Nicole Kidman Was Told She Was Too Tall to Succeed

By: ScreenGawk Staff | Published: Jan 22, 2024

Nicole Kidman is one of the most famous and beloved actors of all time. From “Moulin Rouge!” to “The Hours,” to “Lion,” “Bewitched,” and “Eyes Wide Shut,” she has starred in several award-winning films over the years. 

But in a recent podcast, Kidman explains that when she first began auditioning for roles, she was told she would never have a successful career simply because she was too tall.

Nicole Kidman on Radio Times Podcast

Kidman was a recent guest on the popular “Radio Times Podcast.” Host Kelly-Anne Taylor invites celebrities to talk about everything Hollywood, television, and their careers in the business. 

Promotional poster for the “Radio Times Podcast”

Source: Radio Times

And while Kidman was a guest on Taylor’s couch, she explained, “I was told, ‘You won’t have a career. You’re too tall’” (via Variety).

Young Kidman Struggled to Get Into Auditions

The now 56-year-old actor told Kelly-Anne Taylor that she used to really struggle to even get into some auditions because of her height. 

Nicole Kidman pictured during a photo session to promote the movie "BMX Bandits" in December 1983

Source: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Kidman explained that at an audition for the popular musical “Annie,” they were measuring actors at the front door, and if they were too tall, they were simply turned away then and there.

Kidman Said She 'Talked Her Way' In

But Nicole Kidman said that she wouldn’t just leave quietly: “I had to talk my way through the door because they were measuring you before you went in. I was mortified.”

Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge

Source: 20th Century Studios/YouTube

She also told Taylor that it was at that time that she began lying about her height, shaving off at least a half inch to ensure she would at least be seen by the casting director.

How Tall Is Nicole Kidman?

Nicole Kidman can now freely admit that she is 5’11”, not 5’ 10 ½” as she once claimed. And as the average woman is only 5’4”, she certainly is tall compared to most. 

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise at the 69th Oscars/Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban attend a screening of Prime Video series Expats/Nicole Kidman and Zoe Saldana attend screening

Source: Frank Trapper/Corbis/Getty Images & Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Images & MikeMarsland/WireImage/Getty Images

Kidman also mentioned that while being excluded from casting calls was frustrating, she was also extremely affected by the bullying that she experienced.

'I Was Called Storky'

In the interview, Kidman said, “I was teased. I was called Storky.” But while these words cut deep in her youth, she also believes that they have helped her become a stronger woman and mother to her daughters.

Nicole Kidman is interviewed on the red carpet

Source: El Pics/WireImage/Getty Images

She told Taylor, “What I tell my daughters is that none of it matters. What matters is how you allow other people to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to you, and whether you accept that. Inner resilience as a human being, that’s the superpower, really.”


How Kidman’s Height Has Affected Her Acting Career

Obviously, Nicole Kidman was able to create an incredible career even though she was once refused roles for her height. 

Australian actress Nicole Kidman on the set of Billy Bathgate

Source: Buena Vista Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

But she said it still affects her acting, explaining, “It will bother me when I’m acting and I want to be small — but then there are times when I appreciate it when it’s related to what I’m doing and I go, ‘Okay, I can use this now.’”


Nicole Kidman’s Big Break

Technically, Kidman’s acting career began with “BMX Bandits,” an Australian film released in 1983. However, most cinema buffs agree that her big break was really “Days of Thunder” in 1990.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman at the racetrack in a scene from the film Days of Thunder, 1990

Source: Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

And by 2001, when she starred in “The Others,” Kidman was officially an international superstar. Over the past 20 years, she has been in dozens of successful and award-winning films and television series, proving to herself and everyone that her height wasn’t going to hold her back.


Kidman Is Grateful for Her Incredible Life

She also mentioned that she’s had some complications, such as knee problems, because of her tall frame.

Nicole Kidman attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards

Source: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

But overall, Kidman appreciates her life and body, saying, “Hey, I’m incredibly grateful to be healthy and walking around.”


The World is Grateful that Kidman Stuck With Acting

And, of course, the vast majority of people are also incredibly grateful that Nicole Kidman struggled against stereotypes and found her way into the industry.

Fans hold a “Welcome Home Nicole” sign at a red carpet premiere in Kidman’s home country of Australia

Source: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

She is truly one of the most beloved actor in her home country of Australia, as well as around the world.


Kidman’s Upcoming Roles

The future is looking just as bright for the actor as she recently stunned audiences as Queen Atlanna, Aquaman’s mother, in the long-awaited sequel “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”

Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna in Aquaman

Source: @aquamanmovie/X

And she is also starring in “Expats,” Prime Video’s newest limited series that has fans extremely excited.


Nicole Kidman Is a Beacon of Resilience

Nicole Kidman wanted to share her story and struggles in order to explain a bit about herself, but also tell the world (like she tells her daughters) that “inner resilience” is a “superpower.”

Nicole Kidman attends the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards

Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

And that anyone can do whatever it is they set their mind to, whether the world believes in them or not. It’s far more important to believe in yourself.