Nicole Kidman Honored With AFI Life Achievement Award

Nicole Kidman is the first Australian actress to be honored with the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. Her co-stars and directors shared their admiration for the actress.

Nicole Kidman, renowned for her beauty and acting prowess, recently received the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award. 

The 56-year-old actress is the first Australian to be granted this honor. It was presented with the award by none other than Meryl Streep in a star-studded event in Hollywood.

At the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala, BBC reported that Kidman was elegantly clad in a shimmering gold Balenciaga gown. She expressed her gratitude to the directors she has collaborated with over the years. 

She emphasized the privilege she feels in being able to create films, noting the joy of portraying unconventional women on screen.

Photo via Instagram @americanfilminstitute

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Among the notable attendees were Kidman’s husband, singer Keith Urban, and her Big Little Lies co-star Reese Witherspoon. 

This event marked a significant moment for the Kidman-Urban family, as their teenage daughters made their red carpet debut.

In her acceptance speech, Kidman reflected on her career. She stated, “It is a privilege to make films. And glorious to have made films and television with these storytellers who allowed me to run wild and be free and play all of these unconventional women. Thank you for making me better at my craft and giving me a place, however temporary, in this world.”

The AFI Life Achievement Award is considered the highest honor in American cinema, with past recipients including Streep, Julie Andrews, Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg.

Why Directors Admire Nicole Kidman

According to a recent story by The New York Times, five filmmakers shared their insights on what makes Nicole Kidman’s work so exceptional. They highlighted the qualities that have kept her in demand for over three decades.

Baz Luhrmann, director of Moulin Rouge! where Kidman played Satine, praised her unique blend of star quality and character acting. 

He remarked, “She completely absorbs into the character but burns so brightly as a star onscreen as well. She has both qualities, and that’s pretty extraordinary.”

Stephen Daldry, director of The Hours, for which Kidman won an Oscar, commended her fearlessness and originality in choosing roles. 

He noted, “She always wants to challenge herself and never settles on her laurels. She’s constantly wanting to push herself to the limit of whatever she does.”

Photo via Instagram @nicolekidman

Gus Van Sant, who directed Kidman in To Die For, was impressed by her dedication to her craft. 

He recalled, “Nicole was so versed in the scenes that she was like having a second director there, who helped with the kids that we had playing her students.”

Jane Campion, director of The Portrait of a Lady, praised Kidman’s ability to portray pain and resilience in her characters. She described Kidman as relaxed and generous socially but intense and serious about her work.

Karyn Kusama, who directed Kidman in Destroyer, highlighted her preparation and discipline on set. 

She noted, “You can feel how important it is to her process that she cares for her mind and body as she works, and how that inner attention allows her psychic access to all kinds of people.”

These directors’ insights shed light on what makes Nicole Kidman a standout talent in the film industry, showcasing her versatility, dedication, and passion for her craft.

Photo via Instagram @nicolekidman

Words from Her Co-Stars

Also present were Michelle Pfeiffer, Naomi Watts, Miles and Keleigh Teller, Joey King, Lily Rabe, and Morgan Freeman, among others.

Naomi Watts shared photos with Kidman on social media, expressing her admiration: “Congratulations @nicolekidman! Such a glorious night celebrating you. Your consistent innovation and artistry are something we all get to marvel at, but the extra delight in watching you blow the doors off AND calling you my friend is beyond a privilege.”

Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts/Photo via Instagram @naomiwatts

Reese Witherspoon also took to social media to praise Nicole, saying, “What an incredible evening celebrating the legendary career of @nicolekidman for @americanfilminstitute! It was incredible watching and remembering all of her amazing performances: Dead Calm, Moulin Rouge, To Die For, Cold Mountain, Big Little Lies… just to name a few of my favorites. & Nicole, you are a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and I’m so proud to be your partner, friend, and sister in this life. I love you!”

Photo via Instagram @reesewitherspoon

Keith Urban, Kidman’s husband, expressed his pride in her achievements with a heartfelt Instagram post: “In a career that’s still very much in full flight, tonight the @americanfilminstitute will honor my wife as the newest member in this extraordinary fraternity. Babygirl – I’m so proud of you, and as much as I could come off sounding like the biased husband, I’ll let the list of previous honorees do all of the talking for me. What a list!”

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban/Photo via Instagram @americanfilminstitute

Banner photo via Instagram @americanfilminstitute.

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