Early this month, OMEGA invited me to Seoul along with various other guests from all over the globe to celebrate the OMEGA De Ville Butterfly, an enchanting new addition to OMEGA's Prestige collection.
Read about the spectacular launch of the OMEGA De Ville Butterfly i attended *here*
The day after the launch, we had a press conference to interview Nicole Kidman.
Yes yes i've received so many comments that she's so tall and i should've worn my heels. The truth is that i was super hungover from the big party the night prior, and wanted to be comfortable wearing my flats that morning XD
Nicole is such a beautiful person... and true beauty radiates from within. Her true beauty is so quietly powerful that it can stun a whole room into awe, no joke. It was an immense pleasure to meet her, and discovering that she's such a sweet LOVELY being.
All the media were divided into three groups for the interview sessions, and i personally feel that i was in the most interesting one... her answers at times were emotional, due to the recent passing of her father. For a brief moment her eyes went extra shiny and she almost cried, and the room froze cos nobody knew what to do. I was almost in tears watching her and felt like running up to give her a big hug! I probably should have now that i look back. Who cares what a freak people will think i am. When someone is sad you hug them!
Anyway, she regained her composure magnificently and continued the session. I couldn't help nodding my head at some of her answers. She's got it, you know? She gets life. Which is probably why she's so successful.
Enjoy reading her answers, i definitely thoroughly enjoyed listening to them.
Asia's the most important market for OMEGA and you have been their face for ten years. Why do you think you have so much appeal for the consumers of the brand and what do you think are nowadays the standards of beauty?
I don't know why. I know that I believe in their products. I believe in their watches and I've had an incredible relationship for a decade now, which is amazing. And so I can speak very passionately about the watches and the authenticity of them as a company and the way in which they – I mean, the exquisite craftsmanship that goes into their watches so . . . I think the world is important to them, not just Asia. I think obviously they do very, very well. They're sort of the supreme brand in terms of watches. I know all my girlfriends are always asking, "Can you get me a watch?" Which is a good sign, right? And the other question was . . . ?
What do you think nowadays is the standard of beauty?
I think it's diverse. I think beauty now is so – the great thing is that because we have so much access to so much information and therefore, the world is so much smaller, what we consider to conform to "beautiful" has completely broadened. And that's great and important because beauty is always, as they say, in the eyes of the beholder and ultimately, beauty is who you are. And I think everyone would say that – that you meet someone who looks fantastic, but then you get to know them and suddenly not so good. And the opposite. Somebody that you get to know, you see their inner light, the more and more appealing and the more and more beautiful they get and ultimately, that is the most important thing.
Speaking of beauty, can we ask about your secret of not aging at all?
I feel like I'm aging. I find the travel a lot harder now as I get older. I don't sleep as well as I used to. It's those sorts of things. I don't if that's just – I don't know what that is but I attribute it to aging. The thing I love about being older and particularly about being an older mother is the patience that you get and the wisdom that comes with that and I love having mothered children in my early 20s and now mothering children in my mid-40s. What I've learned as a woman and as a human being is so beneficial to my ability now to raise my children. On the flip side of that, you don't have the energy. The physical energy. You have the mental energy.
How do you see your life after so much success today?
I look around and I see that I have seen the industry and I have seen the world change over the last couple of decades. I mean when I became, I suppose, really well known internationally, was around Moulin Rouge. That would have been when I was probably at the height of my fame, so to speak. And that was a while ago now and I've seen the industry morph and change. There's a huge benefit in that because I'm able to know why I do it which is because it's in my blood. And it's a passion and I love to act. Because I don't have to act anymore. I could choose not to. But I love it. And how I judge success – Arianna Huffington wrote a fantastic book about this just recently – where success is not power and money and all of the things that you're running yourself into the ground. But it is how you appreciate life and how you live your life and how you're able to rest. And how you enjoy your time off, which not enough of us have any more. I so know even with my phone I'm like, "Oh, I'll just do this one more text. Oh, I'll quickly get this one more thing. Oh, I'll just . . ." And before you know it, the two hours you would have spent with your children, you're quickly finishing and now I don't do that. I'll go, "No. I'm not going to do that." And we have – my husband and I –try to do weekends where we say there's a tech-free weekend, which is an amazing thing to do. At first it's really hard. With one of you sneaking it. But ultimately, what it does is it brings you closer together and it makes you all talk and spend more time, which we all need. It's a great thing to always be discussing: what ultimately is success? As this whole world changes so rapidly, and we know it all is and we can basically work 24/7 if we want.
