TV & Movies

Nicole Kidman's Most Extreme Onscreen Transformations Will Make You Do A Double Take

The fourth picture is absolutely shocking.

Nicole Kidman is an acting chameleon with impressive transformations for roles. PHOTOGRAPH BY P. Leh...
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Throughout her decades-long career, Nicole Kidman has been a chameleon onscreen, taking on some impressive transformations. The naturally blonde and curly-haired Australian actor has donned wigs, prosthetics, and even adopted a plethora of foreign accents.

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On Aug. 18, she'll morph yet again — this time into a mysterious Russian-accented wellness retreat owner in Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers. From red-headed courtesan belting out ballads to playing Virginia Woolf, here's a celebration of some of Kidman’s best physical and auditory transformations.

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After Big Little Lies, David E. Kelley adapted another Liane Moriarty thriller, Nine Perfect Strangers. The miniseries follows nine strangers on a remote retreat led by Kidman’s Masha, the sinister white-clad director whose voice could moonlight in a meditation app.

Screenshot via Paramount Pictures

In The Hours, the 2002 film that won Kidman an Oscar, the actor is practically unrecognizable as writer Virginia Woolf in floral frocks, a brunette wig, and a divisive prosthetic nose.

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In HBO’s The Undoing (2020), another Kelley production, a red-headed Kidman takes on the role of Grace Fraser, an American therapist whose involvement in a murder case upends her family’s life. She took on a New Yorker accent for the role, and a dialect slip prompted a Saturday Night Live parody.

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This time with a South African accent, the actor plays U.N. translator Silvia Broome, whose life is endangered after she hears assassination plans in the Sydney Pollack-directed film The Interpreter (2005). Though she speaks a fictional language (Ku), Kidman’s accent in the movie was chided.

Screenshot via Lee Daniels Entertainment/Millennium Films

As the raunchy Charlotte Bless, Kidman dons a bouffant and a Southern accent in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy (2012). Based on a true story from Pete Dexter’s book, she acts alongside John Cusack, Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, and David Oyelowo.

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In another prosthetic-generated change, Kidman is barely recognizable as Mrs. Barbour, the wealthy surrogate mom to Ansel Elgort’s Theo in The Goldfinch, based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The 2019 drama follows Theo's grief, symbolized by a painting.

Screenshot via Paramount Pictures/Dreamworks Pictures

Sporting a brunette bob to match her no-frills Manhattanite wardrobe, Kidman plays executive-turned-docile-robo-housewife Joanna Eberhart in the 2004 remake of Stepford Wives, based on the 1972 novel by Ira Levin. Glenn Close, Bette Midler, and Faith Hill also appear in the film.

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Kidman's singing chops shine in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! as Satine, a popular courtesan who falls in love with Ewan McGregor’s Christian. A tragic love story packaged in a musical extravaganza, Kidman performs complex dance sequences as a redhead in gaudy, OTT costumes.

Screenshot via See-Saw Films/Long Way Home Productions

Based on the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion (2016) follows Dev Patel as Saroo, who gets lost as a boy and ventures back to his birthplace in India after living with his adoptive Australian family for decades. Kidman, in a red curly bob, plays Sue, his adoptive mom.

Screenshot via SundanceTV/See-Saw Films

In the BBC Two mystery drama Top of the Lake, Elizabeth Moss plays a detective looking into sexual assault cases. In Season 2, which was called China Girl, she’s joined by a freckled, gray-haired Kidman with prosthetic teeth, who plays Julia Edwards, the adoptive mother of a teen connected to a death.

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