There was a palpable air of excitement at the Four Seasons Lion hotel in St Petersburg where the interview with Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, one of Omega’s brand ambassadors was taking place.
The 51-year-old stunner was in the city to launch the Omega Her Time exhibition and if you want to know the definition of a movie star, you only needed to be in her presence.
Dressed in Bottega Veneta and the Omega Tresor watch, the star was in a relaxed mood.
Kidman had never been to Russia but she managed to see a lot of the city on a sunset boat trip the previous night. Russian literature is her passion as she grew up reading it and she shared that during the boat ride she saw places that Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky had referenced.
“Being able to put the imagery to novels that are deep within me, was pretty satisfying. So now I’m curious,” said Kidman.
When asked what role (based on Russian plays or novels) she would most like to do, Kidman settled on something by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov.
“I dreamed of it. I started learning the Russian language for a film I was doing and then I thought, what I could do is learn the language and then come and do repertory theatre in Russia, because I think in regards to Chekhov, when you speak in the language, it has such pathos and such depth, but then there’s the comic aspect of Chekhov because he can be very, very funny. That’s certainly something I don’t have enough time for, but you never know in the next 30 years.
“I would love to do (a Chekhov play) even if I could just do the Cherry Orchard. I don’t think I could do rep now because that would be two or three plays, but I could possibly still do one. But Russian is unbelievably hard to learn.”
Kidman’s recent movie, Boy Erased has been garnering Oscar buzz and the role was written for her by her good friend, Australian director Joel Edgerton.
“We’ll be taking it to the Toronto Film Festival. I’ve also got another film in competition there and that’s called The Destroyer and in that I play the lead role whereas in Boy Erased, I play the support role.
“They’re very, very different which is part of the pull for me, as I look for things either I haven’t done (before) or there is enormous personal meaning to me. I don’t care about the size of the role. I’m interested in stretching and exploring.”
A Global Perspective
Kidman’s relationship with Omega spans almost two decades now and she says she has enjoyed the experience.
“I get the privilege of wearing their vintage watches, which have such history. And I love when I get the chance to wear them to one of those huge events like the Oscars or the Golden Globes, or Cannes – to wear one of their vintage pieces – because it gets seen in a different way, which adds to the piece.
“If I can say this was worn on the red carpet in Cannes in 2016 and their watches are dating back to 1953 or 1923, well I just love how that particular watch has its own journey and I love being a part of it.”
She says as a company, the brand is strong in philanthrophy which is important: “Their DNA aligns with that. And I’ve travelled the world with them. They’re global and they care about being a global citizen and I love that. I’ve never been to Russia, I came with Omega. I’ve seen China with them, India … so many places.
“I really believe by travelling and seeing the world, the world becomes smaller and we become more connected. It’s one of the things I love to do with my children, take them to different places to see different cultures.”
When asked how important it is for women to have “Her Time” in this era of diversity and #MeToo, Kidman spoke about the need for personal time but how one carves that out is up to the individual.
“But in terms of the world now and what we call the #MeToo movement, or trying to bring women to the forefront and trying to eradicate violence against women? I’ve been working for the last two and half decades, travelling the world and trying to eradicate violence against women and change laws, for the voiceless, particularly women who are victims of war crimes, so they can have their voices heard.
“There’s never been a better time than now. It’s very sad to say that for two decades it was so slow. Yes there was a little bit here and there but I hope now that it’s at the forefront, we can instigate change. As everyone knows change happens very, very slowly. And sometimes it can happen in an extreme way so it can then be rebalanced, so we can carve a niche where there’s equilibrium, but now this is happening because we need (the voices) to be heard.”
The Luxury Of Time
Time is something Kidman has little off, being a mother and actress, and often it feels like it moves too fast but she sees it as something positive. In a recent discussion with her husband (country singer Keith Urban), she shared his joyful perspective on where they are now: “As a couple, we got to have children much later in life, yet we still got the opportunity to have them and those things don’t go unappreciated.
“Would we have loved to have met when we were in our twenties? Yes, but it ended up we met just before we turned 40 and we still got to have (all of) that.”
Personally, she would just like to have more time: “Just to live much longer. I don’t know what’s ahead, but I pray and I’d be blessed just to have the chance to see my grandchildren. I’d love to be involved in raising my grandchildren. That makes me cry, so that’d be the biggest thing I’d ask for. Who knows, we don’t control any of that but, I pray for that.”