After such a long and prosperous show business career, what's next?
I'm doing a film where I do – I tend to do films that are either a short period of time or smaller roles now in places that I'm interested in taking my children. So I'm doing a film called Genius, which is with Jude Law and Colin Firth, again. And I have a film coming out called Before I Go To Sleep, which came out in England but it's coming out around the world over the next couple of months. It's a thriller and I love thrillers. And then I have a kids' film coming out called Paddington Bear, which is, I have to say, adorable. And I also do a lot of work for UN Women. So I have a field trip planned for the beginning of next year for them and they have a big day on the 25th of November, which is the day where they do functions in terms of cinema for peace and the thing that I'm involved in which is violence against women and eradicating that so . . . and that's something that I really love to do and I also do a lot of raising money for children's hospitals, particularly for oncology for children who have gone through cancer treatments and things like that, which is a big thing that I do in terms of fundraising. That's my future.
What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your decade-long relationship with OMEGA?
Just that they are who they say they are. They have incredible quality as anyone who has bought one of their watches knows. It lasts. They have integrity, which is what you want, particularly when you're purchasing something like a watch. So everything that they are personally, they are in terms of their product as well. And that's the greatest endorsement you can give a company. And as you've seen, even just doing something like this, they do it perfectly and with such class and that's how they make their watches and you can't say anything more about them other than that they're quality. They're also very philanthropic. They've been involved in UN Women for me. They've done a number of events where they will also make sure that they're giving back – particularly in terms of everybody's different charities. They have another one now, Orbis, which is a plane that flies around the world delivering eye care to people with treatable and preventable blindness. I'm going to get involved with that a little bit more as well. I really believe in karma for a company, and I think their karma's really good.
How do you feel when you put on an OMEGA watch?
There's so many different types of watches – that's what so beautiful. Say this, which is the De Ville Butterfly, it has the butterflies on it I feel is incredibly feminine and light and the Ladymatic just has – I think that is opulent. I mean you wear that and people stop me in the streets (because of it). They see that and they go . . . It's an exquisite watch; whereas this is something you can where with a t-shirt but it's chic. It's very, very chic.
If there's a piece of advice that you could give your twenty-something or thirty-something self, what would it be?
This is a think I always say and I so apply now because I've been reminded of it in the past few weeks. I've gone through a tragedy for our family, which has absolutely shattered our family. That is, live in the moment because you never know what's going to happen. And having just lost my father, which is just devastating for me because I was so close to him, just live. And he lived like that. He was so joyful and I can sometimes worry and have more of that thing about worrying about the part, worrying about my children, he would always be, "Nicci, don't worry." And I so take that to heart now. He would just say, "Nicci, be happy." And that is how I've pledged to live my life from this point on because of him and what he gave me. And he was also – and I speak about this because it's important for me because I'm his legacy now – he was also about the underdog. He was about always taking care of people who didn't have as much or who were less fortunate. He was a psychologist. He was a giver. And that is what I hope he's given me and my sister and that's what we always say we will continue to do. We will live the way he lived, which was just, I had an incredible father.
That beautiful lesson that your dad taught you to be happy, what do you do when you want to cheer yourself up?
Hug my children. Kiss my husband. Make love, not war. And really, the simplest things can give so much joy for me. That's one of the great things getting older. I don't need that much. I can look at a sunrise. I can go for a swim in the ocean, that makes my day. I can go and play in the park with my kids and when you're 17, that's like (groans). But at this age, that's just joyful for me. And to see them I think also part of getting older is seeing the joy in others. And so much is being able to see them having fun and love life and love things. That's why we always do big Christmases and I'm doing a big Hallowe'en party and I just love seeing their excitement. That would be – my husband always says that, he says, "You always love seeing other people have a great time" but that's just me. I'm like that. That's probably why I'm an actor too because I like to see other people laugh and enjoy themselves and that gives me joy. That's enough for me.
