Australian actress Nicole Kidman met and fell in love with American movie star Tom Cruise on the set of 1990’s Days of Thunder (her debut Hollywood film), moved stateside, and got married that same year. “I always make choices for love,” she later mused to Variety. “And everything kind of had to fall in place around that.” It’s quite strange to fall for someone that quickly, especially while working overseas, even for Hollywood. But their marriage spanned the ’90s — and threw Kidman head-first into Cruise’s faith, Scientology — until their 2001 divorce. No matter what, this union is one of the reasons we in the U.S. can claim Aussie import Kidman (who was actually born in Hawaii) as partially our own.
Compared to her long-term romance with Cruise, Kidman’s life with her second husband — fellow Australian and country singer Keith Urban — might seem completely normal. But these two are absolute superstars in their respective fields, so no matter what, their “normal” relationship is going to seem quite odd to us non-celebrities.
Get ready, because we dug deep to find out the stranger things about Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s marriage. Some of these facts will have you scratching your head.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were slow to date, quick to marry
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban first met in January 2005 at the G’Day L.A. Gala, the country music star told People two years later. Though he described their first meeting as “divine,” it apparently took him a long time to act on such strong feelings. During a 2013 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (via E!), Kidman revealed that she didn’t know what Urban was feeling after their real-life meet-cute: “I’m like, ‘You didn’t love me at first sight, you didn’t notice me.’ And he’s like, ‘Yes I did but I just didn’t let on,’ but we kind of met and then about four months later he called me.”
To say their relationship moved quickly once Urban got the nerve to call, however, would be an understatement. In fact, Kidman told WSJ Magazine that she knew she was in love with Urban during a very specific moment while on vacation in Woodstock, N.Y. Urban took Kidman on a ride on his Harley-Davidson. Their destination? A romantic picnic spot. “I was a goner,” Kidman said. “I mean, c’mon.” The couple wed in June 2006.
Kidman knows the pacing of their romance is unconventional, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I kind of like getting married and then getting to know each other; I know that it sounds incredibly strange, but to me, it’s a more natural process,” she told Elle (via HuffPost). If you know it, own it, Nicole. Whatever works.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's marriage 'survived' an 'implosion' early on
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman share one of the most enduring marriages in Hollywood — but it almost didn’t happen. By the time they married in June 2006, the country singer already had a few stints in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse under his belt, and by that October, he was back in treatment. But luckily, his new wife stood by his side and changed his life.
“I caused the implosion of my fresh marriage,” Urban admitted to Rolling Stone in 2016. “It survived, but it’s a miracle it did. I was spiritually awoken with her. I use the expression ‘I was born into her,’ and that’s how I feel. And for the first time in my life, I could shake off the shackles of addiction.” Rehab is, of course, a normal and important step for one to take on their journey toward sobriety — but also it’s understandably rough on any marriage, let alone one so young. Urban told People, “It was very, very hard to have to have [Nicole] go through that.”
For her part, Kidman reportedly left film promotion duties to be by her husband’s side, but explained to Jess Cagle of People that it took her time to realize that she couldn’t save Urban — he had to save himself: “At some point, you just have to say, ‘I love you and I’m here when you decide to do the work. If you don’t, then that’s it.'”
They have an old-fashioned way of keeping romance alive
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban often have to be apart for work, but in the age of the Internet, they’ve both admitted that they don’t often type to keep in touch while away. “I’m definitely engaged in [technology] but I don’t let it rule my life,” Kidman told once DUJOUR. “My husband and I never text each other. We never do.” She also explained to Vanity Fair that these restrictions apply to the couple’s young daughters, Sunday Rose (born in 2008) and Faith Margaret (born in 2010): “They don’t have a phone and I don’t allow them to have an Instagram.”
As for these kiddos’ famous parents, Kidman and Urban still keep the romance alive without screens, don’t worry. “Mainly we say, ‘I want to hear your voice.’ That’s very unusual but we’ve been together for 10 years,” Kidman continued to DUJOUR. “So it’s about trying to keep it as intimate and personal as possible.”
