Nicole Kidman


  1. Julia Roberts, Flatliners, 1989.  
    Director Joel Schumacher tells all…“There’s a moment when someone walks into a room and there’s no one like them. I remember Nicole, right after Dead Calm.  H
    er manager brought her to my house. When she walked in, I knew…   she was one of the ten most beautiful women I’d seen in a lifetime – and also that she was unlike anyone else in the movie business at that time. I was going to give her Julia Roberts’ part, but Nicole then went on to do Days of Thunder. The rest is history…. Julia started working in the rehearsal phase the day after she finished shooting Pretty Woman.She got paid very little on Pretty Woman because it was a big break for her. All her agent was asking for was another $100,000. I think I had to offer her part of my salary. They [producers] didn’t realize her value and by the end of Flatliners, they were willing to give her millions! She was great. She deserved it. She had become the biggest female movie star in the world at that time.”

  2. Rachel Ticotin, Total Recall, 1989.    Kidman and Alexandra Paul were seen for the Mars Resistance fighter Melina – opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finest acting role. And I’m not joking. Nor was canny Chicago critic Roger Ebert: “He could have stalked and glowered through this movie and become a figure of fun, but instead, by allowing himself to seem confused and vulnerable, he provides a sympathetic center for all of the high-tech spectacle.”
  3. Julia Roberts, Flatliners, 1989.   Change of Rachel among five medical students playing with near-death experiences. “My character is almost obsessed with the idea of death, and making sure that when you die you’re going to a good place.” ”  A Brat Pack neo-Gothic that plays like Frankensteinin reverse,”said the Washington Post.
  4. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1990.    Kidman, Elizabeth Hurley, Patsy Kensit, Amanda Pays, Joely Richardson, Ally Sheedy were in the Sherwood mix for Maid Marian  – won by an an Italo-American! Well, two French stars, Sophie Marceau and Mathilda May, had also been seen.
  5. Judith Hoag, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1989.     For the first live-action Turtle trot, the innovative director of music videos Steve Barron saw many a potential April O’Neill: Kidman,   Jennifer Beals, Lorraine Bracco, Sandra Bullock, Melanie Griffith, Anna Kendrick, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Marisa Tomei, Sean Young. TMNT legend states Hoag was never considered for the sequels because she complained so much the violence – and the six-day shooting schedule.
  6. Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs, 1989.
  7. Demi Moore, Ghost, 1990.    Little Miss Determined somehow got hold of a script in Australia. “She hired people to put together a reading and sent it off to us,” recalls scenarist Bruce Joel Rubin. “We were blown away. Demi was terrific – but Nicole came very close.” When wed to Tom Cruise and living in LA, she “knocked out” Rubin anew and won the top spot in his “twelve hankie” directing debut: My Life, 1994.
  8. Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  9. Greta Scacchi, Shattered, 1990.   The suits loved her “amazing” test – when she broke own and cried.The role was her’s if she wanted it. She didn’t! She was lucky again in April 2013 when her union blocked the auction of 54 test tapes, including hers. “Auditions are not public performance,” said the SAG-AFTRA.“Performers are entitled to expect them to remain private.” And yet not a wordwhen Paramount’s Real TV tabloid show starting running such audition tapes…in 1995!
  10. Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991. Among the many-the very many – Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Diane Lane, Jennifer JasonLeigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker,Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon – consideredby Steven Spielberg and, later, Martin Scorsese fortheteen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Danielle Bowden.(Nicole in the 1962 orignal). Some found it too sexy and, indeed, few could have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised – and one take – seduction scene with Robert De Niro.  The re-tread’s (uncredited) exec producer was Steven Spielberg – and he eventually cast Kidman in… his 2013 Cannes festival jury.
  11. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.

