Over recent decades, we’ve seen many great actresses grace our screens and become stars. There have been hit movies aplenty, but a lot of these actresses, the stars of such movies, enjoy their period in the limelight, then they seemingly vanish off the stratosphere. Their period at the top is all too brief. But there’s one person who’s been consistently killing it on the movie scene. I can’t even just say on the movie scene, just generally as an actress, in movies, on TV, and on stage too.
Nicole Kidman is undoubtedly one of the greatest, most loved, most prolific actresses of all time. It’s hard to quantify greatness, but if you’re looking at money earned, fan following, super-duper hit productions, media frenzy, or Internet searches, she’s pretty damn great. It’s like if you were playing a game of Top Trumps and had Nicole’s card in your hand, pretty much any category you go with would trump any other actress from her time. She’s just the best in every which way. Her prowess as an actress is second to none, but she’s super hot too – the Aussie beauty really does possess the entire package. She’s made it work for herself, and over the years has put together quite an impressive résumé.
Looking over her filmography and all that she’s achieved, not just as an actress, but in life, brings up some fond memories. It’s amazing to think she’s been around for so long, and is still going strong, and is still as beautiful and talented as ever. Can you believe that she’s reached her half century, that she’s 50? Look at her and you wouldn’t believe it, but it’s true, Nicole is 50 years old. So, with her having reached that milestone, there’s no better time to look back at some of her best roles, reminisce about some of her best performances on screen, and of course to marvel at her beauty. Here are 15 of Nicole Kidman’s most memorable roles to make you reminisce about her amazing career.
15. Real-Life Chemistry Translates To Cinematic Masterpiece
Just hearing the words “erotic drama movie” and Nicole Kidman in the same sentence was enough to make people flock to the cinemas, not to mention the fact that in this movie, Eyes Wide Shut, Nicole starred opposite another superstar actor, Tom Cruise. This film’s notable, not only because of the script, which had Nicole in a seriously raunchy, memorable role, but because of the fact that Nicole and Tom starred on-screen together, and that they were husband and wife at the time. The real-life couple shared plenty of sizzling moments on screen – it’s little wonder the casting directors saw them as perfect for the movie, and we’re so glad they were cast. It was, for all intents and purposes, a film that was all about sex, sexual adventures, orgies, and a host of other acts. No wonder the movie broke records at the box office at the time.
14. Sizzling On-Screen With Sandy B
Nicole kills it in those psychological drama roles, but give her a comedy and she’ll also shine on screen and make a success out of it. The American romantic comedy Practical Magic is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. The producers certainly brought that novel to life, and made sure people knew about it, not really because the film was a super-hit or anything like that – it was actually a massive flop – but because of the actresses on the show. In 1998, Nicole was just coming into her own as a megastar actress, and there was another hot chick making waves on the Hollywood scene, Sandra Bullock. Seeing the two sultry actresses on-screen together was something that, before that movie, people could only dream about. Well, it became a reality, and the movie was memorable solely for that reason. Nicole, as she tends to do, emerged with some level of credibility from that movie, but it’ll always be remembered for Nicole and Sandy B sharing screen time together.
13. Another Supernatural flick
The Others gave Nicole a chance to show the world what a fine actress she is in another supernatural, psychological, and kind of horror flick, all mixed into one memorable film. It’s a favorite genre of Nicole’s, and it’s certainly her fans’ favorite too; seeing her in this light is where we get to see her at her best, it’s where Nicole’s in her element as an actress. Pretty much everyone seems to think so too. For her role as the caring, yet overbearing, mother, Nicole received a ton of accolades, and the film did very well upon its release. It’s rated as being one of Nicole’s best movies, and those who saw the intensity she brought to the role would find it hard to disagree. The Others is up there in terms of being some of her best work, and one of the best psychological horror flicks around, full stop.
12. A Cinematic Classic
Make an Australian-American film, and there’s one person the casting directors would’ve written down for the starring role. They made it happen, and Nicole ended up starring in one of the most iconic, loved, and watched movies of all time. It’s a far cry from her usual twisted psychological thrillers, but Nicole being the star, versatile actress she is, seamlessly stepped into the musical genre, and took to it instantly and remarkably well. Moulin Rouge is a musical romantic comedy about a poet who falls for a “courtesan,” which is essentially a prostitute, Nicole’s character. It was a pretty simple storyline, but one that Nicole and her co-stars pulled off superbly. It was rated highly by all those who saw it, and it’s regarded to be one of the greatest films since 2000, and certainly one of Nicole’s greatest movie roles. It was the type of performance you can only marvel at, one that gets better every time you see it.
