‘Being the Ricardos’ Star Nicole Kidman Almost Quit Hollywood: Here’s Why She Didn’t

by Josh Lanier

Nicole Kidman, one of Hollywood’s most recognizable and bankable names, actually thought about giving up on acting. She worried that her time was up as Hollywood didn’t seem to want her anymore.

It was 2008, Nicole Kidman had just passed the imaginary but indelible line for women in Hollywood when she turned 40. After giving birth to her oldest daughter with her husband, singer Keith Urban, she assumed she’d finish out her days as a homemaker, she told The Daily Mail. It wasn’t what she wanted, but she wasn’t getting the major roles like before.

“I was frustrated – as so many women are in different careers – at the idea of being told, ‘Well, that’s it. You’ve passed through that period where it’s all going to be fine and now you’re in your 40s we’re not interested as much in your storytelling or your ideas or in who you are as a woman or a person,'” she said.

But her mom, Janelle, a former nurse, told her not to make any permanent decisions.

“She would say, ‘Nicole, you’re an artist and you shouldn’t just leave that behind. You should keep something back because at some point you may want to go back there again.'”

The Oscar winner said she also took inspiration from her sister, a mother of six, who went to law school and became a practicing attorney.

“‘She was looking down the barrel of fear but now I’ve seen her expand and she loves her work,” Kidman told the Daily Mail. “‘I thought, ‘How many other women feel that?’ Either they’re frustrated because they want something more or they’re frustrated because there aren’t opportunities for them in the workforce. So I’m trying to change that path not only by doing it myself and showing it’s possible but by telling women’s stories.'”

Nicole Kidman Started a Production Company

To fulfill that goal, the Hawaii-born but Australia-raised actress realizes she would have to do it herself. She felt Hollywood was underserving women. But she realized there was no infrastructure to tell those stories. So, she created Blossom Films.

Kidman’s first film for her production company was a small arthouse movie called Rabbit Hole. She earned an Oscar nomination for the role, her third of four in her career. But it was her time on television that thrust her back onto the main stage.

That started with Big Little Lies, the HBO show based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name. It became a critical darling and a commercial hit. She also had the quarantine sensation last year for HBO called The Undoing.

She’s currently filming Being the Ricardos, a film that follows a week of production of I Love Lucy as the show and Luci and Desi’s marriage hang in the balance.

“She was a trailblazer. She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show. They had just so many things in their marriage that are so relevant today…” Kidman told Chris Rock for Variety’s Actors on Actors series.

Though producers haven’t given a release date, Kidman is getting rave reviews from Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz.

“Nicole did a spectacular job,” Arnaz told Harper’s Bazaar. “Boy, what she did was astounding. She’s got such poise and class.”