  12. Geena Davis, A League of Their Own, 1991.  
    “There’s no crying in baseball…” Long-time ball fan, director Penny Marshall had never heard of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1943-1954) until seeing a 1987 PBS documentary. She swiftly contacted the makers to join her Hollywood writers to use their title for a fictional comedy-drama version.  Penny staged baseball tests for about 2,000 actresses. If you can’t play ball, you can’t play the Rockford Peaches!  Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty were best; those turned down included Farrah Fawcett, Lori Singer, Marisa Tomei and Maria Maples (before becoming the second Mrs Donald Trump).  Jim Belushi and Laura Dern were set to star in 1990 when Fox suddenly pulled the plug; Tom Hanks and Geena took over at Columbia.  Also on the plate for the star player Dottie Hinson were Sally Field, Nicole Kidman, Kelly McGillis, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Debra Winger and Sean Young.

  13. Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal, 1992.    When Tom Cruise was slated as thehusband selling his wife for $1m for one night to a zillionaire (Warren Beatty at the time), Adrian Lyne wanted a real couple inthe roles. They both passed.

  14. Bridget Fonda, Point Of No Return, 1992.   Jodie Foster had little hesitation in refusing the Hollywood re-hash (as cumbersome as its title) of réalisateur Luc Besson’s much sharper 1989 French hit, Nikita. Winona Ryder also passed…. while director John Badham (!) somehow spurned Kidman, Halle Berry, Daryl Hannah Julia Roberts and Sharon Stne for the hit-woman. 

  15. Meg Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle, 1992.   Or… When Harry Met Sally Meets When Sam Met Suzy. Same writer, Nora Ephron. Same Sally – Meg Ryan in the second of three ephemeral romcoms with Tom Hanks. Also forgetting that romcoms are rarely plausible: Kim Basinger, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts. And a surprise Brit. Natasha Richardson.
  16. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hudsucker Proxy, 1993.  Made in ‘93 and set in 58, the Coen Brothers’ capitalism satire is rooted in 40s cinema – where surely JJL’s tabloid reporter was born.  Kidman, Ellen Barkin, Bridget Fonda and Winona Ryder were also seen by the Coens… who simply proved what we already knew. There was only ever one Frank Capra.  This was not a patch on their following year’s Cannes winner – plus four Oscars. Fargo.
  17. Sharon Stone, Casino, 1994. The role? Robert De Niro’s ex-show-cum-call-girl wife in Martin Scorsese takedown of the Mafia running the biz called Las Vegas.  Michelle Pfeiffer felt it was too close to her 1982 Scarface. (It was also close to Goodfellas but that didn’t hinder the De Niro-Joe Pesci-Scorsese trinity). Ex-porn queen Traci Lords nearly won after an impressive test.  Likewise, Madonna. Amber Smith also tested and De Niro got her into Faithfuland  Abel Ferrar’s The Funeral. Also seen:  Cameron Diaz, Melanie Griffith, Nicole Kidman, Rene Russo and Uma Thurman.  “I want to be good enough to work with Robert De Niro,” Sharon Stone had told her drama coach. This time she was. Never again.
  18. Wendy Crewson, The Santa Clause,1994.   For the  ex-wife of Tim Allen – the man who killed Santa! – Disney  looked at Crewson, Kidman, Kate Burton, Patrica Clarkson, Sally Field, Jennifer Grey, Goldie Hawn, Patrica Heaton, Angelica Huston, Mary McDonnell, Pamela Reed, Molly Ringwald, Julia Roberts  and Ally Sheedy.Joe Dante, Richard Donner, even Steven Spielberg were Disney’s dream wishes to direct.
  19. Robin Wright Penn, Forrest Gump, 1995.  She balked when director Robert Zemeckis insisted that potential Jennies had to test – with Tom Hanks as Gump. Also fleeing: Jodie Foster and Nicole Kidman.Robin was first testee, when nearly eight months pregnant with Hopper Jack Penn. And she made all  the suits cry!  One of the reasons the film won six Oscars.
  20. Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma, 1995.    Garth, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane and Joely Richardson – “we had many actresses, big and small, who wanted this part,” said US  autuer Douglas McGrath. He chose Gwyneth for his ultra British (Jane Austen) heroine. Because, ironically, of her brilliant Texan accent in Flesh and Bone.  “I grew up in Texas, and I’ve never heard an actor not from Texas sound remotely like a real Texan. I knew she had theatre training… The minute she started the read-through,  the very first line, I thought: She’s going to be brilliant.”