11. Grotesque But Still Beautiful In Paper Boy
This drama is one that’s seriously memorable, for a number of reasons. Nicole, of course, sizzled on screen, but so did the other A-listers, a stellar cast list that included the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron. Released in 2012, the movie’s set in the 1960s, and so we got to see Nicole in some proper 60s attire – that alone made Nicole’s role in the movie pretty memorable. But that’s going to pale in comparison when I tell you what else her character got up to in the movie. She peed on Zac Efron, yep, she really did. Not shocking or weird enough? She also had an orgasm in a courtroom – seriously, no kidding. Now, how many other actresses do you know that would agree to do that? Perhaps only a couple. Nicole went above and beyond the call of duty to make her character as grotesque as possible. Once again, she pulled it off with flying colors.
10. Fantasy Flop Movie
It might surprise a lot of you that The Golden Compass features on this list. It was a seriously bad film and one hell of an awful adaptation. But this list isn’t about bad movies. It’s about Nicole’s awesome, most memorable performances. The movie itself was an epic flop. Not many people who saw it are going to say otherwise. It didn’t earn anything special at the box office, received awful reviews, and the revenue it generated was far less than anyone could have anticipated. It’s pretty remarkable that that was the case, considering the plethora of megastar actors and actresses the production team had at their disposal. A lot of their performances were dire, but Nicole’s wasn’t one of them. She shone out amongst the blandness of the movie, and her performance was the only good thing people had to say about the film. Many have said that she actually carried the film, and made it at least a tad bearable, hence why her role in The Golden Compass finds a place on this list. It may have been a bad movie, but it’s one of her best performances. Nicole alone couldn’t turn it into a success though.
9. First Big Success
Here’s a blast from the past, Nicole’s role in the psychological thriller, Dead Calm. It was an adaptation of the novel by Charles Williams, and it actually did pretty decently. I say decently, but there were still mixed reviews, and people weren’t quite sure what to make about certain aspects of the movie. But one thing everyone could agree on was the splendid nature of Nicole’s performance. Nicole got into acting at a pretty young age, had been involved in the acting industry for a good few years before getting snapped up for this movie. But at this time, she hadn’t achieved the success she was hoping for. That all changed when people watched this movie. She was only 21 at the time, but Nicole put in an amazing performance, and was wise beyond her years as an actress. She was excellent throughout the movie, and it helped catapult her into the big time, her first major success as an actress.
8. The Ruthless News Anchor
By 1995, Nicole was no longer an unknown entity in the movies. Her earlier successes meant that she was no longer a big name Down Under, but was a pretty big deal throughout the world. She was beginning to take over the Hollywood scene, and was the hot new girl on the block everyone wanted a piece of and everyone wanted to cast. Gus Van Sant’s movie To Die For helped make her an even bigger star than she was becoming. It was a criminal comedy-drama film, a new genre for Nicole to try her hand at, and she pulled it off superbly. She played a ruthless news anchor that was suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder, and it was such a vivid performance that she got a ton of accolades for it, including being the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, much deserved as I’m sure everyone who’s seen that movie would agree.
7. Nicole Shines In The Bizarre Plot Of Birth
By this point in 2004, Nicole really was a megastar actress, the woman everyone was talking about on the Hollywood scene. That was of course because of the major successes she’d already had in the industry, but it was also because of her personal life. She had become the most talked about A-lister around at that time, because of her recent marriage and subsequent divorce to fellow Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise. The release of this film acted as somewhat of a distraction, meaning that people began talking about Nicole the actress again, rather than gossiping about the goings on in her personal life. Despite everything that had been happening, she really did pull off a stellar performance in Birth. The drama was pretty weird to say the least, and received mixed reviews upon its release. But yet again, there was no arguing when it came to rating Nicole’s performance. It was a brilliantly nuanced performance, one of her most memorable.
