Nicole Mary Kidman is an award-winning Australian-American actress and producer who’s beloved by audiences. She’s one of the most successful people in Hollywood, and her decade-long marriage to Tom Cruise defined 90s celebrity and has her standing up to Scientology to this day. Her on-screen career shines just as much as her off-screen involvement in UNICEF and UNIFEM. Check out these highlights from the storied career of Nicole Kidman.
Character: Lady Sarah Ashley
This 2008 epic pairs Kidman with Hugh Jackman in her second outing with director Baz Luhrmann. A pair fall in love attempting to drive a herd across WWII-era Australia.
9. The Hours
Character: Virginia Woolf
Three women from three different generations are affected by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, including Woolf herself. This film explores 2001 New York, 1950s California, and 1920s England to provide a stunning tale of life, death, depression, and mental illness.
8. Wills & Burke
Character: Julia Matthews
This 1985 black comedy is about the Australian version of Lewis & Clark, and it opened the same year as Burke & Wills, a serious adaptation of the story. Think of it as Almost Heroes, with a young Kidman playing Julia Matthews, the real-life stage actress Burke proposes to before the expedition. Good luck finding it anywhere.
7. The Golden Compass
Character: Marisa Coulter
This underrated 2007 fantasy adventure pairs Kidman with a cast including Sam Elliott, Ian McKellen, and Daniel Craig. She’s very much in support of the dogmatic Magisterium and has some pretty badass armored polar bears in the far north. It’s a controversial movie, due to its differences from the source material, but if you’re not emotionally attached, it’s a great thrill ride.
Character: Millicent Clyde
Kidman has a great antagonist role in this charming 2014 live-action animated comedy. As the Natural History Museum’s taxidermist, Millicent kidnaps Paddington Bear when he comes by looking for her father, an explorer who introduced him to marmalade.
Character: Isabel Bigelow/Samantha
The 2005 movie remake of the classic TV series ended up being about two characters making a remake of the TV series. There were meta references galore, as Isabel Bigelow is a real witch who moves to Los Angeles to start a new life and ends up recruited to play the famous TV witch. Could’ve been better, but now that we have a live-action Aladdin, it’s ok to like this movie. in hindsight. Kidman and Will Ferrell are great in it.
4. The Stepford Wives
Character: Joanna Eberhart
You’ve likely used the term “Stepford Wives,” and this movie (a remake of a 1975 film based on a 1972 novel) is the reason. Kidman’s Joanna is a successful reality TV producer who moves with her husband (played by Matthew Broderick) to suburban Stepford, only to find it’s not what it seems. The wives are all cyborgs, and things get creepy quick.
3. Big Little Lies
Character: Celeste Wright
Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, and the rest of the cast are a delight to watch in this acclaimed HBO drama. It’s a modern-day Desperate Housewives, with all the schoolyard scandals and baby-mama drama you know you still love.
2. Days of Thunder
Character: Dr. Claire Lewicki
This is the role that brought Kidman to the attention of American audiences (and Cruise). She’s the neurosurgeon romantic interest of NASCAR hotshot Cole Trickle, and if you’re a fan of the Cars series, you’re pretty familiar with the racing elements of the story. It’s still worth watching though.
1. Moulin Rouge
Kidman’s role as a courtesan opposite Ewan McGregor is one of the best movies of all time. This Baz Luhrman classic also stars John Leguizamo and features colorful mashups of some of pop music’s greatest love songs. I don’t know about you, but I still cry when she dies at the end. Spoiler alert, she’s been dead the whole time, if you were paying attention.