17 May 2001
Nicole turns it on like never before in her steamy new flick. She sits with ET's BOB GOEN to dish on super-sexy co-star EWAN McGREGOR, Hollywood rumors and bringing her mum to tears -- all while dancing the can-can!
BOB GOEN: This is obviously going to be kind of a polarizing movie. There's going to be a wide range of reactions to it, but I loved it. In the first scene when they broke into, "The Hills are alive with the sound of music..." I thought, oh gosh...
NICOLE KIDMAN: Here we go...
BOB: This could go in either direction. (laugh) How did BAZ LUHRMANN sell you on this bizarre vision of his?
NICOLE: He didn't have to sell me. I loved 'Romeo + Juliet.' Everyone was saying to me, "You've got to see this movie, you wouldn't believe how he's concocted this Shakespearean weird movie out of this," and it was beautiful. And I think 'Moulin Rouge' is the same. It's like, "How does he do it?" (laughs)
BOB: As you're shooting though, are you thinking, "Where is this going?"
NICOLE: Yeah, but people would clap and cheer after some of his dailies. There is so much energy on his sets. Because he uses music and laughter, he's really joyful, and I think that comes across in the movie. Sort of a celebration of color and life.
BOB: I was talking to someone who knew someone who worked on the film and they were saying that this was one of the best film experiences they had ever had. Do you feel the same way?
NICOLE: Yeah, definitely. It was weird, because we went to Cannes and we were all standing there and we were wondering if the French were going to get this, and we got this eight minute standing ovation, with people cheering. They get the references and the way in which he's using contemporary music with old-style stuff, he just mixes all these genres.
BOB: Do you think the American audience, and in particular, the Australian audience, will be able to react the same way?
NICOLE: Yeah, I think, in the same way that 'Romeo + Juliet' found its people, I think this one will be the same way. This is different, it's a musical, so you have that whole other audience as well. So, I don't know. It will be interesting to see. I'm really proud of it.
BOB: And you've got that whole other problem because that musical genre hasn't been totally embraced, either.
NICOLE: Since 'Grease.'
BOB: Since 'Grease,' right. I mean, 'Evita' tried it and there have been others and they haven't been hugely successful.
NICOLE: Yeah, but this is sort of different because it's not like 'Evita' because we speak in the movie. We sing and speak and I think also now, with The Producers, on Broadway, being such a huge hit, there's a different feeling for combining music and film. And it's a love story, ultimately. Which, is why I wanted to do it because I've never done a love story before.
BOB: And the singing didn't scare you off?
NICOLE: It did. (laugh) But then it became almost easier to sing than to act the scenes, because we became so involved in it. And when Ewan and I would have to sing to each other and be in love, we some how found the singing part of it easier than the actual acting part of it because we became so used to singing. But we do have a deal with each other that we will not sing numbers from the film in public.
BOB: (laugh) Gee, thanks.
NICOLE: Because people would go up to us at parties on the weekend while we were filming it, and say, come on, sing "Diamonds," and Ewan and I were like, "No!" (laugh) That gets really corny.
BOB: Yeah. We better not invite them back to the karaoke bar.(laugh) So, you studied singing, right? You took voice lessons? Years ago, or...?
NICOLE: Yeah, I sang in a band when I was 17, for a little while.
BOB: So are you comfortable with your singing, or did you surprise yourself?
NICOLE: I think I surprised myself, because I feel really vulnerable when I sing, like really exposed and vulnerable. Which is a good thing, but once I step into the character, then I can sing. But if I have to sing as Nicole, I feel, oh ... scared.
BOB: How do you feel when you watch it, up on the big screen?
NICOLE: Oh, I watch it and it's a spectacle. It's one of the few films that I can actually watch that I'm in. Usually I have trouble with that, but I can watch this one. I've seen it three times. I saw it with my mom and my sister first, and my mom cried.
NICOLE: People cry when they watch the movie, which is a good thing. We want people to cry.
BOB: As long as they're not crying over your singing.
NICOLE: (surprised) (laughs) No. Thank you!
BOB: Well, I didn't, I promise you. Nobody that was in the theater did.
NICOLE: I hope not. Yeah, because the film is comedic, and then it's tragic. It covers all bases. And Ewan McGregor is so divine in it. He's totally divine.
BOB: This guy, if enough people come to this movie, he's going to be a...
NICOLE: A huge star.
NICOLE: Because he is gorgeous in it, yeah.
BOB: And the two of you really click together. Was that hard to make happen?
NICOLE: No, from the minute we met we just went, "I like you, you're a good guy." He has such a genuine type of quality, he's Scottish. You can't say it on TV, but he's just, you know what I mean, he's no bull... (laugh)
BOB: Right, he's a straight shooter.
NICOLE: He is, and it's very easy to work with someone like that and he also makes you laugh. He's got one of the best laughs.