How intimate, you ask? While speaking with InStyle (via ET), Kidman said, “For every single night he’s away, he leaves me a love letter … Every single night of our relationship.” It’s all a bit swoon-worthy, isn’t it? Well, we’re about to make you blush, because while Kidman admitted the couple is not above the occasional text, Urban revealed exactly what kind of text his wife might have been referencing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “One of those kinds of texts,” he said. “… Nice sex texting.”
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were both 'lonely people'
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are in love, there’s no denying that. But people who find love can be lonely individuals, and both the singer and the actress have admitted that they have that trait in them.
“I think we were two lonely people. I would probably say that two very lonely people managed to meet at a time when they could open themselves to each other. We were a mixture of frightened and brave,” Kidman told Vanity Fair in 2007. She later admitted to 60 Minutes Australia that her shyness is so extreme that, A-list movie star or not, “I couldn’t ever just walk into a [party] room by myself … but that’s just who I am.”
Meanwhile, Urban admitted to People that similar emotions led him to drugs and alcohol in the first place. When he moved to Nashville back in 1992, he explained, drugs were “how [he] dealt with a lot of loneliness.” The “Cop Car” singer revealed, “I wasn’t used to rejection.” Ultimately, because of these factors, timing was key in his relationship with his actress wife: “Definitely we both met each other exactly at the right time. She said early on that she wanted to be brave with me. I feel there was something else at work, bringing us together and then just continuing to watch over us.”
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's kids aren't interested in their careers
Nicole Kidman is one of the biggest actresses in the world and Keith Urban is a country music superstar — but their daughters, Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret, have very little interest in their famous parents’ careers. Their eldest, in particular, has been the subject of a few funny interviews.
Even though the whole family sometimes travels together when Urban tours, he admitted to 60 Minutes Australia in 2019 that both of his children are “not really interested” in watching him strut his stuff on stage. One night, a five-year-old Sunday told him that she was very awake, but when Urban asked if she wanted to watch him perform, she gave a resounding, “No.”
Similarly, Kidman previously revealed that she wanted to share both of the Emmys she won for Big Little Lies with her daughters, letting each have one on display in their bedrooms. “Sunday didn’t want it,” the actress said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “… She said, ‘I want to earn my own.'” Sunday may be well on her way. Before the premiere of Big Little Lies‘ second season, Kidman revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that both of her daughters were extras in the series. But what’s their favorite role? Kidman’s performance in Aquaman. “That’s the only thing that gives me any credibility with them,” she joked to Ellen DeGeneres.
Nicole Kidman has a unique relationship with her older children
Nicole Kidman shares two adopted children with ex-husband Tom Cruise: Isabella and Connor Cruise. While they’ve remained with the Church of Scientology, the actress decidedly did not post-divorce — and sometimes, when one breaks from this church, they are labeled a “suppressive person.” According to Scientology’s official website, a suppressive person (SP) “will goof up or vilify any effort to help anybody and particularly knife with violence anything calculated to make human beings more powerful or more intelligent.” The likes of “Napoleon, Hitler, the unrepentant killer, and the drug lord” also apparently fall in this category. Yikes.
In her 2015 book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah Remini — who’s dedicated part of her career to letting fellow ex-Scientologists tell their story — wrote that Kidman was labeled an SP (via Business Insider). While recounting a car ride Remini once took with the Cruise children, she asked if they had seen Kidman. Isabella reportedly answered, “Not if I have a choice, our mom is a f**king SP.” The public has also noticed signs of this alleged tension, like when Kidman omitted her eldest children from her 2017 Emmys speech.
Thankfully, there are also signs that these relationships are healing. “They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them,” Kidman told Who in 2018. “… No matter what your child does, the child has love and the child has to know there is available love and I’m open here.”
Absence makes the heart watch movies
In case you need the reminder, Nicole Kidman is quite the accomplished actor. She has dozens of on-screen credits and countless awards, including an Oscar, under her belt — but early in their marriage, Keith Urban confessed that he hadn’t seen many of her films. “I know it’s crazy but at the same time, I think again, all those things were so helpful for our courtship, to have none of them get in the way,” he explained to People in 2007. “You have to understand that my wife has to give me permission to see all of her films!”
