Nicole Kidman Reveals Her New Role 'Mortifies' Her Daughters

Nicole Kidman PaddingtonWhen Nicole Kidman landed a role as deranged taxidermist Millicent Clyde in the new Paddington movie -- based on the popular children's books by Michael Bond -- her youngest daughters were heartbroken. Sunday and Faith Urban expected their famous mom to play a good guy. And no wonder -- at home, Kidman is anything but the bad guy.

When The Stir caught up with the mother of four to talk parenting and talking bears from Darkest Peru, Kidman dished on the role that bummed out her daughters, who does the discipline in her house (hint, it's not her), and why husband Keith Urban has a big problem with princesses.

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On "mortifying" her kids:
At first, they were mortified that I wasn't playing the bear's mommy. But then they came on the set and they saw all of the kind of behind the scenes and all of that, and they kind of fell in love with the whole thing. So now they've sort of embraced it.

But I also think, because the movie is so fun and it's done with kind of a sense of humor and [is] a bit tongue in cheek, that helped it, because there is nothing really terrifying in the movie. So it's more sort of sweetly menacing in a way.

They giggled through the whole thing. That was just the highlight for me -- that I saw the film a number of times now, and the kids' laughter and what they laugh at is just so cool.

On how she's changed as a mom over the years:
I think, because I've raised four kids now, I've been probably every type of mom. I've run the gamut. So with Sunday I did attachment. With Faith it was much more about trying to just let her have much more of her space, because with Sunday we were very, very linked, and then trying to get her to pull away from me was difficult.

But I think in terms of my style of parenting, I tend to err on the side of, if there's ever a choice, I'm always like, well, I'd rather be softer with her instead of the disciplinarian. Keith's probably more the disciplinarian.

I just think these days it's so difficult knowing which style or which kind of way to parent. And lot of it is intuitive.

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But so much of it is, I think, just respect for them and for what they're going through and feeling, but still [having] boundaries, and I think you can see children that are loved. Good love is what I call it. And good love just makes sense, you know? It's kind of logical. It's like what do I do here? Well, I choose to love. What would be the most loving thing to do here? And that isn't necessarily [giving in], because that may not be the most loving thing. But I always try to choose what's the most loving thing.

On being a lucky mom:
Keith and I are very lucky because we do have two lovely people. I mean, I just love who they are. Both of our girls are so nice, and so are my older children. They're just very nice people, which is a great thing to be able to say about your child. I like you. "I love you but I like you" is always a good thing, right?

Paddington movie posterOn being a boring "normal" family:
On a typical night, we always have dinner as a family. We eat very early, 5:30, and then we just hang out. Sometimes we watch reruns of The Brady Bunch. Sometimes we play games. We just kind of have a pretty normal, easy life together. But we're very tight. There's the four of us, and we're very close.

On the challenge of raising daughters:
I think keeping them little girls because there's so much in the world that sort of is already pushing them toward being older than they are.

And I'm still really trying to keep them as that kind of slightly innocent little girl because it's a fast moving world now, and there's so much that pushes them to be older than they really are.

On Keith's princess problem:
My husband's really interesting, because he doesn't like all the princess books and stuff.

Well, he's fine if they have the right morals, but he doesn't like things that teach kids to be demanding and spoiled. And he says a lot of those books have that kind of strange thing where it's like, "I'm a princess, I deserve this." And he's always like, "No, no, I don't really like that. I want them to be grateful and be humble." So it's that combination of humility with self-respect.

On whether she'd pick up a strange bear in a train station for her kids:
I would be like Sally's [Hawkins] character and be saying, "Can we take him home?" And Keith [Urban] would probably say, "Okay." I don't think he'd fight me as much as Hugh [Bonneville] does, because, you know, when Sunny, Faith, and I go, "We really, really want this" -- except right now we really want a puppy, all three of us, and Keith's like, "No, we're not getting a puppy."

We travel too much. We are not allowed to have a puppy until we're more settled. But he's a dog person. He's had dogs his whole life. So he's like, "No, until we are actually at home and at home for a long period of time and going to be in one spot for well over a year, we're not getting a puppy." And he will not budge on that right now.

What is your favorite Nicole Kidman role?

 

Paddington opens theaters on January 16. The film is rated PG. 

 

Images via The Weinstein Company

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