Nicole Kidman's 10 Most Astounding Onscreen Transformations

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Paramount Pictures

Makeup artists spent three hours a day applying the prosthetic nose that transformed Kidman into novelist Virginia Woolf for her Oscar-winning turn in 2002's The Hours.

The actress was so unrecognizable in the role, many fans missed her entirely in the trailers. "I did enjoy being anonymous," she told the San Fransisco Chronicle. "It was fun to be able to go out of my trailer and not have anyone know me."

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Millennium Entertainment

In a dramatic shift from the glamour of Nine, Kidman played Charlotte Bless, a woman from Mobile, Alabama who falls in love with her prison pen pal in 2012's The Paperboy. Initially nervous about playing the part convincingly, Kidman ended up receiving Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her performance.

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Nicole Kidman, 1996
Everett Collection

Kidman starred in The Portrait of a Lady (1996) as Isabel Archer, the American heroine from Henry James's classic novel of the same name published in 1881. The film takes place in late 19th century Europe, where the independent and idealistic Isabel mulls marriage proposals from a crop of upper-crust bachelors from the Old World.

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TO DIE FOR, Nicole Kidman, 1995, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In Gus Van Sant's To Die For (1995), Kidman delivered a powerfully twisted performance as Suzanne Stone, an ambitious, aspiring news anchor who hatches a plot to kill her husband. The character, in both appearance and behavior, was inspired by Pamela Smart.

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Everett Collection

Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! (2001) was a visual smörgåsbord set in the infamous Parisian nightclub at the turn of the 19th century. Kidman glittered and shone as Satine, a beautiful courtesan and one of the club's main attractions, who falls for a young English writer.

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THE STEPFORD WIVES, Nicole Kidman, 2004, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Kidman starred as Joanna Eberhart in 2004's campy remake of Ira Levin's novel The Stepford Wives. The actress underwent several transformations in the film, from a high-powered New York City television producer to robotic trophy wife in this tongue-in-cheek reimagining.

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BIRTH, Nicole Kidman, 2004, (c) New Line/courtesy Everett Collection
Everett Collection

Kidman drew comparisons to Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby when she sported a pixie cut for 2004's creepy drama Birth. In the film, she played a widow who becomes convinced that her dead husband has been reincarnated as a 10-year-old boy, who warns her not to marry her new fiancé.

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NINE, Nicole Kidman, 2009. Ph: David James/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection
Everett Collection

Kidman played the glamorous actress Claudia Jenssen in Nine, a big screen adaptation of the 1982 musical of the same name, which in turn was based on Federico Fellini's 1963 film 8 1/2.

The star-studded ensemble piece takes place in 1960s Rome, and Kidman's character is based on the Swedish blonde bombshell Anita Ekberg, best known for her role in Fellini's 1960 classic La Dolce Vita.

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F:PHOTOMediaFactory ActionsRequests DropBox43676#lifetimegom_bi7a0603.jpg

Kidman channelled another blonde bombshell actress from the past in Grace of Monaco, playing the late Grace Kelly. The sumptuous-looking biopic, directed by Olivier Dahan, drew criticism from Monaco's royal family over its depiction of the princess, but Kidman's performance as Kelly was largely praised.

“First of all, I know Nicole Kidman,” Lynn Wyatt, Kelly’s longtime confidante, told PEOPLE. “She’s beautiful inside and out, and she’s very sweet. She’s very nice – and she’s caring. I think she would be perfect.”

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Everett Collection

Kidman's performance as the real-life Sue Brierley in 2016's Lion earned the actress her fourth career Oscar nomination.

Playing the adoptive mother of the film's hero, Saroo, who joins her family after becoming separated from his biological parents, Kidman returned to her natural curls for the role, cutting her hair short to mimick the real Sue's style. She later called the film a love letter to her children.

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