  21. Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire, 1996.   “You had me at Hello…”Once Tom Hanks passed and Tom Cruise breathed a sigh of relief, auteurCameron Crowe started searching for The Girl: Dorothy Boyd.   Kidman, Patricia Arquette, Cameron Diaz, Bridget Fonda, Janeane Garofalo, Jennifer Lopez, Courtney Love, Parker Posey, Molly Ringwald, Winona Ryder, Mira Sorvino, Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, even Zellweger, came and went. Recommended by Edward Burns (one of the Jerry possibles),  Connie Britton made a good test with Cruise and she was Dorothy – depending on  Zellweger’s call back meeting with him. “We have video of that because I was filming,” Crowe told Mike Fleming Jr for Deadline Hollywood’s 20-years-later feature in 2017, “and you just see something happen when Tom sees her. He lights up… As Jerry discovers Dorothy, we discover Renée . That was a very personal thing for me and the way I feel about movies.”
  22. Kate Winslet, Titanic, 1996.
  23. Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting, 1997.     When the writer-stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Oscars in hand, thanked Minnie Driver, the simultaneous translation on French TV said they thanked… beaucoup de chauffeurs!
  24. Monica Potter, Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence  (US: The Very Thought of You), 1997.  Ohio’s  Potter did exceedingly well, to beat such contenders as Nicole  Kidman and two Friends, Anniston, Courteney Cox – to Martha, lusted after  by the three guys,  in the great British romcom by Peter Morgan, better known (revered) for such real-life studies as The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Crown.  Potter finished as a TV queen. She shone in Boston Legal, Parenthood, etc,, but deserved better.
  25. Uma Thurman,The Avengers, 1997.  Kidman must have said: Thank God for Kubrick!Having her Eyes Wide Shut (not exactly the film of the year, either), meant she passed on Mrs Emma Peel in this abysmal cinemaversion of the hit UK TV series. Gwyneth Paltrow, Elisabeth Shueand Emma Thompson also refused. (Diana Rigg, the original Mrs Peel, likewise fled a proffered cameo). Sean Connery was the villain and if he ever wondered what 007 would have turned out like in Hollywood, this mess was the answer. Sheer balderdash!
  26. Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth, 1997. For his first English-language film, Pakistani actor–director Shekhar Kapur had the nerve to turn down Meryl Streep (only happened three other times) for his revisionist view of England’s first Queen Elizabeth.  Kidman was also bypassed.  Because Kapur had been bowled over a year  before,  by the Australian Cate  Blanchett  in not the film but a video promo for her film, Oscar and Lucinda. She also made his sequel,  Elizabeth The Golden Years,  in 2007.

  27. Anne  Heche, Psycho, 1997.  
    Who should be knocked off real early in the shower? Except why should anyone play Marion Crane again? It’s been done. It’s a classic. And by The Master. Why re-make Hitchcock?  Ah, beg pardon, Gus Van Sant called it a reproduction. A bizarre (lazy!) notion of copying  –  the Psycho  script, word for word, action for action, move for move, shock for shock (except the shocks were too famous to  shock anymore). “Just shoot it in color and have, for instance, Jack Nicholson play the detective and Timothy Hutton play Norman Bates,” he suggested. “Universal wanted to rope me in, and I said: “Here’s the idea: don’t change anything! It’s never been done before. Isn’t that a great reason to try it?” Not really! What had he said about re-makes? “The essence is missing. You might as well make an original movie.” Right!  First choice Nicole Kidman   was in a  London play where one critic famously compared her to Viagra. Next?  Drew Barrymore, Claire Danes and  Winona Ryder (too young; “I  wanted to preserve the integrity of the characters”), Laura Linney (she preferred The Truman Show, which was new) and Julianne Moor (finished up as Marion’s sister Finally, Anne Heche won the one sequence that was not the same as  in 1959 – the shower. it’s more grotesque. It’s more disgusting… Hitchcock was holding back, I’ll bet.”  Yet it worked much better. First is always best.  

