Nicole Kidman is one of the bravest actresses in Hollywood. She donned a prosthetic nose to play Virginia Woolf in The Hours, got all kinds of abused in Dogville, peed on Zac Efron in The Paperboy and her greatest acting challenge to date — Tom Cruise’s beard wife for the better part of a decade. But the Oscar-winning Aussie wasn’t always so fearless, as she explained at the recent Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards.
Back when she was a full-time redhead and just getting her thespian legs, Kidman turned down a role in then-aspiring director Jane Campion’s student film, A Girl’s Own Story:
“I am horrified to report that I passed on the part she offered me. My excuse was that I had final exams to study for, but the truth is the part would have required me to appear up on the screen wearing a shower cap and kissing a girl…I wanted to be the kind of actress with long flowing hair [who] kissed boys. I was not ready to do the kind of work that threatened anybody. Well, today I know better and I say, ‘Jane, if you’re out there…I’m ready to don this cap.”
Kidman took out a shower cap and waived it in the air like a helicopter before imploring those in attendance to pledge to help teen girls make their dreams come true.
“Let us show her that she is strong, smart and talented and she deserves every part that might interest her and at equal pay, too,” Kidman said. “Let’s stand tall and never ever apologize for it.”
That’s when she turned and laid one on her BFF and fellow Aussie actress Naomi Watts. The audience, caught unawares, quickly erupted in cheers and applause.