I Just Knew She Would Know This Song


Mister D: I’m posting this article even though the majority of it concerns Nicole Kidman, but there is some Bette in this. BUT the main reason I want to have this as a keepsake is due to my teenage wish of over 30 years ago thinking that Bette should have covered the song, “I’m Not Lisa”. I thought she could bring to it the drama she broguht to Delta Dawn many moons ago…and I still think she could….anyway, just read….I can’t even believe this was brought up!

Photo: Lisa O’Connor
(Bette at the World Premiere of “The Stepford Wives”)

Monday, June 7, 2004
Perfectly imperfect
Kidman trying to ‘balance’ her life
The Toronto Sun

One room, four actresses: Nicole Kidman, Glenn Close, Bette Midler and Faith Hill are together here to help promote The Stepford Wives.

It’s quite a scene.

Bette Midler and Faith Hill spontaneously sing together, harmonizing on a chorus of the Jessie Coulter song, I’m Not Lisa. When Hill says she’ll play Vegas for four nights for the first time in ages, the other three actresses beg to be in the audience. Things are humorous, light and friendly, and in this atmosphere, Nicole Kidman seems very relaxed.

Kidman is the emotional centre of The Stepford Wives, a black comedy that’s quite different from the 1975 original. In The Stepford Wives, which opens Friday, Kidman plays a powerful career woman who winds up in Stepford, a mysterious Connecticut town where the women are perfect wives and homemakers, but oddly vapid and robot-like. Hmmnn.

The female stars of the film are asked a lot of questions about domestic skills and the pursuit of personal perfection.

Some questions are goofy, but Kidman is always gracious.

The woman with an Oscar and Golden Globes galore says that on the domestic front, her thing is cooking.

“I’d like to become better at it, but it’s relaxing. Otherwise, well, I can’t sew. I’m a very poor knitter. I can wrap Christmas presents really well.” She laughs.

(“I’m very good at opening beer and wine bottles,” interjects Midler, who projects a wonderful air of mischief at all times.)

As for The Stepford Wives’ theme of perfection, Kidman says, “The theme is that happiness is not found through perfection, or even in trying to achieve it. I’m nowhere near perfect,” she says, laughing nervously, “and not ever trying to be. What I find most attractive in people are their imperfections.”

Kidman, who turns 37 this month, doesn’t seem to sport many imperfections herself. The mother of two continues to work feverishly, announcing that she is indeed going to play Ula when The Producers becomes a movie and that she’s also got Bewitched coming up.

She stars in Jonathan Glazer’s Birth, due for release later this year, and is filming The Interpreter with Sean Penn. She’s also agreed to be in American Darlings and Emma’s War, both set for release in 2005, and she’ll play Olympias in yet another film about Alexander the Great.

Yikes. Not surprisingly, the subject of working women comes up, and how the balance between family and career is handled. Kidman says she isn’t sure she wants to continue with acting forever.

“What I still grapple with is that I haven’t learned how to balance these things. At some stage I’d love to have another child, love to settle into a relationship that’s really important to me. I’m not good at the balance of that, so for my future I don’t see the two combining.”

Later, she adds, “I love to act. I love the opportunity to play an array of women. As for men, you really don’t have a lot of time to give someone else. It comes back to balance — when you’re passionate about what you do, how can you also be passionate about another person? I don’t know. I’m asking you.”

Isn’t there an uncomfortable parallel between the beautiful women of Stepford and the beautiful women of Hollywood? Like the pressure to look perfect?

Maybe sometimes, says Kidman, like when she has to walk the red carpet. “You do dress for it, like for the prom. It’s the fun part of it. But on the screen, I feel the opposite. I choose roles that are diverse. The thing about perfection is — if you’re committed artistically, that’s not what it’s about.”

Kidman won’t kid around with her own
Nicole Kidman says she doesn’t go out much, preferring to spend her time with her sister and her kids.

Like all mothers, she is keen to protect her children, Connor and Isabella, who must cope with the usual challenges of growing up as well as dealing with their mom’s and dad’s (Tom Cruise) fame.

She laughs with chagrin as she talks about taking them to the American Cinematheque Awards last fall, where she was honoured — and where, to her horror, clips were shown from Eyes Wide Shut, a decidedly adult film.


“I was like, ‘That’s it, kids! Heads under the table! Earmuffs!’ ”

Kidman says of protecting her kids, “You work really hard at it! You find out they saw a DVD at a friend’s house and you call the mother and you say, ‘Hey! That film was rated R!’ ”

Referring to her daughter, she says, “And it’s hard to get information out of a 12-year-old. It’s like being a sleuth.”

Kidman has never permitted her children to be photographed for any magazine. “The only photographs you’ll see are taken by the paparazzi. I’m like a maniac about this.”

A grinning Bette Midler cuts in: “I can see the headlines now: ‘Nicole is a maniac!’ “

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