  28. Julia Roberts, Notting Hill, 1998. Although director Roger Michl and scenarist Richard Curtis said that Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant were first choice for Ann and William, Nicole Kidman  had been in the Anna mix. “I really wanted the role “But I wasn’t well known enough, and I wasn’t talented enough.”  The delicious rom-com was Bollywoodised (with a touch of Titanic) in 2005 as the Hindi  Humko Deewana Kar Gaye  with Katrina Kaifand Akshay Kumar.

  29. Gwyneth Paltrow, A Perfect Murder, 1998. A second Hitchcock re-make  – well, they said she looked Hitcockian. This was supposedly a new take on Dial M For Murder… in  the epoch of mobile phones!  

  30. Kim Basinger, The Simpsons #208:  When You Dish Upon A Star,TV, 1998. Since its 1989 birth, the yellowtoon family Simpson smashed records for episodes, audiences, and the most guest stars (as themselves or others). Not all celebs played ball.  Bruce Willis refused a second invite – and his then-wife, Demi Moore, with him. Other candidates for the celeb couple were Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman, Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn…  and Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger, who said: Sure! Eventually leading Baldwin’s unknown funny-bone into 30 Rock, 2006-2013.

  31. Demi Moore, Passion In Mind, 1998.     The hot female role of the year (on paper) was a woman living parallel lives as a New York book editor and an American mother oftwo in Europe. Kidman tried hard to set it up with Australian director John Duigan.
  32. Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth, 1998.  First plan of the Pakistani director Shekhar Kapur best known for his Indian epic, Bandit Queen, 1994. Until Cate was discovered on stage in Sydney. She also made his sequel, Elizabeth The Golden Years, 2007.
  33. Uma Thurman, Vatel, France,2000.   Due opposite the mighty Gérard Depardieu as the even mightier grand cuisiner of Louis XIV.
  34. Jodie Foster,  Panic Room, 2001.  After 18 days, Kidman had to leave when her  Moulin Rougue knee injury flared up anew.  So Kidman’s icy Hitchcockian blonde became Foster’s a grittier political action-Mom. In 2006, Jodie changed her Brave Oneheroine from newspaper reporter – “not compelling in terms of the narrative” – to… radio reporter! Nicole  remained in the thriller as the voice  of the wife of Jodie ‘s divorced husband. Jodie quit being the Cannes festival jury chief to make this film because she wanted  to work with director David Fincher. They had been set  for  The Game in 1996, when her role was eventually taken by Sean Penn  – in 2004, Foster paid him back by taking over his  role in Flightplan!
  35. Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001.    Among the outrageous ideas like Helena Bonham Carter, and Catherine Zeta-Jones (like Nicole, far too beautiful for a dumpy dowdy) . More sensible choices inclued Rachel Griffiths and Emma Thompson.

  36. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2001.
  37. Christine Baranski, Chicago, 2001.

  38. Cate Blanchett, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-2003.
  39. Liv Tyler, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001-2003.

  40. Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, 2001.
  41. Julia Roberts, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, 2002.     George Clooney turned director(superbly) with the bizarre tale of Chuck Barris, a (real) TV quiz show host who insisted he was also a CIAssassin.
  42. Kate Winslet, The Life of David Gale, 2002.Alan Parker’s initial choice for the reporter interviewing Kevin Spacey on Death Row.
  43. Meg Ryan, In The Cut, 2002.     And she was the producer! “But as an actress I had to say to Jane Campion: I can’t do a film at this stage in my life. My priority is my children. It was hard for me because I’d been developing this with Jane for so many years. I went in with my own money and bought the rights to film the novel -I don’t even have a production company.”
  44. Jennifer Garner, Daredevil, 2003.    “How did I become Action Girl?” asked Garner.  Because 22 other girls were not punching their weight in TV’s Alias every week. They were Jessica Alba, Jolene Blalock, Neve Campbell, Penelope Cruz, Portia de Rossi, Eliza Dushku, Claire Forlani, Angie Harmon, Salma Hayek, Katie Holmes, Milla Jovovich, Nicole Kidman, Lucy Liu, Mia Maestro, Rhona Mitra, Bridget Moynahan, Natalie Portman, Kyra Sedgwick, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon.  Plus the Norwegian ballet dancer Natassia Malthe, who became Typhoid in Garner’s 2004 Elektra spin-off.   Garner reportedly KOed the blind hero, Ben Affleck, in one scene – he still married her three years later!

