Many seemed shocked by the recent news that Nicole Kidman donated $100,000 to fellow Australian actor Hugh Jackman’s fundraiser benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
It turns out the two have a long-lasting friendship often overshadowed by their towering acting careers. Moreover, Jackman apparently helped Kidman during perhaps the toughest part of her life: her divorce from Tom Cruise.
Kidman’s Marriage to Cruise
Scientologist Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman married in 1990. Together, they adopted two children — Connor and Isabella Jane Cruise — and co-starred in three films: Days of Thunder, Far and Away, and Eyes Wide Shut. When they split, her ex-husband moved on to another actress, Katie Holmes.
Cruise and Kidman finalized their divorce in 2001. When the Australian actress gave her acceptance speech for her second Emmy in 2017, for Big Little Lies, she didn’t mention all her children, leaving some very confused.
Cruise and Kidman adopted children after she had an ectopic pregnancy followed by a miscarriage. They raised the kids together, but following the divorce, both children chose to stay with Cruise in Los Angeles. They were both raised in the Church of Scientology.
In the past, both children spoke well of Kidman, saying they love her but don’t see her often. Kidman later said she made the film Lion as a love letter to her children and that she has nothing but unconditional love for them.
Kidman’s Marriage to Urban
The actress’ second marriage was to country singer Keith Urban. They met in 2005 and wed in 2006. She and the singer have two biological children: Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret, the latter of whom they welcomed via surrogate.
While Nicole Kidman filmed the movie Australia in 2008, she carried a full-term birth. They named Sunday Rose after the Patron Saint of the Arts (and a day of the week). Kidman had explained that she used to hate Sundays since it was lonely when she was going through the Cruise divorce.
According to The Australian Women’s Weekly: New Zealand Edition, she disclosed: “We went from dreading Sunday to really loving it. It was the day when nobody was going to bother you, you could stay in bed, you could do what you wanted to do. We just thought, ‘What a great name for our baby.’”
Kidman gave birth to Faith in 2010. Kidman and Urban previously stated they “never gave up faith that they would have another child together.” Faith is a musician just like her father, and Sunday has expressed her interest in acting just like her mother.
Nicole Kidman’s Friendship with Hugh Jackman
Nicole Kidman also revealed to the Weekly in May 2019 that she turned to Hugh Jackman and his wife, actor Deborra-lee Furness, for support during her divorce. The three already had a friendship, but they strengthened it during Kidman’s divorce.
“When I got divorced Hugh and Deb were so much a part of my healing,” Kidman admitted. “They were some of my best friends through that period.”
“I remember when Deb met Hugh, it was like oh yeah, this is the one!” Kidman added. “And look at them now; that successful marriage, my gosh! He just loves her and I was like, yes, he loves you. He completely and utterly loves you…and today I am deeply close to them both.”
Hugh Jackman spoke with the magazine about their friendship as well.
“I was struck by the warmth of Nic when I first met her,” Jackman said. “She was very good friend and a flatmate of Deb’s, so when I met her as the new boyfriend of Deb she instantly treated me like I was the extended family… that was really relieving and striking and that warmth and loyalty has been something that has defined her I think.”
Furness also spoke very highly of Kidman.
“I think Nicole’s essence is exactly as when I first met that young, creative, ambitious 17-year-old,” she said. “She has the same passion and drive and still loves her work as an actress and continues to challenge and push herself.”
Furness continued: “Nicole was and is one of the most courageous actors I know. She has just become more of what she was when she was young … she has grown in confidence and wisdom and remains curious and playful.”