Over the course of the past few decades, Nicole Kidman has built a staggering career on the big and small screen. Given the wealth of memorable performances the Oscar winner has given, it’s no surprise that we’re still interested in her process to this day. But one recent interview question went a little too far for Kidman while she discussed her role as Lucille Ball in Being The Ricardos. The actress called out a question about her marriage to Tom Cruise in a recent profile, calling the very personal inquiry sexist.
While discussing the film with The Guardian, Kidman made a thoughtful observation about Ball and husband of roughly 20 years Desi Arnaz’s relationship. “This film says you can make an extraordinary relationship thrive and leave remnants of it that exist forever. Yeah, that’s really gorgeous,” Kidman explained in the interview. “You can’t make people behave how you want them to, and sometimes you’re going to fall in love with someone who isn’t going to be the person you spend the rest of your life with. And I think that’s all very relatable. You may have kids with them. You may not, but they were very much in love.”
Kidman’s rumination then prompted the interviewer to ask if she was at all referring to her former husband, Tom Cruise. “Oh, my God, no, no. Absolutely not,” was Kidman’s direct response. “No. I mean, that’s, honestly, so long ago that that isn’t in this equation. So no.” The interview noted that Kidman seemed “angry” by the question, as she continued her rebuttal. “And I would ask not to be pigeonholed that way, either. It feels to me almost sexist, because I’m not sure anyone would say that to a man. And at some point, you go, ‘Give me my life. In its own right.’”
Cruise and Kidman were one of the most high-profile couples of the ’90s and early aughts, and their very public split quickly became fodder for tabloid coverage. But 20 years after the former spouses went their separate ways, Kidman is still asked about her 11-year marriage to the Mission Impossible star, while Cruise is rarely, if ever, asked to reflect on his relationship with Kidman (or his other high-profile ex-wife Katie Holmes).
The truth is, Kidman has already been incredibly forthcoming about the chapter in her life in which she was married to Cruise. But she’s right to push back now on the idea that everything has to be rooted in those 11 years, especially when everything Kidman has done since (including marrying love-of-her-life Keith Urban) has proven how much more there is to her internal world. Going forward, unless Kidman explicitly mentions Cruise, perhaps we should stop assuming he’s informed all her most memorable moments.
Before you go, click here for a look back at Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s 11-year marriage.
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