ENTERTAINMENT

Nicole Kidman On Motherhood, Keith's Alcoholism And Vanity

Nicole Kidman, who stars in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film "Australia," talked to the upcoming Parade magazine about mothering baby Sunday Rose, her teen Bella and Connor from ex Tom Cruise, and marriage to country singer Keith Urban.

The new mother has reacted intensely with "whatever that primal thing is, the need and desire to keep her very protected," Kidman says. "People say, 'Oh, it would be so much easier if you'd just let them get a photo of her.' And I can't. I'm like, 'I don't want to. I want her to stay out of that.' Maybe that will wane as she gets bigger, and I'll be easier with it. But for now, I'm still keeping her in a bubble." Her eyes turn red and moist.

"I'm raw and emotional," Kidman admits. "I cry even thinking of her. But they are tears of joy. Because I suppose I never thought I would get to have it. To have been given it so late in life--I'm so ready for it. And I think giving birth to a child, as a woman, is what we're born to do. I don't mean that to sound sexist, because many women don't get to do it, and I thought I was one of them. But at the same time, if you are given that gift, it's an extraordinary thing."

On the other hand, Kidman says, "It's very bittersweet. Because, at 41, I think, 'I want to see her 21st birthday, and I want to see her get married.' My relationship with death used to be far more ambivalent, I think, and now it's very much about staying in the world. That's why in the past I could jump out of planes and take a lot of risks. Strangely enough, I think when you have children at 25, you still have that 'what will be, will be' attitude. It's such a different way of parenting. Bella and Connor were very free and easy, probably because they had parents who were very young and jumping around the world and pretty easygoing." Kidman and Cruise share custody of their adopted children and, as she confirms, they were raised in Scientology. When the subject comes up, though, Kidman stiffens. "I just don't talk about it," she says.

What she'd clearly prefer to discuss is the present. "Bella and Connor are 15 and 13, so we've taken them, Tom and I, almost into their adult life. To then have a birth child that I have to take into adult life, give her her wings, it's a big purpose. I know my place. Put it that way." She suddenly laughs boisterously. "I like knowing my place, though. I feel grounded with it."

I ask Kidman what her new daughter is like. Can she tell so far? "Well, I'm her mother, so she's special!" she exclaims. "I'm devoted. I'm totally devoted to her."

She's also devoted to Urban. The baby looks like him, Kidman tells me. "I'm glad, because when he goes on tour, I say to him that he leaves a little bit of him with me."...

With Kidman's marriage to Urban, the nitty-gritty turned up sooner than either of them expected. "We were thrown into his alcohol problem three months into the marriage, and that was big," she says. "We became the closest we could become, because we had to bare our souls. We did 10 years of marriage in three months. You go to hell and back with this--when the addiction takes control of the life, it's terrifying. But there is hope, and we work on it every day, and we are in a place of actual peace right now, which is a beautiful place. I love him so deeply, and he has done an amazing amount of work, and he is an amazing husband, and I am just very, very grateful. I think we are both in a place of humility."

In an additional web exclusive, she talked beauty:

Q: There is a great emphasis on youth in Hollywood. Is that something you think about?

A: I'm not enamored with youth. There isn't wisdom in youth. My own sense of vanity is not that strong. I get ready in five minutes. I'm not a mirror person. But I like to look healthy -- the youthfulness is in health.