Nicole Kidman Explains How "Micro-Decisions" Are the Key to Her Happiness


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Neutrogena has invited me to brunch with Nicole Kidman. “We’d LOVE for you to join us for an afternoon of outdoor fun with Nicole Kidman on Sunday, June 24th,” the email from the cosmetic brand’s publicist reads. “We’ll be talking all things sun, health, and beauty in partnership with Create & Cultivate. We would also like to invite you to talk with Nicole Kidman in a 1:1 interview.”

Trust me when I say I have never RSVP’d to an event faster. It sounds like just the distraction I need. On Sunday, June 24, a black SUV drops me off at Lombardi House, a carriage-style mansion in Hollywood hidden behind a partition of ivy bushes. I’m wearing vintage pearl shoes and a pale-pink floor-length dress that almost looks like a wedding gown. I suppose the event felt that fantastical to me. It’s a surreal departure from what’s going on outside these ivy-swathed walls: Our president is currently separating families and cutting welfare programs. I wonder if Kidman (who also arrives wearing floor-length pink) feels as anxious about it all as I do.

After my fellow #blessed invitees—all influencers and other members of the press—and I adequately fill our bellies with berries and buttermilk pancakes the size of silver dollars, we file out to a collection of chairs in the front yard (set up not unlike a wedding), where we’re handed sticks of Neutrogena sunscreen to protect our arms from the fierce California sun. I choose a second-row seat shaded by a taupe umbrella and slather up. Before us, Kidman is joined by a moderator and a mental health expert, who then engage in a 20-minute panel discussion about happiness—specifically, the daily “micro-decisions” the world’s most stress-free individuals are systematically shown to make, like being generous to others, spending money on experiences rather than objects, eating more raw fruits and vegetables, and expressing gratitude for everyday things. It’s no coincidence we’re talking about this stuff: The outside world has gotten under everyone else's skin, too.

After the panel and another handful of berries, I’m ushered into a side door to chat with Kidman, just the two of us. Up close, her skin is flawless, like glass, but her voice and demeanor are mellow and warm, like a seat in the shade. For the next 12 minutes, Kidman and I continue the conversation about her secrets to happiness, how she deals with stress and trauma, and the habits she’s cultivated to keep her skin so unreasonably beautiful. Keep scrolling to read our conversation.

Want to read another celebrity interview? Next, Demi Lovato tells us her secret to staying motivated to work out.

Opening Image: Getty