Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman at Cannes in 2017. Georges Biard, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Nicole Kidman has no desire to direct movies.

Instead, the star of films like Eyes Wide Shut and The Others will stick to what she feels she does best — acting and producing.

Nicole Kidman on Why She Won’t Direct

“I feel like I would be a terrible director because I always have so many ideas. A director has to make choices, and that’s not my strong suit,” Kidman told The Hollywood Reporter Saturday on red carpet at the American Film Institute, where she was honored with the AFI Life Achievement Award.

“I’m very good at being passionate and supporting the voices and reading a script and going, ‘I love this script,’ or seeing somebody and going, ‘I love this actor, I love this director, how do I support them?’ And they maybe have done nothing [before], but I want to get behind them. That’s what I love doing; it excites me, and it really makes me happy. I love shining the light on other people or helping to do that.”

Kidman has had a lot of success producing through her Blossom Films banner, including shows she’s starred in like HBO’s Big Little Lies, Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, HBO’s The Undoing, Paramount’s Special Ops: Lioness, and Amazon’s Expats. She also produced shows she didn’t act in, like HBO’s housewife affair drama Love & Death starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons.

Inside the tribute event, which took place at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, she explained more about her disinterest in directing.

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Nicole Kidman and Brian Tee in Expats courtesy of Prime Video

“There’s so many more exciting young directors and voices that are completely original and need to be heard, and they have a lot to say. We need to give them a chance to say it and to hear them, and I am here, I am ready to roll up my sleeves. I am here always to support those voices,” Nicole Kidman added.

Some of the fellow Hollywood stars that were present on Saturday to honor Kidman included her husband and musician husband Keith Urban, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Watts, Zoe Saldaña, Aaron Sorkin, Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Joey King, and Mike Myers.

Reflecting on getting a lifetime achievement award at age 56, Kidman added, “When they told me that Meryl got it at around the same time I was like, ‘OK, that’s OK, that’s cool.’ But at the same time you just go, I’ll take whatever you give me because in terms of the work, I just love doing the work.” 

Nicole Kidman also shouted out directors she’s worked with in the past, including Jane Campion, Yorgos Lanthimos, Phillip Noyce, Gus Van Sant, and Lars von Trier.

“There are so many little weird films I’ve done, and I know there are people out there … who stuck up for my weird choices, and I’m so grateful for that,” she said. “I’d like to think I’m getting started, but it’s not true, because, really, let’s just hope I’m in the middle. I’ve got my fingers crossed. There are so many more exciting young directors and writers and voices that are completely original and need to be heard, and they have a lot to say… I’m here and ready to roll up my sleeves.”

Kidman’s laundry list of film and television roles also includes 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, 2003’s Cold Mountain, 2002’s The Hours, starring as Lucille Ball in 2021’s Being the Ricardos opposite Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz, 2019’s Bombshell, 2018’s Aquaman, 2023’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, 2018’s Boy Erased, 2018’s Destroyer, 2017’s The Beguiled, 2017’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, 2016’s Lion, 2014’s Paddington, 2008’s Australia, 2007’s The Golden Compass, 2005’s Bewitched, 2002’s Panic Room, 1998’s Practical Magic, 1995’s Batman Forever, 1992’s Far and Away, and 1990’s Days of Thunder.

Main Image: Nicole Kidman at Cannes in 2017. Georges Biard, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0