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OZ CINEMA
Your guide to Australian film.
By Joshua Smith

Star Profile: Nicole Kidman

Author: Joshua Smith
Published on: March 24, 1998

Perhaps Australia's most famous female acting export, Nicole Kidman has established herself as a powerful and versatile actress both in her local and international screen appearances.

While the gorgeous redhead was born in Hawaii thirty-one years ago, she grew up in Australia, dropping out of high school to pursue her career. Nicole's big break came when she won the 'Dolly magazine cover girl competition', a fiercely contended national modelling competition. This lead to a small part in the film Bush Christmas, which Nicole played while she was only sixteen . Nicole made her mark, though, in Brian Trenchard-Smith's 1983 teen action hit BMX Bandits. Having established herself as an icon of Australian popular culture, Nicole was given starring roles in 2-3 films each year to finish off the 1980s. Interestingly, one film in which Nicole had a starring role seems to have been omitted from all of her filmographies (including IMDB). In 1987, Nicole played a major role in Mark Joffe's Watch the Shadow's Dance, a science-fiction action film in the tradition of Japanese 'ninja movies'.

Nicole finished the 1980s in style, putting in an amazing performance as a die-hard housewife-turned-superhero in the superb thriller Dead Calm. This performance, and the success of the film, earned Nicole a place alongside Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder (1990), during the filming of which the now-famous couple fell in love. After returning to Australia for Emerald City (1991) and Flirting (1991), Nicole was to again star alongside Tom Cruise (whom she had, by this stage, married) in Far and Away. While Ron Howard's film was not particularly successful, Nicole shone as Shannon Christie, leading to her acting in a streak of powerful Hollywood films.

In 1993, Nicole put in a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking performance as the wife of a man who has but months to live in My Life, before moving on to tackle Malice (1993) and action smash-hit Batman Forever (1995). Later in the same year, Nicole really proved that she was a formidable actress in her brilliant, Golden Globe winning performance in the black comedy To Die For. Since then, Nicole has moved from strength to strength; charming us in Portrait of a Lady (1996), keeping us on the edges of our seats in The Peacemaker (1997).

Currently, Nicole is again working beside her husband in Stanley Kubrick's first film of this decade, Eyes Wide Shut, which is certain to immortalise Nicole as a brilliant actress. This, and Berlin Diaries, 1940-45 will be released later this year. At only 30 years of age, Nicole has already moved mountains in the film industry. Only time will tell if she can earn a place in motion picture history (and an Academy Award).

Good luck, Nicole.

 
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