  45. Alexandra Staden, My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure, 2003.  
    Closer to author Peter O’Donnell than Joseph Losey’s 1965 campy rubbish, this 18-day quickie was simply made to allow Miramax to retain the rights for an 007-ish series to star… Kidman, Natasha Henstridge, Jennifer Lopez, Mira Sorvino, Catherine Zeta-Jones or Quentin Tarantino’s very own Dietrich: Uma Thurman. Plus Russell Crowe as sidekick Willie Garvin.  We all know what happened  to Miramax and how the brothers running it named their next combine after themselves. Weinstein. So, like  Sidney Gilliatt’s 60s’ British Lion version  and the ABC plans for a 1982 series with Ann Turkel, Quentin Tarantino’s dream project never happened. He had trailed his interest  by having John Travolta found reading a Modesty book on the john in Pulp Fiction.   Maybe Harvey Weinstein’s alleged inappropriate touching of the director’s then-lover, Sorvino (among other allegations about the producer abusing Asia Argento, Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc) was why the big film version was never happened… although such storieshad not  stopped Tarantino making six features  for Weinstein including Kill Bill and Django Unchained.  He later moved far  from the producer, admitting: “I knew enough to do more than I did…. I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard.” 

  46. Angelina Jolie, Mr & Mrs Smith, 2004.     Amarried couple of covert assassins (he’s Brad Pitt) are hired to kill each other! Nicole’s schedule went topsy-turvy due to the delayed Stepford Wives. Pitt returned only when her final replacement wasJolie – soon enough his lover, andmother of their 2006 daughter: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.
  47. Bryce Dallas Howard, Manderlay, 2004.     “Lars, I’m going to star in your pictures, no matter what it will cost.” Despite the promises (forced out of her by Lars Von Trier at the Dogville Press conference at Cannes 2003) to make the trilogy, Kidman wiselyfled the rest of thepretentious and career-ruining trilogy (USA – Land of Opportunities). So did her screen dad, James Caan,“because Von Trier is very anti-American, so screw him.”
  48. Halle Berry, Catwoman, 2004.     Would the French film-maker Pitof have de-glammed Nicole as much as he did poor “Halle-cat”?
  49. Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener, 2004.Everyone queued for meets with Kidman, but Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles was the first to reject her- as too old at 36 for the John Le Carré story. Her pal Naomi Watts, 35,had a date with King Kong andRachel was 35 – and got the Oscar.
  50. Naomi Watts, I Heart Huckabees, 2004.     First choice Gwyneth Paltrow was still grieving for her father, Kidman was trapped among The Stepford Wives, Jennifer Aniston was considered and Britney Spears auditioned twice -before the director David O Russell (a director much in need of anger-management) found his “real first choice” was free.