What is the main thing you learned from your role in UNIFEM and UN Women?
The extraordinary strength of the human spirit. That even under enormous duress and even under enormous pain and the way in which women who I've interviewed and talked to have had things done to them that you feel you would never survive, and they do and those people are the true heroes. Those people get to somehow move from being a victim to a survivor and it's an extraordinary feat. Something that I'm also really interested in in terms of filmmaking is the human spirit and the way in which we can survive because the strength of human beings is extraordinary. Even under enormous duress and what we can go through and still come out the other end and I'm fascinated by that, artistically, emotionally, psychologically and I've seen women in many – I've travelled the world and interviewed women who've been victims of war crimes, been abused, had domestic abuse and still managed to seize the day. Still managed to push forward and accept the gift of life.
It makes you stronger.
I don't even know if it's stronger. It some sort of way in which there's an ability to grasp why we're here and a purpose, I suppose is what really I hear. And a lot of that purpose is giving back and helping other people.
Is it easy to be part of a couple with two famous partners?
I think if there is an enormous amount of love. Yes, it's not even is it easy or hard, it's just meant to be. And I am fortunate that I have a partner who is just an extraordinary man and that makes it incredibly easy. It makes me very, very grateful too.
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Below are the transcriptions from the Q&A from the other two sessions:
[On Fashion & Omega]
What would you say about your personal style and what values do you draw between Omega and yourself?
My personal style has changed, I suppose, over the years because when I was starting out it was – I mean, it was different. We didn't even have red carpets in the sense of what they are now. And I remember when I first went to the Oscars and I went in a tiny little Valentino dress that was really short. Because I was so new to it all, I was... it was an amazing dress and I still have it but it was a dress you wear when you're 22 years old and are thinking, "Wow, let's go to a party!" It just happened to be the Oscars.
And then I kind of started to explore because a lot of the time I was shooting in Europe and I started to build relations with different designers, one of them being Galliano. And that was how I really started my passion in terms of fashion. And I had an amazing beginning because I would go to their workshops, a lot of them – Alexander McQueen and I would go and watch them work. And then I would see people like Stephen Jones working on his hats so I've been so lucky. I've had the chance to be educated and explore fashion through costume designers and also the designs themselves and that's extraordinary.
And now, with two little girls who are really into fashion themselves, but their kind of fashion, I have to lift my game again. Cause they'll come out and they'll go, "Mh mh, not good enough." So in that way, that's kind of made me try again because I think when you are pregnant and you have your child you tend to go, "Oh, I just need things that are comfortable and easy." And I don't really want to get out of my sweat pants. And so I've been forced back into fashion through my children and rediscovered it, which I said from even when I made the Grace movie, I thought, "Ah, I remember the power of great costumes." And I have the chance to work with some of the greatest costume designers in the world so it's still a passion of mine.
And to correlate to OMEGA, I've been working with them now for ten years which really says so much about them as a company. They're exquisite as you all know. They take incredible care of you and you see that in their products. And every single time I wear one of their watches all my girlfriends are like, "Ohhhh, can you get me one?" Because they're just beautiful and I think they're very coveted now and particularly the Ladymatic and I think this (indicating the Butterfly she's wearing) will be the next thing that – even the girls that work with me – they're always like, oh the jewellery, but the watches are the things they adore so . . .
What was your greatest impression of last night at the Butterfly event?
I just think it's very magical how they managed to pull all this together, particularly over here in Korea and I always say that shows the expertise and the quality. And I think you know when people do that that their products has that behind it. And I've known all of them for a decade now and this was probably one of the greatest events that I've seen. I said, "What's going to happen to all those flowers?" They're giving them to the museum.
Shorter men are often intimidated by tall women. As a tall, beautiful woman, what advice can you give shorter men if they want to impress a taller woman?
Stand up tall and don't worry because I've always gone out with men that are shorter than me. I've never gone out with a man that's taller. But I don't judge. I won't say the line but, well, I will. Aren't we all the same height lying down? That's what many men have told me.
