Australian actress Nicole Kidman got candid in an interview, revealing that she was callously told she was “too tall” to make it in Hollywood. The criticism had such a profound impression on her that she even lied about her height to try and land auditions at the beginning of her career. Now, she uses her insecurities and experience to teach her daughters how to navigate harsh criticism.
Kidman was teased about how tall she was
Kidman explained that she has been made fun of for her height and, in the early stages of her career, was told she wouldn’t make it in Hollywood because she is “too tall.” “I was teased and called Stalky,” she said in an interview. “People would say, ‘How’s the air up there? I was told, ‘You won’t have a career. You’re too tall.’ Now, I get, ‘You’re so much taller than I thought’, or men grappling with how high my heels should be.”
The commentary stuck with Kidman, and even now, she still struggles with fully embracing her height. She admitted that her height still sometimes “bothers” her. “Whenever I go on the red carpet, I get sent shoes that are always so high. I’m like, ‘Do they have a kitten heel? I’m going to be the tallest person — a giraffe!’,” she explained.
She lied about her height
Early in Kidman’s career, she started lying about her height to try and land acting auditions and roles that she otherwise wouldn’t qualify for. Instead of telling casting directors her actual height of five foot 11 inches tall, she would tell them she was just under this. Still, despite her efforts, she still missed out on a few roles as a result of her tall stature.
One of the roles that passed on Kidman was in the hit musical Annie. At the time of casting, she was five foot four inches tall, two inches more than the five foot two height cut-off to audition. Still, Kidman was resolute in at least trying for an audition, so she pleaded with the casting directors until they ultimately let her try for the role. “I didn’t get the part,” she explained. “I didn’t even get a call back — but at least I got to sing four lines of a chorus.”
Lessons she teaches her daughters
Even though Kidman has struggled with her height, she is sure to teach her daughters to be courageous and resilient. She tells them that, ultimately, physical insecurities don’t matter. “What matters is how you allow other people to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to you, and whether you accept that,” she said. “Inner resilience as a human being, that’s the superpower really.”
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Obviously, height hasn’t been that much of an issue for Kidman’s career, who has over 100 acting credits over the course of her four-decade-long career. She is best known for her roles in Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Moulin Rouge (2001), and Cold Mountain (2003). She has also been nominated for five Oscars, winning one for Best Actress for playing Virginia Woolf in the 2002 film The Hours.