s how I’ve always been. My husband never knows what I’m going to choose. And then he’ll ask me to explain why and I can’t!”

Why she did ‘Lion’: “I can see now, for Lion, that it was important to me because I’m a mother with adopted children.” Kidman and her first husband, Tom Cruise, adopted Isabella, now 23, and Connor, 21. While her relationship with them has reportedly been complicated, she now states firmly, “This movie is a love letter to my children. Sue is deeply maternal and full of unconditional love, which is beautiful. That’s why I wanted to do it. I relate to that. I feel that for my own children who are adopted. It’s not about anything else other than ‘I wanted you.’ It’s that deep and personal, and whatever your journey is, I’m here to love and support you. That’s what I connected to.”

Seeing her daughters play in Australia: “They played with wallabies and kangaroos. Now it’s one of their favorite places. And they’ve been a lot of places. They’re very well traveled. My daughter can go to school and say, ‘I’ve been to Paris. I’ve been to Morocco. I’ve been to Italy and China and India.”

The kids prefer Keith’s job to Nicole’s job: “They prefer the tour bus to a film set. There’s better craft services; you get to sleep in a bunk. You know, that whole road trip vibe. They’re cool cats, those girls.”

Neither girl wants to be an actress: “Sunny is more interested in directing—but that’s just the nature of an alpha eight-year-old. We don’t say bossy; we say leader.”

[From Town & Country]

Okay, I actually did tear up a little bit when she talked about adoption and how the message adoptive parents want to give their children is “I wanted you.” That’s really beautiful and bittersweet, made more so by the obvious pain Nicole seems to feel with her complete estrangement from Bella and Connor, the children she adopted with Tom Cruise. Tom basically got to keep custody of Bella and Connor and they are completely within the Church of Scientology fold. God knows what the CoS-bots tell them about Nicole, but I feel like she sends them messages through the press. She’s telling them: I wanted you. You were my child. I love you. And that’s heartbreaking.


Photos courtesy of Max Vadukul/Town & Country.

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17 Responses to “Nicole Kidman on her ‘alpha’ daughter: ‘We don’t say bossy, we say leader’”

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  1. susanne says:

    I cannot imagine what she went through with the loss of her children in her life. I wish this story could be fully told, publicly. I bet if the reality were made public, scientology would go down the drain. It would be worth whatever she could be sued for. I guess I’m pissed that she has kept her mouth shut.

    • Stacy says:

      She probably thinks if she doesn’t badmouth Scientology and is open to a relationship with her children being Scientologists maybe they will have a relationship with her, if they don’t.

    • Wren33 says:

      I can’t imagine. Clearly Katie Holmes learned from that.

    • M4lificent says:

      Nicole has had to deal with a lot of speculation for years — often about mentioning her family with her current husband and not mentioning her two oldest kids. But she was a full-time parent to them from infancy to middle childhood. A mother doesn’t “forget” 10 years of raising her children.

      I’ve always interpreted it as taking the high road with the older kids. She’s respecting the fact that they have chosen not to be with her, even if that choice came through brainwashing. I think now that they are legal adults — she’s sending more obvious messages to them. I hope one day her kids wake up and understand what’s been done to them — and that they renew a relationship with their mother.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        M4lificent, thanks for a great post. I have an adopted, mixed-race daughter and a biological son, and both of them are grown. I love them both abundantly, but I’m actually far closer to my daughter. As you point out, when you raise a child from infancy, he or she is simply your child. Where the child originates from may be important to him or her in later life (and I have told my daughter I will happily help her to find her birth parents if and when she decides she wants to), but your baby is your baby forever, regardless of his/her beginnings. I cannot imagine the pain Nicole has suffered so unjustly simply because her ex-husband is in the grip of Scientology. Talk about emotional brutality! Scientology is very good at that.

  2. notpretentious says:

    I hate to say this but she looks beautiful. And, she was born the day before me (fun fact to me anyway). But I get a cold, calculating vibe from her.

  3. KiddVicious says:

    That top photo is gorgeous. I’m so glad she’s gone back to red, the blond wasn’t attractive on her at all.

  4. layla says:

    As someone who grew up in Australia… “They played with wallabies and kangaroos..” … I call B.S.

  5. HK9 says:

    I know I make fun of her overly generous use of botox but she looks stunning.

  6. kri says:

    We don’t say bossy-we say LEADER. Hell, yes. Give every girl that note. I want our young women to take that heart. Hell-I want all women to take that to heart. Good on you, NK.

  7. Fifi says:

    I think she was cut off and those kids brainwashed against her. And I don’t think it was ever her choice, but I also don’t think it was a battle she would have ever won had she fought it.

    I just finished reading the book “Fair Game”, and it goes into detail about how Scientology brainwashed Tom and it also confirms the marriage was legit and they were very much in love. Nicole was such a “nasty woman” and even got Tom out of there for 10 years before Miscavage and Rathbun successfully got him back in. It was very sad to see a cult ruin a family like that.

    And one thing I really like about Kidman is that she’s extremely adaptable – she’s played every type of character, which is something every actress should be but very few ever truly accomplish. She’s got one of the most diverse body of work among the 90′s leading ladies.