It’s a little-known fact that Nicole Kidman’s first acting role was that of a sheep in a Nativity play when she was five years old. It wasn’t long before the Australian actor made her debut on the silver screen at the tender age of 14, and has since been engaging us with her effortless talent, ethereal beauty, and exquisite voice. Kidman has racked up awards and accolades across the globe for her work — including five Golden Globes, two Emmys, a BAFTA, and an Oscar for Best Actress in the film The Hours.
We have followed her private life with hungry curiosity after her relationship with former husband Tom Cruise disintegrated, and we’ve dreamily swooned over her fairytale romance with her country-singer husband, Keith Urban. But this birthday girl is made up of so much more than meets the tabloids.
“I’ve been put in a position where I’ve been given a lot,” Kidman says. “I think it’s my duty to give something back.”
And give something back she does. As a life-long humanitarian and advocate for children and women, she has been a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 1994 and UNIFEM since 2006, and frequently speaks out about violence against women and children around the world.
Kidman, along with her husband, has raised half a million dollars for the Women’s Cancer Program, a personal endeavor for the Moulin Rouge star as her mother, Janelle, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984. In fact, guests at Kidman and Urban’s wedding were asked to donate to Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick in lieu of giving gifts.
In 2007, Kidman was awarded Australia’s highest civilian honor, and was made a Companion in the General of the Order of Australia for her services to the performing arts, healthcare, and humanitarian causes.
“I find trying to solve problems and save lives is far more important than my film career,” Kidman states.
But the 21 (and counting) charities she supports are just the tip of the iceberg for this leading lady. Along with Per Saari, Kidman is also the founder of her own production company, Blossom Films, which has brought us powerful stories like Rabbit Hole and, more recently, HBO’s hit series Big Little Lies. Amazon has jumped onboard with Kidman’s vision of producing high-quality and entertaining content. Even though Blossom Films received several offers, the media giant’s female executive, Jen Salke, won the actor over, and Blossom Films signed a first-look deal with Amazon in 2018.
One of the driving forces behind Blossom Films is Kidman’s desire to support female voices and other women in the renowned male-dominated industry.
“How do you help other women succeed in the industry? You throw your support behind them,” says Kidman. “You jump on board, and you go, ‘I’ve got your back.’”
And true to form, Kidman is putting her money where her mouth is and throwing her weight behind the causes and women she believes in. Blossom Films has a long list of female-centric projects aligned with female authors, female directors, female actors, and female producers. She is giving a voice to women’s stories and finding that there is an audience for them. Just take a look at some of the upcoming projects for Nicole Kidman and Blossom Films: The Undoing, Nine Perfect Strangers, Reconstructing Amelia, The Expatriates, A Good Marriage, and Pretty Things. It’s clear that Kidman, who celebrates her 53rd birthday on Friday, treats the subject of female empowerment with true conviction. Happy birthday, Nicole.