Last Sunday, Nicole Kidman came to the Omega press conference for the launch of the new Ladymatic watches, held at the Postsparkasse, in an ultra chic off-white skirt suit from Nina Ricci’s Pre-fall 2013 collection (In stores around June 2013). The white long-sleeve jacket comes with structured shoulders and metallic button detailing that she teamed with the matching pencil skirt. Nicole complemented the look with a pair of elaphe, metallic and patent-leather sandals by Nicholas Kirkwood that are available now by clicking on the highlighted text and of course a new Ladymatic watch by Omega in bi-colour.
The stunning strawberry blonde actress talked very openly about her marriage, her different ways of becoming a mother and what time means to her. Enjoy this interview and of course all those photos I took of her!
What was your first watch? And are you punctual?
My first watch because of my generation was a Swatch watch; I’ve moved up. I started working when I was 14 and punctuality is something that’s really important to me in terms of when I’m on set. I like to have my own watch on – I don’t want to be asking other people what time it is. Working in the film industry as a child, you learn to be on time. I was taught a very strong work ethic that included punctuality, which I’ve always felt is a sign of respect for others.
What does a woman’s choice of watch say about her?
I suppose it’s the equivalent to shoes and bags in a way. You can be funky; you can be quirky, or you can be very straight down the line – in terms of the watch and the band as well. It’s interesting and I think now it’s a very important fashion accessory. I enjoy it. And I enjoy that it does allow you to map out your day in terms of time. So it’s practical but it’s also very beautiful. And I also like that you can go underwater with it.
Before you leave for a red carpet event, do your husband and daughters weigh in on what you’ve worn – and have you ever changed your mind about what you’re wearing based on their input?
I tend to solicit the opinions of all three of them even though one of them is only two. I’ve actually changed when my husband said something’s not great. A lot of times, I look in the mirror and see something different. He likes natural and he likes something that’s “not so ‘done’ ”, which I would say speaks for a lot of men. I’ve definitely changed my style since I’ve been with him as well.
There are a lot of watch brands out there and I wanted to ask why you decided to represent OMEGA as brand ambassador?
Eight years ago, when they approached me I was really honoured. I was thinking about what a great company they are. To be with a company for eight years is a big part of my life in a way. They’re amazing to work for and as you would all know, they take very good care of you. They’re also philanthropic and have been incredibly supportive of a lot of the work I do with UN Women. They’ve always reached out for that and tried to help with that, which is amazing. I’m actually very grateful.
Nowadays, people work so hard that they don’t have time to do other things. Do you think that having control over your own time is a kind of luxury in modern life?
I think that particularly as you get older, time is the most precious thing. You can’t buy it; you can’t get it back so how you spend it in terms of your life – that becomes the most important thing. I have a certain amount of control. I have young children so I’m very aware of how I allocate my time in terms of films and work. Time’s getting less and less, you know? Hopefully I’ll be sitting here at ninety talking to you but you never know. As you get older, particularly if you have parents who are aging, mortality becomes such an important part of our conversation and therefore, the choices that you make. Particularly, what I’m doing now is allocating time to travel to see my parents. All of those things that in my twenties wouldn’t have been so important have now become incredibly important. It’s a very strange thing to discuss time on a sort of a philosophical level, but I do love discussing how time is either nothing or everything.
As you mentioned, it’s all about timekeeping and time saving. What’s your favourite waste of time?
Daydreaming. I’m still a huge believer in daydreaming. I love lying around with no book or anything – just having my mind. I used to do it as a kid and I still do it. When I do, it’s when I come up with ideas. It’s creative time and it’s something I try to create for my children. We tend to schedule so much for our children and I try not to do that. So much of your creative life comes from lying around in your bedroom, or in the backyard or on your back in the pool looking up at the sky. Those times as a child are so important. I remember them vividly. And probably as an adult, they are still times that I would rate as the great moments in my life. I remember I used to lie on the grass and dream of being an astronaut. That didn’t happen.
What facets of Ladymatic are reflected in your own personality? Also, you mentioned last night that your daughter Sunday wanted an OMEGA . . .
She just wants a watch. She wants any watch. She has this obsession of wanting a watch, which, as a four-year-old, is fascinating. It represents being a grownup. I just love the Ladymatic because people notice it and they go, “Wow”. I haven’t experienced that before. I think men comment on each other’s watches a lot but I think women don’t notice as much. But with this watch, I’ve had so many people comment; and I just recently bought one for my sister. Her husband said to me, “You’ve done me in.” He didn’t know how to match it somehow. I think the impact of the watch is pretty extraordinary. It’s gorgeous.
Time is not always kind to women working in Hollywood. You said once that after the Grace Kelly, that was it. But you told us yesterday that you are currently filming in London so nothing is stopping you right now?
