Nicole Kidman donned a shower cap and kissed Naomi Watts on Tuesday night, making a statement not about sexuality but rather about her career.
Speaking at the Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy Awards, the "Moulin Rouge!" actress talked about a role in a Jane Campion student film that she had turned down at age 14. And she revealed the lie she'd told the future "The Piano" Oscar-winner to cover up her own insecurity at the time.
"I am horrified to report that I passed on the part she offered me," the 47-year-old said (via E! News). "My excuse was that I had final exams to study for, but the truth is the part would have required me to appear up on the screen wearing a shower cap and kissing a girl."
What Kidman wanted, she said, were roles where she played the ingenue with long flowing hair and boys to kiss.
"I was not ready to do the kind of work that threatened anybody. Well, today I know better, and I say, 'Jane, if you're out there. … I'm ready to don this cap.' "
And out came the cap. And the words about providing the emotional support to encourage teen girls to pursue their film-industry dreams.
The kissing capped the presentation, during which Kidman received the 2015 Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.
"A lot of it is, we second-guess ourselves," she'd told the Associated Press and others on the red carpet earlier, explaining the need for emotional support for girls and women and foreshadowing her speech. "A man tends to go, 'I want this,' and they go out and get it. A girl goes, 'I want this, but do I want this, but how do I get it, but I'm not sure. What do you think?'
"You know, we have far more of that in a dialogue, that we question our innate sense of confidence."
Kate Mara, 32, whose work includes "House of Cards" and the 2017 superhero movie "Fantastic Four 2," also was honored at the awards as a "face of the future."