  51. Cate Blanchett, The Aviator, 2004.     One Aussie pinch-hitting for another, in case Cate could not finish The Missing on time. She did and won an Oscar – two years after Nicole.
  52. Cate Blanchett, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, 2004.     Nicole moved aboard the good ship Belafonte when Gwyneth Paltrow baled out. Julianne Moore  asked to be Jane Winslet-Richardson (a name inspired by Kate, of course). Cate was pregnant  but Nicole just could not play everything… 
  53. Julianne Moore, The Forgotten, 2004.     Kidman and Moore had co-starred in The Hours, 2002.
  54. Monica Bellucci, The Brothers Grimm, 2005.Director Terry Gilliam’s first choice for the evil 500-year-old Mirror Queenquit what Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert said was“a work of limitless invention, but… without pattern, chasing itself around the screen without finding a plot. Watching it is a little exhausting.”
  55. Tilda Swinton, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2005.Change of accent for the CS Lewis’ White Witch. Also in the cauldron:  Michelle Pfeiffer and Kate Winslet. 
  56. Uma Thurman, The Producers, 2005.     Durin gthe (brief) time when Nicole was first choice for anything, yet worthy of nothing. She dropped out of sight – too much of anything! – and Uma became the loopy secretary of the titular Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.
  57. Naomi Watts, The Painted Veil,2006.   When Kidman left the W Somerset Maugham classic, Edward Norton persuaded Naomi to become his unfaithful wife.
  58. Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2006.  Kidman, Annette Bening, Toni Collette, Cyndi Lauper, Bernadette Peters, Meryl Streep plus great Brits Imelda Staunton, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet were seen for Mrs Lovett, making the meatiest of meat pies (from the victims of a demonic Johnny Depp). They all lacked one essential. They were not living with director Tim Burton! As if to proove it, HBC was pregnant during the shoot. 
  59. Romola Garai, Angel, UK-Belgium-France, 2006.     The 39th film of auteur François Ozon was to be – enfin! – at last! – his international breakthrough. (As if such happenings can be orchestrated). Therefore, Kidman was top choice for the titular novelist heroine. Until everyone had to agree – Kidman, included – that she was too old at 39 for Angel’s early years. Enter: Garai, the latest great UK find – in Daniel Deronda, Nicholas Nickleby, I Capture The Castle, Vanity Fair, to say nothing of… Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights!
  60. Meryl Streep, Mama Mia, 2007.   Kidman, Olivia Newton-John and Michelle Pfeiffer were in  the Abba musical mix  for Donna. Or they were until  Streep proved available.  Abba-ite Benny Andersen called her a miracle when she recorded her  Winner Takes It All song iin one take. She was also the reason Pierce Brosnan accepted his role – or any riole! The plot of a mother not knowing which of three lovers fathered her daughter had already been spun for Gina Lollobrigida in Buona Sera Mrs Campbell…  in 1967!

  61. Kate Winslet, The Reader, 2008.     Kate was always director Stephen Daldry’s first choice for Hanna Schmitz. However, she was delayed on Revolutionary Road, so he called his 2002 Oscar-winning Best Actress from The Hours and agreed to postpone shooting until Kidman completed Australia– when she proved pregnant! There was some talks with Kidman pal Naomi Watts… the same producer Anthony Minghella’s English Patient 1996 support actress Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche… and the new French rave, Marion Cotillard, the 2007 Oscar-winning actresss. Finally, Kate was free and still unworried about the nudity – “I won’t do it again: I can’t keep getting away with it “ – and became the 2008 Oscar-winning actresss.
  62. Robin Wright, The Conspirator, 2009.   Director  Robert Redford mused over  Kidman and Susan before making the Wright decision. She steals the drama as the first American woman executed by the US government in 1865 – for, allegedly, being in the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Five of the conspirators had stayed in her boarding-house   Mary Sturratt’s son wasin the group, not her. But in times of high national drama, the US drops the law for blind retribution (think: the US after 9/11). John was not found, so the authorties settled for Mary in the dock – and on the gallows.
  63. Cate Blanchett, Robin Hood, 2009. When Sienna Miller quit as as the maid, er widow Marion (sic), Nic and her shadow, Naomi Watts, were among several Sherwood candidates: Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Annabelle Wallis,Kate Winslet.

  64. Naomi Watts, Fair Game, 2009.     Originally, director Doug Liman chose an all-Aussie couple, Kidman and Russell Crowe, for the story of Valerie Plame Wilson, the Washinghton wife and mother outed as a CIA agent by the vengeful Bush administration after her ambassador-husband’s New York Times article about the White House manipulated intel on weapons of mass destruction to justify the Iraq war. On TV Karl Rove said, “Wilson’s wife is fair game.”   For Plan B, Naomi’s husband was Sean Penn.