When I had Sunday, I took a long time off my schedule. And it was my mother and my husband who said not to give up my career. I was in a place of contentment. I kind of thought I don’t need to keep doing this. My mom, who is a huge driving force in my life, and my husband both said, “You still have things inside you. You should still pursue them or in the next few decades you’re going to wish you had maintained it.” Not to the degree that I used to do it because that takes an enormous amount of commitment, but I knew I could do the occasional thing. And then “Grace” came along which was an opportunity to work with Olivier Dahan and be able to go to France and spend a long time there, which was fantastic. And then to go to England – I’ve spent pretty much the last year in Europe and that’s been wonderful. I’m doing work but it also allows my children to constantly broaden themselves because they’re travelling and seeing a lot of the world. And I’m glad I didn’t completely abandon it and I’m trying to balance, which is what I used to not be able to do. I was far more of an extremist and right now I’m trying to keep a lot more balance in my life. I don’t think I said I was going to give it up after Grace . . . I think I told Lars von Trier that I was going to give up filming when I was forty but he texted me and said, “Hmm. You’re still working.”
In your career, you have played many different and complex roles, often as mothers. How has your vision changed as a woman and as a mother. Do you think that in ancient and modern times, being only a mother might be not enough to reach happiness?
Oh, these are big questions. I think it’s different for every woman – what fulfils you and what fulfils you in terms of what you want to achieve and the purposes in life. I would never assume any position except in relation to myself. I never thought I would get to experience motherhood in terms of giving birth to a child. I’ve experienced many different types of how to become a mother because I have adopted children, and I have a birth child and a child through a surrogate and the greatest joys to me have come from my children. About six years ago, I moved to Nashville and I thought, “I think I’m done now” in terms of my career and I thought “that’s it for me”. My mother said I don’t think you should be done right now; I actually think you should keep a toe in the water and not give up your work, your creative life. She said, “As a woman, I wish I’d done more with my life in terms of my career and I’m encouraging you not to abandon it. And that was fantastic advice that probably only a mother could give. And now I’m far more balanced; I was far more extreme when I was in my twenties. I have a more balanced life and there’s definitely a lot more happiness and joy because of it. The greatest joy for me is from the simplest things, which come from daydreaming, spending time with my family and also then being able to delve into the psyches of different characters and work with extraordinary people. That’s the great thing about being an actor – you do have access to some of the greatest minds in the world. And therefore, your horizons are opened. Part of my quest is to live a well examined life. I’m very grateful that I was given the advice of keeping my toe in the water in terms of my career.
You and Keith have been married for nearly 7 years. Can you tell me how you intend to celebrate? I’ve read reports that you’re going to renew your wedding vows.
My mother called me and asked “Are you renewing your vows?” and I said no so . . . I don’t know where it came from.
What does marriage mean to you now with a distance of seven years?
I’ve always wanted a partner in life – that’s just who I am. I’m not a loner. I like to have my partner to go through life with and I’ve been very fortunate to find him. It doesn’t matter how we celebrate it; I just don’t take any date for granted in a relationship. I think that’s the greatest advice you can be given – that as much as you say you’re married, you can never take it for granted. It’s something you work at and it’s something that you constantly create. I try to stay in a humble part. I’ll do everything I can to make it last but sometimes I’m humbled by it that I’ve actually found it.
We had this wonderful event last night. For what reason did you leave the event early?
So I could be here to work! You have to understand that I usually go to bed at 21:30. That was a really great night for me! To leave something early? To be honest, I don’t go to many parties. I prefer being at home I prefer to have people over. I’m not a good cook. I like somebody coming over and cooking because I’m not real good at it. I’m really good at enjoying the food. I suppose like the home life. I like entertaining in my home. I’m not so much of a party person even though I used to like going to clubs when I was younger.
Have you found yourself drawn into what’s under the bonnet of the watch? Do women start to appreciate as much what’s inside the case as they do the beauty on the outside?
I do think women now comment on each other’s watches more and I think there’s a greater appreciation for watches; it was more of a male thing. Now, I do think there’s an interest in watches for women and there certainly is for me. I have a particular interest in vintage watches and OMEGA has an incredible collection of them which I’ve been allowed to wear every now and then. I find them exquisite, particularly when they’re built into the jewellery. Ever since I was little and I started collecting vintage jewellery, I always looked at watches. My mother’s first piece of jewellery that was passed on to me was my grandfather’s pocket watch. So it’s quite a part of my life.
I have two questions: if Ladymatic is a Lady, how would you describe this lady? In all the roles you have played, which would you associate with Ladymatic? Grace Kelly? Your characters in Australia or Eyes Wide Shut?
I suppose if I had to use words to describe Ladymatic as a woman, it would be smart, elegant, and easy-going. The film probably be Grace. That’s hard to say – if you say “Eyes Wide Shut”, I don’t know if she would have had a Ladymatic but she certainly would have had an OMEGA watch.
What kind of movie are you making in London?
It’s called Before I go to Sleep, an English thriller. It’s with Colin Firth. I haven’t made a thriller for a while; it’s a really strong script. I just finished playing Grace Kelly so I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in Europe in the last year which has been fantastic because I used to live here. Ten years ago, I was basically based in Europe and most of my films were European-based. And then I went back to the states met husband and had children. So to be back in Europe now for a long period of time feels like coming back in a way so it’s nice to be here and I’ve really enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll be able to spend some more time here.
Is there anything else you’d like to do in Vienna?
I wish I could have looked around more. I love flea markets and would love to have gone to the Easter market. I have to get back to London because I have to be at work punctually at 6 a.m. on Monday morning.
Thank you, Nicole!
Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht