Nicole Kidman on winning her Oscar: ‘I went to bed alone; I was in bed before midnight’

No one really had a divorce/comeback storyline like Nicole Kidman, before or since. Those of us old farts who watched it unfold in real time were in awe. She went from one half of THE Hollywood A-list couple to a woman divorcing her Scientologist husband, all while dealing with a miscarriage and (basically) being forced to leave her two kids in Scientology so she could escape. Then Nicole rewrote her own narrative, doing a string of acclaimed and award-winning films and showing up to every red carpet looking like a million bucks. Moulin Rouge, The Others, The Hours, Cold Mountain, Dogville, all released within a three-year period, with Nicole getting back-to-back Best Actress Oscar nominations in 2002 and 2003. She ended up winning in 2003 for The Hours. While she was riding a professional high during that tumultuous period, she was mostly single and trying to figure out what was next for her romantically. That is the focus of Nicole’s version of her 2003 Oscar-winning night. Kidman spoke to Dave Karger for his new book, 50 Oscar Nights, about what she felt and did on that night.

As Nicole Kidman’s career reached one of its highest peaks, the actress was experiencing one of her most personal lows. The star, 56, won her first Oscar in 2003 for playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours, just a year after her first nomination for Moulin Rouge!. But behind her bright smile and glamorous Jean-Paul Gaultier gown hid a private struggle; Kidman had recently finalized her divorce from Tom Cruise after 11 years of marriage.

“I was struggling with things in my personal life, yet my professional life was going so well,” she told author Dave Karger in his new book 50 Oscar Nights (on sale Jan. 23). “ That’s what happens, right?”

On stage, Kidman briefly broke down before composing herself (“Russell Crowe said don’t cry when you get up there and now I’m crying”), and was played off before she was able to finish her speech. Afterwards, she felt the urge to go home.

“I’m not a big party girl, so I was going to skip the Vanity Fair party, and everyone was like, ‘You’ve got to go. You’ve got to walk through the party carrying your Academy Award,’” she recalls in the book. “I said, ‘That just feels like gloating, and it doesn’t feel humble.’ Like, what? You can’t walk through carrying the award! That feels really inappropriate. They’re like, ‘That’s what you do.’”

Ultimately, she did go to the storied bash, at least for a little while, with her engraved Oscar in hand: “So I literally walked in, carried it around, was completely overwhelmed, emotional, shaking, and I didn’t enjoy it. I was almost apologetic, which is so stupid. I wish I could have enjoyed it more,” she says. Afterwards, in the quiet of her hotel room, Kidman was confronted with the urge to find love again.

“I went home and ended up ordering takeout and eating it on the floor of the Beverly Hills Hotel,” she says. “I sat on the floor of the hotel eating French fries and a burger with my family and went to bed. That’s when it hit me. I went, I need to find my love; I need a love in my life. Because this is supposed to be when you go, ‘This is ours.’”

The Oscar evening ended with a whimper. “I went to bed alone; I was in bed before midnight. If I ever won again, I’m telling you, I’d be out for 24 hours.”

[From People]

I get it – she was still in the middle of that crazy ride which started when Tom Cruise filed for divorce. She barely had time to think, she was working on back-to-back projects and she had a moment of taking-stock on Oscar night. Something I hate is this idea that a single woman can’t or shouldn’t be proud of her achievements, or that an Oscar means nothing unless Nicole had a boyfriend or husband to validate her and her award. But I also think it’s more complicated than that in Nicole’s case.

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Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Getty.

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