  65. Lucy Punch, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, 2009.    Did she jump – or was she pushed as she became box-office poison? Either way, Nic dropped out of the actress role – in the Ben Hecht definition: “any woman under 30 who is not actively employed in a brothel, with many exceptions”- and auteur Woody Allen was won over the UK’s flavour of the decade for his fourth London film. Lucy was on a roll: Hot Fuzz, St. Trinian’s, Dinner For Schmucks. All her auditions were done by video, and when she finally met him at a wardrobe fitting, Punch gave Allen a huge hug. edged away stiffly and an assistant put her straight: “No one touches Woody.” “I’d never heard of Lucy,” Woody told Aussie journo Helen Barlow. “She just seemed like the best person – we looked at some pretty famous women too.”
 All prepared to shake their 
booty? “Yes. But they never did it as well as Lucy!”
  66. Selena Gomez,  Monte Carlo, 2010. Age difference. Kidman was attached to the first script of the Headhunters book (with Julia Roberts), before it won a teen spin (what else with Disney money?).  All about two Monaco tourists, one called Grace, and the other is Kelly. (Owch!)  Kidman went on to play the village-sized country’s princess in the 2014 Cannes festival opener: Grace of Monaco.
  67. Uma Thurman, Bel Ami, 2010.  Out of kilter in Nine, Kidman could not get the money she wanted to joinWest End stage director Declan Donnellan’s movie debut. So Uma dallied with the titular Robert Pattinson.

  68. Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac –  Volume I  Volume 2,   Denmark-Germany-France-Belgium, 2012.   Having made his Dogville, 2002, and  refused his Manderlady, 2004, Kidman  agreed to return to Danish director Lars Von Triers for a cameo as  Mrs H in  the Lars Von Trier triolgy. (Ultra depressing). The final version boasted real sex from the stars, but proved (of course) to be inserts of porno players.   Kidman had got close to that – and urination – in The Paperboy, 2011.
  69. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County, 2012.  Oklahoma playwright (and actor) Tracy Letts wanted the Steppenwolf cast of his 2008 Pulitzer Prize winning play to be in the film. He was downright  furious  when Brits  (plus an Aussie) were seen for the dysfunctional Westons. They must be all-Americans!” Producer Harvey Weinstein won the battle for Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor but gave in  about Kidman as Barbara – and Judi Dench (too old, anyway, at 78, for  the 65-year-old Violet)
  70. Mia Wasikowska, Tracks, 2012.    The first of various moves to film Robyn Davidson’s novel  happened before Mia was born in 1989.  Both Nicole  and Julia Roberts had previously been up for the heroine – trekking through  1,700 miles of West Australian deserts with four camels and a dog.

  71. Meryl Streep, Into The Woods, 2013.  
  72. Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl, 2015.       Kidman’s pet project – about   two 20s artists: Danish painter Einar Wegener and his Californian-born wife, Gerda. She was a lesbian attracted by femininity. And, in 1930, he became one of the first men to surgically become a woman: Lili Ebe. Kidman could not find a budget, a director, nor a Gerda (Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron came and went). She reserved the husband for herself and vowed to direct, if necessary. After six years, the Oscar-winning UK Tom Hooper took over and cast a man as the man – Redmayne, another UK Oscar-winner. (They had discussed the film while making Les Miserables in 2011). The Wegeners’ marriage lasted 26 years. Lili was 47 undergoing sex reassignment and died at 48, following the rejection of a uterus transplant.
  73. Connie Nielsen, Wonder Woman, 2015.   On Warner shelves for a full decade (not helped by David Kelley’s disastrous 2011 TVersion), the demi-goddess daughter of Zeus finally joined the DC Extended Universe in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2015. For her film, WW’s mother,  Hippolyta, the Amazon queen of Themyscira,  was first aimed at Kidman – too busy with Big Little Lies. The Danish Nielsen had been listed  for Superman’s Ma, Lara Lor-Van, in Man of Steel, 2012. 














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