August 2, 2010

Nicole Kidman's Goodwill Trip
To Haiti Is No Family Vacation

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Goodwill ambassador: Nicole Kidman meets with women's rights activists and earthquake survivors in Haiti as part of her UNIFEM duties. Photo by Catianne Tijerina, UNIFEM

By Donna Freydkin, USA Today

It's not easy parting Nicole Kidman from her 2-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose.

"I've spent two nights away from her in two years. I'm just so into her. I'm crazy about her. She's a good little traveler. She flies everywhere and she brings her little toys. It's not a big deal, traveling with them — but not to Haiti," says Kidman, calling Thursday from Port-au-Prince after spending a day touring a women's shelter. "Safetywise, I couldn't bring her (here), but otherwise, she goes everywhere with me. We were walking through the tent cities today, and it's just rubble and tents."

Kidman, 43, spends most of her time living a quiet, suburban life in Nashville with husband Keith Urban and their toddler.

But she's in the Haitian capital as part of her work with United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); she's been a goodwill ambassador since January 2006. Her focus? Women's rights around the world, with this particular outing spotlighting the plight of women in Haiti, which was devastated by a January earthquake.

"It's not what I get out of it. I feel like I can never put enough into it. The greatest thing my parents did was give me a social conscience," says Kidman of her UNIFEM work. "For someone like Sunday, for her to be able to be molded, I suppose, to have a very strong social conscience — I would be so proud. I would hope for that. Keith and I are both very committed to that."

In the Kidman-Urban household, charity is a family business. "Keith has done benefit concerts for us. He's been so supportive. I'm always like, 'Hey, I think I might be able to get hold of a musician.' He's so lovely," says his wife.

Kidman, who won an Oscar for 2002's The Hours, says philanthropy is a big part of her life. "I'm just constantly trying to give a voice to the women around the world, women everywhere, who are in need of help. If there's anything to be had from having worked for 23 to 25 years of my life, I'm so glad to now be able to do this. I don't mind being used like that," she says.

Next up, Kidman goes back to her day job. "I haven't done a movie for a while. I spent a couple of weeks on the Adam Sandler movie, but that was a tiny role," she says, referring to Just Go With It, out next year. Later this summer, she's starting production on Trespass, opposite Nicolas Cage, in nearby Shreveport, La.; she plays a mother protecting her daughter. "That speaks to me," she says. "I finish filming in September and then hang out with Keith and Sunday" — with a brief outing to promote the intimate drama Rabbit Hole at the Toronto Film Festival.

"It's a passion project about a grieving couple, and how you get through trauma and loss together and how it affects a marriage," says Kidman.

1 Comment:

Verity said...

I hope her trip gets more and more traction in the media. USA Today covering it is a good start. Thanks SM. Love the picture too.

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