Nicole Kidman Reveals She Wanted Julia Roberts' Role in Notting Hill: 'I Wasn't Talented Enough'
Julia Roberts played Anna Scott in 1999's Notting Hill
Kidman, 53, stars opposite Hugh Grant in the new HBO thriller series The Undoing, but if she had it her way, she would have shared the screen with him decades ago. The Oscar winner told Grant, 60, in a conversation for Marie Claire, that she had her heart set on playing Grant's love interest Anna Scott in 1999's Notting Hill.
The actress also revealed that she almost ended up in Grant's 2003 ensemble holiday flick Love Actually, as well.
"I think there was something where I think I really wanted a role ... maybe I was gonna do a small role in Love, Actually at one point," said Kidman. "Yeah. Yes."
"Were you? Which part?" asked Grant, to which Kidman replied: "I can't remember. It was not a big role. And I really wanted the role that Julia Roberts played in Notting Hill. ... Yeah, I did. But I wasn't well known enough, and I wasn't talented enough."
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The pair explained their chemistry in The Undoing, in which they star as a husband-and-wife pair embroiled in a Manhattan murder mystery. Grant said Kidman was "very good at making us connect" during the shoot.
"Yeah, well, I like you. So that was a really easy part," she said of their rapport. "I remember lying around on that bed when we were shooting in the bedroom, and talking to [director Susanne Bier] and thinking, 'Huh, this is the good part. I'm gonna miss this.'"
"Because there was something very relaxed, obviously, because I'm Australian and you're British, we have that similar, I don't know, it's just a sense of humor," added Kidman. "It's good chemistry."
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Directed by Roger Michell and written by Richard Curtis (who would go on to write and direct Love Actually), Notting Hill also starred Rhys Ifans, Emma Chambers, Gina McKee, Hugh Bonneville, James Dreyfus, Tim McInnerny and Emily Mortimer.
The film follows the budding romance between a bookshop owner (Grant) and a famous movie star (Roberts). The latter of the two, however, almost passed on the iconic role.
When Roberts read the script in June 1997, she was initially less than thrilled to play a part that hit so close to home, telling her agent: “How boring. How tedious — what a stupid thing for me to do,” she previously recalled to Vanity Fair. Nevertheless, she ended up signing on. “F—, I’m going to do this movie,” she said.
The Undoing premieres Sunday, Oct. 25, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO