Nicole Kidman has been Hollywood royalty for just short of three decades, yet it took mere minutes for her Oscars ‘seal clap’ to became a viral meme. Fifteen minutes of infamy are unlikely to phase Kidman, however. The brand ambassador for OMEGA knows just how precious time is…
At the time of writing, the Hollywood Oscar machine was just whirring to life and Nicole Kidman was hopeful of winning the Best Supporting Actress gong for her role in Lion. Instead, having been pipped to the post by Viola Davis for her role in Fences, Kidman’s 2017 Oscars legacy was the ‘seal clapping’ meme. The modern world, eh?
Turns out Kidman’s odd clapping technique was employed to protect a piece of jewellery she’d been loaned: ‘It was really difficult because I had a huge ring on that was not my own but was absolutely gorgeous, and I was terrified of damaging it,’ she told the hosts of Australian radio show, Kyle and Jackie O. So while Kidman didn’t get to add to the Oscar she won for The Hours back in 2003, she’s proved herself a considerate brand ambassador – you know she’s going to look after those valuable goods!
OMEGA, whose Regent’s Street outpost is a flagship destination for showcasing their stunning timepieces, selected the legendary actor as brand ambassador back in 2005, however, long before this year’s Oscars. Here, Kidman discusses her association with the brand, and how time has become an increasingly crucial thing for her…
OMEGA has a glorious history of ladies’ watchmaking. As a brand ambassador, which part of the brand’s history inspires you the most?
My favourite pieces, just because of my own aesthetic, are the Art Deco pieces. But the watches from the 30s and 40s, when you see the craftsmanship, you can’t believe the intricacies and the precision of that. I get to wear some of those watches and they are works of art. I think as a woman, a lot of the time you wear a watch because it’s practical, but you also want it to be jewellery. You want it to be something that other people notice and say ‘that’s beautiful and it’s incredibly chic’. And that’s what OMEGA is very, very good at. It’s making something that’s exquisitely chic.
Have you got a favourite OMEGA watch?
I’ve worn so many of their watches. I’ve even worn the men’s watches because I sometimes think that’s cool. But the Ladymatic, because that was the watch that I launched and that’s the one I wear every day. That’s the one, when people see it on my wrist, they gasp.
You were guest of honour at OMEGA’s Her Time Exhibition in Milan, which has since travelled to Moscow and Shanghai. What do you think of it?
I hope it eventually goes to the US because you can’t believe the history of the brand and I do think when you understand that, you really see what OMEGA is [all about]. When you see them doing the Olympics, you also realise they have so much history.
How would you describe your sense of style?
I think it’s changed through the years. I was probably a lot more fashion conscious when I was younger. Now I’ve settled into my own skin and I would say classic with a twist. But I can be bold too.
What qualities draw you to a watch or item of jewellery?
I like things that are chic. I don’t like things that are ostentatious. I like elegance with a little bit of flair.
What qualities do actors and watchmakers share?
I suppose detail. Performances are in the detail, as are watches. The detail is what’s important, and when you give a great performance it’s because of the detail and the layering, and I think watches have that as well. When it’s a great watch, it’s because there’s been so much work put into it.
Did you enjoy the energy of acting on stage in London last year[in Photograph 51? How does it compare to the film set?
When I did that play in London last year, I fell in love with stage again. I hadn’t done it for 17 years and suddenly I was there and it was the most terrifying experience creatively to put myself in that place. But at the same time, once I started doing it, it was like stepping back into something that I just knew, and I loved that. I’ve been fortunate enough to move into producing as well recently. I’ve just finished producing an HBO limited series with Reese Witherspoon and five lead female roles, and that was incredibly gratifying to be in that and producing it. And it’s a really good show.
The immediacy of the reaction on stage is incredibly compelling. But then, when I was at the Toronto Film Festival with Lion, and people were cheering and crying, that’s powerful too
But I’m also still very crazy, a wild card in terms of my choices. I’m in the middle of doing a film with a Greek director now, which is what I also love. It’s exploring new directors, exploring all nationalities. Then there was Lion, an Australian film. That’s exciting because it’s a really beautiful story and a very beautiful film. So I don’t think that the energy is different for either one. Sometimes, the immediacy of the reaction on stage is incredibly compelling. But then, when I was at the Toronto Film Festival with Lion, and people were cheering and standing up and crying, that’s powerful too.
You mention producing films. Is it enjoyable to work behind the scenes sometimes?
I’m big on loyalty. It’s a huge part of my life. Most of the people I work with are either friends or are people I’ve been with for years and years. The idea of being able to help a director schedule and organise, that’s exciting because I know how to help and not waste money with those things. And to see something develop from the very beginning all the way to the very end, that’s a wonderful thing.
How do you spend your down-time on a film set?
Any down-time I have I’m with my kids and my husband [Keith Urban]. I was commuting back and forth from Cincinnati to Nashville. I’d fly there in the morning and fly back at night. People were asking ‘why are you doing that? Just stay the night and relax’. And I’d say, ‘No, I get the joy and nourishment from my family actually’.
What is the greatest gift time has given you?
Time is so precious and I think it’s more about us realising the gift of life and time. I cherish it and I don’t take any of it for granted.