Nicole Kidman Calls Out 'Sexist' Tom Cruise Question: 'I'm Not Sure Anyone Would Say That to a Man'

While promoting her new film Being the Ricardos, the Oscar winner called out a journalist for asking if she was comparing her character’s relationship to her own marriage to Tom Cruise

Nicole Kidman
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Nicole Kidman doesn't want to be "pigeonholed."

The Oscar-winning actress, 54, opened about taking on the role of Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos and the real-life relationship between the I Love Lucy performer and Desi Arnaz to The Guardian. However, she made clear she was not comparing their storied romance to her own relationship with her ex-husband Tom Cruise.

"It's about a creative and romantic relationship that doesn't work out. But from it come some extraordinary things. And I love that. I love that it's not a happy ending," Kidman said about the iconic duo.

The film follows the personal and professional lives of Ball and Arnaz (who's played by Javier Bardem in the Aaron Sorkin-directed film) as they navigate fame and outside pressures while filming one week of I Love Lucy. In real life, the couple divorced in 1960 after 20 years of marriage.

"This film says you can make an extraordinary relationship thrive and leave remnants of it that exist forever. Yeah, that's really gorgeous," the Nine Perfect Strangers star explained. "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," she added.

Nicole Kidman; Tom Cruise
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The female interviewer proceeded to ask Kidman — "with exquisite care" — if she was referring to her marriage to Cruise.

"Oh, my God, no, no. Absolutely not," The Undoing actress replied. "No. I mean, that's, honestly, so long ago that that isn't in this equation. So, no."

"And I would ask not to be pigeonholed that way, either," Kidman continued. "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 in 1990 and split in 2001. They are parents to son Connor, 26, and daughter Isabella, 28.

Kidman — who is now married to Keith Urban — has rarely spoken out about her relationship with Cruise, 59 in recent years. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar earlier this year, the Big Little Lies actress addressed the interest in her previous marriage and questioned whether she had been too candid about their love in the past.

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"I was young. I think I offered it up?" she said when asked about the scrutiny she and Cruise faced. "Maybe I've gotten a bit more trepidatious, but I'm always trying to be as open as possible. I just prefer to live in the world that way."

"I'm wary at times, and I've been hurt, but at the same time I much prefer a warm approach rather than a prickly shutdown approach," she added. "My husband, Keith [Urban], says that when he met me, he said, 'How's your heart?' And I apparently responded, 'Open.'"

Being the Ricardos is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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