6. In A Bind In Birthday Girl
Here’s another pretty weird movie. It just goes to show that Nicole isn’t one to play it safe when it comes to her roles. She’s constantly pushing herself as an actress, she wants to grow and develop, and try her hand at different types of movies. The 2001 movie Birthday Girl is a prime example of that. You really wouldn’t see another A-list actress accepting such a role, or taking to it like Nicole. Nicole plays a Russian mail-order bride, who is purchased by a lonely bank clerk in London. Two guys, friends of Nicole’s character, come to visit, but then kidnap her for ransom, and hold her hostage while the bank clerk robs his bank. It turns out they were all in on it, that they went around scamming people. Nicole spent most of the movie playing the subservient mail-order bride who didn’t speak English, who was trying to make it work. Considering she was quiet for most of the movie, since she was kidnapped, her acting took precedence. That infectious, sparky performance showcased Nicole’s outstanding range of talent, and once again, she took the plaudits.
5. Costume Drama
As Nicole’s career has progressed, she’s gotten dressed up more and more, and has done a few costume dramas here and there. But it’s a real shame she hasn’t done more. Hers is a face that’s perfectly suited to being behind a veil or mask or a beautiful hat on her head, and her body looks splendid tied up in a corset, in that elegant, sophisticated old-style clothing. We know this because we got to see a lot of her in such attire, in The Portrait of a Lady. In it she shared the screen with some really big stars, but yet again, Nicole shone through, hers was the character that made people sit up and take notice. Her vulnerability as a strong woman going through strife made her the movie’s centrepiece, and she made the mediocre movie memorable for something at least. It’s yet another movie in which she showed off her versatility as an actress.
4. Brainy And Beautiful In Batman Forever
This movie is one that I’m sure a lot of people will remember. It’s one of those movies that gets played again and again on TV over the years, which is just fine for Nicole Kidman fans. It’s amazing to think that Batman Forever was released in 1995; it only seems like yesterday that we saw Nicole as the sexy Dr. Chase Meridian. But when it was released, Nicole was just splendid. She pulled off the role superbly, but having said that, I’m sure that we, Nicole’s fans, and Nicole herself, wanted her to have a bigger role in the film, and hoped they’d give more time to the character. Of the role, she’s said: “I wish had more of a role, though. It’s great being the girl in the Batman movie…. But I’m an actor and you go, ‘Gosh I want more to do.’ So, I would still love to do some sort of superhero movie where I get to do the cool stuff.” I think everyone would love that, Nicole. Possibly a future Catwoman? I’m sure that’s something a lot of people have envisioned.
3. Western Chick
This just shows you how long Nicole’s been acting. One of her earliest roles was as a western chick, in the TV series, Five Mile Creek. Produced in Australia, the series became a hit amongst younger audiences when it was shown in the U.S. on the Disney Channel. It actually didn’t do too well in Australia, but took off in the U.S. and was one of the first instances that Nicole became known to the American public. She became known for her acting ability, even at that tender age of 18, not for being hot or anything like that. It makes for fun viewing if you’re a Nicole Kidman fan. She was around for 12 episodes, and you’ve got to say, looked completely different than she does now. That western look isn’t something she’d be trying again, but the situation called for it, and once again she pulled it off.
2. At Her Wicked Best In Stoker
Nicole’s been a part of quite a few psychological thrillers over the years. They are roles you feel she can really sink her teeth into, and it’s no surprise that she’s made pretty much every role a success. Stoker is a pretty recent film, having only been released in 2013. It’s pretty remarkable that it’s not the film on people’s lips when asked about Nicole’s finest work. It’s an under-seen, under-rated film, which is criminal. She really was at her best in that movie. After a sexual awakening, her character turned to violence, and it was that, Nicole’s talent, that made the movie disturbingly good. It’s a seriously tense film, very engaging – watch it and you won’t be able to take your eyes off it, and why would you with Nicole in a star role? Nicole plays the protective mother who causes havoc with her wicked ways; a very powerful movie, role, and woman.
1. Oscar Nominated Performance In Rabbit Hole
Nicole Kidman’s role in Rabbit Hole was a portrait of grief. It was about her and her grieving husband coming to terms with the death of their son. It pulled on the heart strings, and that was mainly due to Nicole’s epic performance. It was regarded as one of her best movies by a lot of people, and she deservedly received plenty of accolades for it.
The American drama was released in 2010. By this time, Nicole had decades worth of experience under her belt, and knew what she wanted to do, and what roles suited her best. She likes roles like this– which is evident looking through her body of work – and wrote it in herself, and produced this movie, again, demonstrating her range of talents when it comes to anything to do with movies. Nicole must have been busy, looking at things behind the camera from a producer’s point of view, and then getting back in front of it, where she belongs, but again managed to pull it off and the results are there for all to see.
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