Nicole Kidman is one of Hollywood’s most brilliant stars, but her everyday concerns are familiar to all of us. She talks candidly about sleepless nights, melancholy moments and why she still has so much to get done

Nicole Kidman sleeps badly. Recently she got up at 3am to Google that thing, with the leg, where, “It feels like it needs to move?” But more often she will lie there in the dark beside her husband, in her Nashville bed, their two daughters sleeping some rooms away, and make decisions. She will “contemplate”. Between midnight and seven, she says, coolly, is the most “confronting time”.

It says a lot about Kidman, her prolific career, her sustained presence on film and glossy TV, that we can immediately picture her there, hair coiled on a pillow, eyes wide, the restless sense she has become claustrophobic in her own body. Kidman, 54, has been acting since she was 14, already 5ft 9in then, with skin that burned easily. She started in theatre partly as a way to get out of the Australian sun – a year later she was known locally (she told an early interviewer) for playing “older, sexually frustrated women”. Over the next 40 years she extended that repertoire, so now she is known for playing cryptic, adventurous, troubled women, too, in brave work that might not have been made were it not for her glittering star-power.

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