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Nicole Kidman shuts down 'sexist' question about marriage to Tom Cruise

The "Being the Ricardos" star felt a question about a marriage that ended 20 years ago would not have been asked of a man in her position.
Nicole Kidman said a "sexist" question asked by an interviewer about ex-husband Tom Cruise is not one that would've been asked to a man.
Nicole Kidman said a "sexist" question asked by an interviewer about ex-husband Tom Cruise is not one that would've been asked to a man.Getty Images

Nicole Kidman is still being asked questions about ex-husband Tom Cruise 20 years after their marriage ended, which she feels would not happen to a man in a similar position.

The Oscar winner was describing the marriage between television legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz depicted in her latest film, "Being the Ricardos," when she was asked in an interview with The Guardian whether that description was her way of talking about her relationship with Cruise, 59, whom she divorced in 2001.

“Oh, my God, no, no. Absolutely not," she replied. "No. I mean, that’s, honestly, so long ago that that isn’t in this equation. So no.”

Kidman, 54, was clearly irked by the question.

“And I would ask not to be pigeonholed that way, either," she said. "It feels to me almost sexist, because I’m not sure anyone would say that to a man. And at some point, you go, ‘Give me my life. In its own right.’”

Kidman and Cruise were married from 1990-2001 and share two children.Getty Images

The question about Cruise came after Kidman, who plays Ball in "Being the Ricardos," spoke about the relationship between Ball and Arnaz that produced “I Love Lucy,” often considered an all-time classic television show. Ball and Arnaz's marriage ended in divorce in 1960, three years after "I Love Lucy" ended.

Cruise and Kidman also worked together during their relationship and marriage, starring in "Days of Thunder," "Far and Away," and Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut."

“It’s about a creative and romantic relationship that doesn’t work out," Kidman said about her new film. "But from it come some extraordinary things. And I love that. I love that it’s not a happy ending.

"This film says you can make an extraordinary relationship thrive and leave remnants of it that exist forever," she continued. "Yeah, that’s really gorgeous. You can’t make people behave how you want them to, and sometimes you’re going to fall in love with someone who isn’t going to be the person you spend the rest of your life with. And I think that’s all very relatable. You may have kids with them. You may not, but they were very much in love.” 

Kidman, who adopted two children with Cruise during their 11-year marriage, has been married to country music star Keith Urban for 15 years and has two children with him.

She was also bothered by persistent questions about her fame.

“Why are you so interested in the famous thing?” she said. "I don’t live that life. I’m deeply embedded in a family, in a very deep marriage. I’m parenting children. I’m a daughter. Those are the primary things. And yes, I have other things that circulate. But at my base are relationships that are very, to use your word, ‘real'."

Kidman also opened up about briefly retiring from acting in her early 40s after having her first child with Urban.

“Until my mum said to me, ‘I don’t think you should just give up,’” she said. “I was quite convinced I could grow vegetables and be at home and be very satisfied with that, but was pushed quite substantially by my mum. Friends, too — I have friendships that have permeated my life.”