Nicole Kidman confesses that rock star Prince was, unbeknownst to him, present for many of the formative moments in her life.
“I basically grew up to his music,” the Oscar-winning actress, 48, tells EW from the set of the upcoming HBO miniseries Big Little Lies, which she is both producing and starring in (alongside Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern). “I think I had my first kiss, first love, first of a lot of stuff while listening to Prince. A lot of firsts. My friends and I would go out to clubs in Australia and when “When Doves Cry” would come on, we’d hear that guitar, and we’d be up in a split second and dancing.”
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Kidman had met the late artist and saw him perform a number of times — and in George Miller’s 2006 hit animated film Happy Feet, she even got the opportunity to cover one of his most beloved songs. The movie opens with the sound of Kidman’s voice, playing a female penguin as coquettish as Marilyn Monroe, whispering, “So many songs but I’m feeling so lonely.” She needs to choose a mating call to attract male penguins and quickly settles on an appropriately sultry cover of Prince’s 1986 hit “Kiss.”
“You don’t have to be rich to be my pearl,” she sings, substituting a gender neutral word for “girl,” since the song ultimately attracts a male penguin in the form of a “Heartbreak Hotel”-singing crooner (voiced by Hugh Jackman).
“Oh, I totally forgot that I’d sung that,” Kidman says. “That’s a wonderful memory.”
It wasn’t the first time, or the last, that Prince’s music would be used as a love cry. Check out Kidman singing “Kiss” in duet with Jackman below.