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Music

The 8 songs Nicole Kidman couldn’t live without

Nicole Kidman is one of the most iconic actresses of all time. Be it Far and AwayBatman ForeverTo Die For, Eyes Wide ShutThe Hours or Moulin Rouge!, Kidman has starred in countless memorable films and duly, has long been one of Hollywood’s most prominent leading ladies. 

Of course, she is also well known for the high-profile marriage she had with her Far and Away and Eyes Wide Shut co-star Tom Cruise, but she is so much more than that. Kidman has proved time and time again that her acting talent is of a quality that we’ll still be talking about in many years to come. 

It’s not just on the big screen that she’s shone on either. She’s dazzled in many celebrated TV series. HBO’s 2020 miniseries The Undoing was one of the most refreshing, as well as challenging, pieces of TV we’ve seen over the last few years. Starring opposite Hugh Grant, Kidman played Grace Fraser, a successful New York psychologist who uncovers a web of lies involving her family and social circle. 

An adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known, the series was able to delve into the hypocrisy of high society through the incredibly balanced performance that Kidman delivered, and, perhaps, her own experiences in Hollywood also informed her performance. For the show, Kidman delivered a masterclass in character acting, confirming that when we talk about her, her acting skill should come first and foremost.

Aside from her acting talent, Kidman is also one of the more interesting Hollywood celebrities and has consistently proven herself to have something of a tangible personality compared to many of her A-list peers, who come across like inanimate objects when appearing in the media. 

In 1998, she went one step further than many of her Oscar-winning contemporaries and appeared on BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme, Desert Island Discs

One of the most eye-opening media appearances that Nicole Kidman has ever made, on the show, she revealed what her eight favourite songs are, and they may come as something of a surprise to you.

Nicole Kidman is a huge fan of opera. The first track she chose to take with her to the fictional desert island was Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s ‘O silver moon’ from his legendary opera Rusalka. Kidman said: “This I chose because my mother introduced me to opera when I was very young, and she’s always been a big influence in my life anyway, we’re a very close family.” 

Kidman explained: “I just love the story. It’s about a water sprite who makes a bargain with a witch and loses her tongue… It’s about yearning, it’s about wanting something.”

Another track she chose was by ‘The King of Rock and Roll’, the indomitable Elvis Presley. She chose the ‘All My Trials’ segment of his ‘An American Trilogy’ song. Kidman revealed that her father and husband at the time, Cruise, were both big Elvis fans, and by that point, she had also become a fan of the Sun Records legend. She said, “My father used to sing this song to me”, and for the song that helped to popularise the line “Hush little baby, don’t you cry. / You know your mama’s bound to die“, Kidman’s choice was deeply ironic.

Kidman then picked tracks by Van Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jean-Yves Thibaudet before choosing her favourite song of all time, Louis Armstrong’s tearjerker ‘What A Wonderful World’. She explained: “I suppose I am an optimist, even though I fight, sometimes, a pessimist approach to things, I am an optimist. I do believe the glass is half full and not half empty.”

A portal into the complex mind of Nicole Kidman, her appearance on Desert Island Discs remains one of the most revealing that the show has ever broadcast. At the time, she and Cruise were attracting much media attention for their conversion to Scientology, a controversial move for many reasons, let alone for someone who was raised a Catholic.

Regardless, what was made clear across the interview was that nothing had changed for Nicole Kidman since she was a child, apart from the fact that she was now a global superstar. Humble and intriguing, this appearance is just one of many reasons why the world loves the Australian actress.

See the full list of Nicole Kidman’s favourite songs, below.

Nicole Kidman’s favourite songs:

  • Antonín Dvořák – ‘O silver moon’
  • Elvis Presley – ‘Hush Little Baby’
  • Hubert Parry – ‘Jerusalem’
  • Van Morrison – ‘Someone Like You’
  • Jean‐Yves Thibaudet – ‘Love Remains’
  • Janis Joplin – ‘Summertime’
  • Company – ‘One’
  • Louis Armstrong – ‘What A Wonderful World’