- Australian-American star Nicole Kidman has been acting for decades.
- In that time, she’s played a number of characters with varying appearances, changing up her hair and makeup along the way.
- Here are some of her most-memorable transformations.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Australian-American actress Nicole Kidman has taken on lots of different roles during her past few decades years in the movie industry. From a 19th-century Irish immigrant to a traumatized undercover detective – each has required a certain level of metamorphosis.
But for some of her characters, Kidman has had to completely transform both her looks and her personality to play the part, to the point where you’d need to look twice in order to recognise the world-famous leading lady.
Keep reading to see Nicole Kidman’s most-drastic character transformations.
She straightened her hair for the first time in the early ’90s film “Flirting.”
It may come as a surprise to find out that Kidman doesn’t actually have naturally straight hair as she so often wears on the red carpet. Her natural hairdo is actually comprised of tight, voluminous curls, which she wore in all her movies until the 1991 film “Flirting.”
Her role as Nicola was one of the first times audiences saw Kidman in her now–signature blown-out hairstyle.
Her most-dramatic transformation yet might be when she played world-famous author Virginia Woolf.
Prosthetics are a huge contributor to actor transformations and Kidman took the plunge to bring Virginia Woolf to life in “The Hours.”
Kidman is unrecognizable in the film, using a fake nose attached by makeup artists that completely changed her entire appearance. Her transformation was so convincing, she won an Oscar for her role at that year’s ceremony.
She then looked unrecognizable with a brunette pixie cut in “Birth.”
For as long as Kidman has been in the public eye, she’s had long, mostly-blonde hair. So it was a bit of a shock to the senses to see her with a brunette pixie cut when she played young widow Anna. The change was subtle but it was one of her earliest shakeups.
She shed her Hollywood glamour image for a dark and dramatic executive-turned-housewife.
It’s not just about a dramatic hair change to bring a character to life, and with Kidman’s character as Joanna Eberhart in “The Stepford Wives,” she proved attitude is just as important as physical characters. Her approach to the uptight executive persona was a stark departure from her normal Hollywood glamour image, down to the dark, sleek haircut and matching wardrobe.
For her role in “The Paperboy,” she seemingly travelled back in time to play Charlotte Bess.
Dramatic transformations don’t always have to be unrecognizable for a role, and Kidman’s character Charlotte Bass in “The Paperboy” is a perfect example. The actress didn’t change much about her literal physical appearance, but her hairstyle, makeup, and wardrobe were totally believable as she embodied the flirtatious fiancée of a convict in 1960s’ Florida.
She debuted a sharp, minimalist look as Millicent in “Paddington.”
“Paddington” may be a family-friendly film, but Kidman’s personification of movie villain Millicent brought a whole new vibe to the screen. To bring to life the evil taxidermist (yes, taxidermist), Kidman donned a platinum-blonde wig and a minimalist wardrobe to make her performance all the more authentic.
To play adoptive mother Sue Brierly, she changed both her hair and wardrobe.
When adapting a role based on an in-real-life person, it’s important to get the physical details right in order to do the subject justice.
That’s exactly what Kidman did in “Lion” as Sue Brierly, the adoptive mother to Saroo Brierly (Dev Patel). The likeness required short, bright-red perm to fully embody her real counterpart.
A hair-and-makeup transformation aged her instantly in “Top of the Lake: China Girl.”
Kidman also had a transformation in season two of the mysteries series “Top of the Lake.” In it, she played Julia Edwards, an overprotective mother to rebellious teenager Mary. For her role, Kidman adopted grey curly hair and freckles that added a mature quality to her look.
She let loose as eccentric punk rocker Boadicea for “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.”
For the indie romantic comedy “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” Kidman adopted a completely different style as punk rocker Boadicea. Between the ’70s shag hair and eccentric punk outfit, it was hard to tell that it was Kidman.
“Boy Erased” saw Kidman in full Southern style, voluminous hair included.
A Southern style is a look all its own, and for the 2018 drama “Boy Erased,” Kidman took the region’s fashion cues for her role as hairdresser Nancy Eamons. The oversized jewellery coupled with her bouffant hair and acrylic nails is almost too convincing as she developed a Southern accent and conservative ideology as Eamons.
Recently, she quite literally went undercover as roughed-up detective Erin Bell.
Playing an undercover detective could almost be considered a double whammy in terms of transformation, and Kidman pulled it off to play endangered LAPD detective Erin Bell in “Destroyer.” Not only did Kidman premiere a wispy, brunette bob for the role, but she also looked noticeably sunken in the face, no doubt due to the magic of makeup.
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