That seems to be the thesis of her interview and accompanying photo shoot with V Magazine. Nicole Kidman, now 45, is repeatedly offered to us by descriptors like these:

“Her body being too sick for words”

You’re right. The only insight that comes from these sorts of articles is from what they don’t say. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are strictly off-limits. While we can discuss openly how hot she is, and how open to flaunting said hotness, we will also not speak of all the effort that goes into achieving it...

Because of course what you see here - all that sexiness, all that abandon - is an organic representation of how Nicole wants you to interpret her: Nicole as the free spirit, in spite of the three lips and all those fillers: 

“I don’t really make decisions. I go with the flow. If I were a strategically minded person, I think I would have a far different career. But I would be more outlandish if I could. A lot of times you just don’t get the chance.”

I always go back to the story of Nicole in that chartreuse dress at the 97 Oscars - her obsessive pursuit of the gown, and the well documented 2 hour limousine ride during which she had the self control not to move, not even a little, so as not to crease it. That is how Nicole Kidman has approached every step of her career. There is nothing wrong with a woman who embraces choreography and calculation and who is obsessively determined. It only feels wrong when these attributes are camouflaged in favour of a different narrative, an artificial one. This one stars Nicole Kidman, the natural, low-maintenance superstar who obligingly arranges her body in the “dead girl pose” for Mario Testino wearing lingerie and a fur coat even though, apparently, “most any other actress of her calibre” would put a hand up and refuse or have her publicist step in and kill the request. As if to say that Nicole, in the image attached, suggestively approaching her vagina with her fingers, was all kinds of shruggy about the photograph, as opposed to eager about being portrayed this way -- still desirable after all these years.

Come on.

How can we stop lying to ourselves when we’re being asked to believe when women are lying to themselves... and us???

I loved Nicole Kidman. Even more than Gwyneth Paltrow, and not even ironically. When she and Tom Cruise first separated, I was all for Nicole - the performances, the style, the grace, everything - and I still believe she is an extraordinary actor. I loved her Oscar speech, that sombre year, when she went up and declared that “art is important”. So much that I ignored the alarming way her eyebrows seemed to be pinching her nose with a new severity that I hadn’t remembered being so obvious.

But at some point the acting wasn’t enough. Being smart wasn’t enough. Being articulate wasn’t enough. At some point she went too far in the face. And then pretended it was all genetic. How interesting it is that she can be so vulnerable and real in her work, behind a mask, playing someone else, and yet find it so difficult to be the same as herself. They say that at work Nicole Kidman has very few equals. I believe this. She is immeasurably talented. Oh but the fragile psyche of an actor. That not even one as great as Nicole Kidman can be unaffected by the vanities and preoccupations of those who can’t even dream of doing what she can do, playing the parts that she can play.  

Kidman’s V cover is in support of The Paperboy due out in October. Click here to read the full piece which does improve once you get past all the fawning. The part about Lars Von Trier especially. There are more photos too.