We think he was joking on that last point (or at least referring to his wife’s shy nature), but it turns out that not binge-watching Kidman’s filmography has come in handy for when they have to be apart. “The great part is, I’ll be on tour and getting to the point where I’m really missing her badly … I’ll get on the bus after the show, and we’ll drive over to the next town and I’m fooling around with the TV, and there’ll be a movie of hers on cable so I get to see her,” the “You’ll Think of Me” singer said. “I just see her, and I can see all her mannerisms and it makes me feel like I’m watching a little home movie.”
That’s definitely an unconventional way to fill a void, but it’s also very sweet.
Keith Urban was 'disturbed' by Big Little Lies
After 14 years of marriage, we hope that Keith Urban has seen at least the majority of Nicole Kidman’s films. But one project we know the country music star has watched is Big Little Lies, because Kidman told W magazine that he was “disturbed” by the HBO series’ material. Honestly, we can relate. But Urban’s reasoning is actually sweet, and a sentiment probably only a lover could have.
“He says that when he hears me scream or cry from a certain place in my soul it’s almost like it goes straight into him and he has a visceral reaction immediately,” Kidman, whose character is stuck in an abusive marriage, explained. “Because his brain and his heart doesn’t discern between acting and real life. They’re the same sounds for him. It throws him.”
We hope Urban figures out the difference soon, because Kidman gets some very intense roles, and her husband deserves to be entertained by them, not emotionally disturbed. However, that raw reaction is inevitable from this devoted family man, as Kidman added, “[Keith is] incredibly supportive of me and his daughters.”
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban live a very quiet life in Nashville
Two Australian superstars meeting and falling in love in the United States is an odd enough love story in and of itself. But Keith Urban’s career as a country music singer adds an extra twist to everything: It has brought one Nicole Kidman to Nashville … and she’s perfectly content there.
“I’m very country at heart,” Kidman told InStyle in 2014. “I have a real desire to be outdoors, a desire for simplicity — a slightly slower, relaxed approach to life. A community, not a big-city feel. That’s what I grew up with, and it’s what I prefer.” She’s also open about the fact that their kids, Sunday and Faith, have mixed Southern/Aussie accents.
Part of the quiet life Kidman has created with Urban includes her running every morning. Unfortunately, she didn’t see a pothole while on a run in May 2020, and broke her ankle. But while she’s been known to make dancing cameos during Urban’s livestream concerts while in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic, Urban later told The Project, “There’s not been a whole lot of dancing going on at the house.” He continued, “She’s been relegated to the boot … But her spirits have been amazing, I’ve got to say, she’s been handling it way better than I would.”
It’s definitely a unique situation for celebrities to be in during quarantine, but if any two are making it memorable, it’s Kidman and Urban.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's marriage has consistently endured divorce rumors
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman have been married for 14 years, as of this writing, and they’ve always been honest about how their struggles have strengthened their union.
“I had such a learning curve in our marriage!” Urban told HITS Daily Double. “When she’d get scared, I’d think she was angry; then I’d get defensive, go tearing out the driveway at 90 miles an hour.” Thankfully, he’s since learned to stay close to Kidman in their tough times, and was a major support for her when her father suddenly died in 2014. “I was shattered beyond belief at that,” Kidman told CBS News’ Sunday Morning. ” … I had a husband that came right back [from a tour when he heard]. I called him screaming and crying, and he was about to go on stage and he walked off stage and he got on a plane … He flew six hours and he was right back.” She admitted, “He literally picked me up and pretty much carried me though the next two weeks.”
Yet in Hollywood, 14 years of intimate devotion like that unfortunately doesn’t stop divorce rumors. Kidman and Urban have even had to start explaining them to their daughters. “They don’t quite understand, and they go, ‘Why are they saying that?'” Urban revealed on The Kyle and Jackie O Show (via ET). “And you go, ‘Because it sells. It sells magazines. It’s the only reason they’re doing it.’ That part of it is a bit rough.”
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