What kind of watch do you like on a man and do you judge a man by his shoes or by his watch?
I primarily judge him by his heart and by his actions, which is why – men can do the talk, right? But they've got to be able to show you. So shoes or a watch? Ultimately . . . I mean I saw the watch – the "Dark Side of the Moon" watch – which I think is the coolest watch out in terms of a male watch. I don't know if you guys have been privy to it but it's so cool.
What kind of watch would you choose for your little daughters?
They choose it. I wish I could say I'd choose but I actually give them an enormous amount of power in the way they dress. I don't actually put any of my own sensibility onto them with that so they come down every morning and they've dressed themselves. They haven't started wearing watches yet. But I know that . . .
Any recommendation for them if you had the chance?
I don't know. A toy watch to start. Something that you can lose.
I went to a screening of Before I Go to Sleep and it was great. Compared to Paddington Bear it's going to be different. Do you think it's important to do all these varying roles and your style, does that keep evolving?
Yeah, I've always been slightly schizophrenic in my choice of roles. But that's because I'm also exploring psychology and I'm exploring the way that we as people operate in the world and the things we have to go through. And so I'm not interested in playing the same role twice. And I've done it and I don't think I'm good at it. I'm about to start a movie set in 1929 and I get to play a character called Aline Bernstein, who's a real woman. And she's amazing. She was actually one of the first set and costume designers. Very, very successful and she established the Guild in America. So I get to play these fantastic characters. But I seek them out. I mean I really seek out very, very different things and I think also, as I dress, I probably now – and we would all say this I'm sure – dress very differently to how I did when I was 14. At the Logies. Slightly different. That's my one regret, the blue dress. Oh no, I've done myself in! What is that thing they have where it's called . . . Past Tuesdays or something? Flashback Fridays, that's it! I'm going to be putting that on. I didn't have a watch then, I didn't have enough money. Things have changed. But I love that that's the way that I can express myself too, through how I dress, as we all do. Do I feel relaxed or do I feel comfortable or do I feel like making an impression? Do I feel like sort of being extremely risky? You know, there're different ways in which you can shake things up and I love shaking things up. I think it's important, and I think it's important for women these days to know it's okay not to be like everybody else.
We were just talking about fashion and costumes. But as a great performer and a wonderful actress, how do you see the necessity of nudity?
Nudity? Oh, I thought you said "unity". I like unity better. No, no. There are certain films where I believe nudity is an important part of the storytelling. There are certain films where it isn't. But it's not something that I find offensive or that I'm shocked by. I mean there's violence that I find far more offensive than I ever do any sort of – particularly if it's nudity that's just part of everyday walking around in a house or if the way in which you use lovemaking to tell a story. Obviously, when it's used exploitatively – and it's pretty easy to tell when it's being used that way – I think there're many films and there're many great films that have been made where it's such an important part of the storytelling. And some of the greatest love scenes – obviously European films tend to be, and there's not as many American films that you can cite but European films, I mean, so much of the movie's treatment is this is just part of the storytelling and I like that.
Could you name one of those movies?
A great movie with nudity in it? Well, Breaking the Waves was one of the great movies in terms of – that Lars did – one of the great love scenes. I mean, Don't Look Now – every single shot in that is extraordinary. I can go on and on.
You said recently that you'd like to write, Nicole. Have you got any projects in mind? Do you see yourself doing a screenplay and directing at some point or writing it?
Yeah, I have two screenplays that I'm in the midst of forming. One of them is really almost finished and the other one is in the beginning sort of forms right now. For me, right now, and I get asked if I want to direct, and I've been offered things to direct, because I've worked with so many directors now and I realize my own knowledge of film. And I've worked with new directors and with very experienced directors and the greatest directors in the world. I just don't have the time. So the writing for me is actually cathartic. It's something where I work through things I'm feeling, and my way is – it's almost how I navigate my way through certain things. And I've had a very, very rough last few weeks, actually, and a lot of the way in which I express myself is through that so I write short stories; I write in my journal. I'm not just interested in doing things for the sake of them being turned into a movie. There are actually ways in which I express myself to myself and work out my life. I'm glad that I have that ability to do it. I don't know if I'm any good. But it's almost like somewhere I can go and seek solace.
