The New Nicole Kidman

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A Woman's Woman

She was lured away to film a role in the new musical Nine. The movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a director enthralled with the women in his life -- his mother (Sophia Loren), his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his costume designer (Judi Dench), his prostitute (Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson), a reporter who's profiling him (Kate Hudson), and his lead actress and muse (Kidman).

On the set in Italy, a makeshift green room filled with couches and draperies became a kind of she cave where the actresses gathered to compare blisters from their respective dance numbers and to talk about life. Sunday was only 6 weeks old, and when she wasn't nursing or attached to Kidman in a sling, the other women took turns caring for her. "Kate had her son there," Kidman recalls, "and Penelope and Fergie were like, 'I can't wait to have a baby.' We're all women's women."

In November Kidman was due to leave home again, this time traveling to Kenya for a few days on behalf of UNIFEM, a United Nations organization dedicated to ending discrimination and violence against women and with which she's had a long association. She wants to help start a hotline for abused women. "It's so they'll have a place to call. A lot of women are so terrified; they'll go to the police or court and don't win. We can set up shelters and raise money," says Kidman. "I'm constantly trying to find new ways to give back," she adds. "Women are nurturers. There's so much we can do with the power of our feelings, the power of our sensitivity."

Kidman has always had powerful women in her life. Her mother, Janelle, raised her and her younger sister, Antonia, to be strong-minded and sent them to all-girl schools. "She wanted us to have a sense of our place in the world," says Kidman. "She didn't want us to be shaped by our relationship with boys. She wanted us to focus on our intellect instead."

Continued on page 3:  The Power of Love


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