20 Questions with Nicole Kidman

You'll never believe how this mega-star earned her first dollar.

nicole kidman
(Image credit: Gisela Schober)

Photo Credit: Gisela Schober

The Oscar winner shares what she learned from Stanley Kubrick, reveals a high-flying hobby, and confesses an unusual secret talent

1. What is on your kitchen counter? We always have a bowl of apples. And, I think, newspapers and coloring books.

2. What is the best gift you've ever received? My husband [Keith Urban] gave me an Aston Martin.

3. What is your fantasy itinerary? I've never been to Africa, so I'd love to go on safari.

4. What can you not miss on TV? Nashville—a lot of my friends are in that. But it was devastating when Breaking Bad finished. And I still watch Homeland and American Idol.

5. What is the best advice you've ever been given? Stanley Kubrick said, "If anyone throws out an idea, wait 20 seconds before you say either yes or no, because you have to let an idea digest."

6. What movie do you think has the greatest ending? Gone with the Wind.

7. What is on your perennial to-do list? Becoming fluent in Italian. I speak a little, but I'm not fluent yet.

8. What is on your bookshelf? At the moment, I'm reading The Son [by Philipp Meyer]. It's set in Texas, and it covers a whole number of generations. It's violent but extraordinary.

9. What is on your feet right now? These are Nicholas Kirkwood [peep-toe platform pumps with cutouts]. But I wear Jimmy Choos as well.

10. What is your go-to karaoke song? "Your Song" by Elton John. Ewan McGregor sang it in Moulin Rouge, and I still love to sing it.

11. What is your beauty secret? For my hair, it's Swisse Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails supplements. My hair had gotten so thin and I was done putting in the [fake] pieces, so I cut it off and started taking those religiously—it's much thicker now.

12. What should every woman try at least once in her life? I have my skydiving license, so I would say jumping out of a plane.

13. Do you have a secret talent? I can do a really good cat vomit. [Mimics the sound of a cat coughing up a fur ball]

14. What makes you laugh? Keith.

15. What makes you mad? Injustice.

16. What charities do you support? UN Women, which works to eradicate violence against women. My husband and I do fundraising for Stanford Women's Cancer Center. And as the Swisse global ambassador, I helped raise money for Monash Children's Hospital in Australia.

17. What splurge is well worth it? Holidays. Whenever we take holidays, I never go, "Gosh, I wish we hadn't done that."

18. Do you have any pet peeves? I don't like bad breath—that's my one thing. I'll tell someone, "You need a mint."

19. How did you make your first dollar? As an usherette at Sesame Street Live, at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. I was only 14, but I was paid an adult wage of about $400 a week, which was phenomenal.

20. What is one thing you wish you'd known when you were younger? That it all works out—that what's devastating today will all be OK.

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