As a mother, an actress and an OMEGA ambassador, what do you like best about these roles?
In terms of having children and then being able to do something like this for OMEGA? The great thing for me is that when you work with someone whose products you really believe in, and really believe in them and their company and the way in which they conduct themselves, which means that they have quality and to be aligned with that is incredible. I'm incredibly grateful for that. And at the same time, I still able to spend so much time with my children because I can do this, I can then go home and be with my kids. And then I can pick and choose the films that I want to do. So I have a film coming out called Paddington, which was something that my agent, when I said, "I think I'm going to do Paddington Bear, he was like, "Are you kidding me?" and I said, "No, you don't understand. I love Paddington Bear."
And my children, for them, it was like, suddenly I was able to have them on the set and they were able to be a part of the films because a lot of the films I do, they're not able to be a part of. Because a lot of the subject matter is very complicated and dark and I don't like them to be exposed to that. But something like Paddington, they've watched the trailer for that movie 25 times and they can imitate the bear perfectly. I don't know if you've seen the trailer but you should see it because it's so cute.
You're Australian but you live in America, where do you feel at home; and while you are travelling do you have tips for overcoming jet lag?
Okay, I was just given this tip which I don't know if it works because I have tried it. I was told "Eat two kiwi fruit." Has anybody else heard this tip? No? I have a really tough time sleeping when – I mean, I was up last night. I should have gone out because I was going to go out and then I thought, "No, no, I'll be professional. I've got to home, I've got this tomorrow." And I was up all night in the hotel room, watching TV, eating the mini-bar, right? I thought, "I should have gone to that club."
When you travel and you want to talk to your children, do you use Skype or WhatsApp or FaceTime or . . .
FaceTime. I have dinner with them on FaceTime. I was just making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with my daughter. I was in the kitchen on the phone. I told my husband, "She's hungry. I can tell she's hungry." I could tell she was a little tired and she wanted to go to gymnastics. I said, "She needs a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and she'll want to go to gymnastics." And I was right.
And where do you feel at home?
With my family. I'm so blessed. I have a husband and I have four children, two grown children and two little children and then I have an extended family. My sister has six children. And that's my home. So wherever in the world – we can live anywhere in the world, strangely enough. We bring a select number of blankies and pillows and candles but we can set up home pretty much everywhere. That's a great thing. I did a film at the beginning of the year in Morocco and I had my kids in Morocco living out in tents and I first got there and I was sort of shell-shocked and by the end, walking around haggling in the souks. And I'm so proud of that because we are international and to give my children that opportunity is important to me.
What is the most important thing to learn in life?
Right now, it would be that you never know what's going to happen so . . . carpe diem. Seize the day. And everyone tells you that and it's the hardest thing to do because we always think, "Oh, worry about the future, the past." But just given what I've gone through in the last few weeks, I think, "Oh, I must grab every moment and just live it because none of us know what's going to happen and that's devastating when you think about it but at the same time it really puts you in a place of being very, very present. And looking at everything as how precious it is and not worrying about all the things that can go on because we don't have any control. We really don't.
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We're curious as to why you selected OMEGA from among the many different brands?
For ten years now, I've been working with OMEGA and for me, they're everything – all the quality and the expertise that they put into their watches they are as people as well, which I think is really important and I really think they are the best watchmakers in the world. It's that simple.
What's your impression of Korea? Have you seen any sights?
No, which means I have to come back. A friend of mine, Director (Chan-Wook) Park, who I made a movie with called Stoker, he sent me a message saying that he is here and I'm leaving today so I have to come back to see him.
Amongst the many products in the OMEGA line, which products are your favourites and which do you wear the most?
I wear the Ladymatic the most. It's the watch that I sort of – because it's very glamorous. It's wearable. But this is the De Ville (Butterfly) which they've now added a little bit more to and I think it's exquisite. I was saying to OMEGA, it's so easy to wear because it's so light. The Ladymatic is a more substantial watch. But I'm fortunate to have many of their watches. And they've just done a men's watch, The Dark Side of the Moon, which is exquisite, which is going to be my husband's Christmas present. I don't know if you've seen it but you should definitely see it because it's really, really . . . Bastian (Baker) last night was wearing one.
What do you think of Korea and what impressions have you had of Korean people, if any? Obviously you've worked with Director Park but what have your impressions been on Korea and Koreans in general?
I have friends in New York, Korean friends, so I know a little bit about the culture. Obviously in Australia, we have many Koreans living in Australia as well. Director Park is different because I worked with him as a director and incredibly elegant and polite is how I would describe Koreans. And I love the way in which Koreans – my friend, who has just had a baby, her mother helps her very much with the baby, which she said is very Korean. And I wish my mother was more like that. But it's amazing and she said "That's so much a part of the culture, my mother helps me". She's got two, she's got a tiny little baby now and her mother stays up a lot of the night taking care of him, the little one. So I love that there is such a cherishing of the family and the helping of the family and helping the parents helping the children. My mom and dad were very, very helpful to me but it's just interesting watching her and the way in which – and her mother lives next door and sometimes lives with the family as well, which I think is common in Korean?
MC: It is. If you can afford it.
And I love learning about different cultures so I love knowing why that is and what is the essence of certain cultures, which I don't actually know and would love to learn from you what you consider – like the family is very, very important, yes?
MC: I think you've really hit it on the spot. The family is very important and it comes from our history, from our Confucianism and is a part of our belief that's almost religious it's so – I think you've really hit what is at the heart of the Korean heart and sentiment and family as well, it's amazing.
So obviously you're here for the launch of the Butterfly collection. So what do you think about the new Butterfly collection?
I think it's very feminine, which I know not all butterflies are female but they look it. And I love how feminine it is.
Do you normally wear an automatic watch because there are a lot of non-automatic watches that are more fashion-based? We're very interested in your watch style and fashion.
I normally wear an automatic watch but I also love vintage watches. I wear a lot of OMEGA. OMEGA is steeped in history. They go back to 1848 so they have some vintage watches that I'm trying to convince them to remake. Some of them. We'll see if that happens. But they are beautiful and obviously they're not automatic but are exquisite because they're jewellery, like fine, fine jewellery. And who knows? Maybe I convinced them last night. Because I love the 1920s and the 1930s and a lot of their pieces – they have pieces from 1910, 1920, 1930, which I think would mix so well with their modern watches. But we'll see.
And I think that says a lot about the company that they have been around for so long and that says so much. I mean I think new companies that are making watches, they don't have the expertise of the understanding of just how intricate they are. So that's an extraordinary thing to have that backing and that history.
You've been mentioning these vintage watches. Do you actually have some of these vintage watches?
Yeah, I have some that OMEGA has given me that I wear at different red carpet events, sometimes with evening dresses and I love wearing them but then I love wearing something like this with a dress like this because I love the yin and the yang of it.
How many watches do you actually have and how do you utilize your portfolio of watches?
I have about five. I have a sports watch – I like playing golf so I have a watch that I wear when I play golf, which has a leather band. It's a lighter watch. And I love doing sport. And then I have my evening – I have my Ladymatic, which basically is my go-to and this will be my new go-to.
You look great in the De Ville Butterfly but when do you see yourself wearing it in your everyday life?
Now. When I get on the plane this afternoon, I'll be wearing it then. It's one of those watches that you can wear day or night.
It seems like you have been a very loyal ambassador to OMEGA - you've had a ten-year relationship. What's the base of that? Is there an emotional connection or is there –
Absolutely. As I said, I think a company is based on their history and based on who they are and therefore the quality of their products is because of who they are. And they are authentic, lovely, incredibly classy people. And that, as you see in the events they do and the way they treat people, philanthropically how strong they are and what they care about and they care about their product. And I think that's why it's survived for so long for so many years. Because they are authentic.
Anything you'd like to say to the Korean audience?
Thank you so much for having me here. I look forward to coming back and I say this to the Korean directors: "Please, invite me back to make a movie here." And I send my love to Director Park.
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To view the blogpost on the launch of the OMEGA De Ville Butterfly in Seoul with Nicole, click *here*