While Kidman may be a household name now, it wasn’t always so. She got her start by performing various small, supporting roles in movies and theater productions, as well as various Australian television series, such as Vietnam in 1987.
However, her big, international break came in the 1990s, when she landed the role of a young doctor who falls in love with a NASCAR driver, in the box office hit Days of Thunder. It was here where she and Tom Cruise first met.
“[Cruise] basically swept me off my feet,” Kidman would later say in a 2002 interview with Vanity Fair. “I fell madly, passionately in love. And as happens when you fall in love, my whole plan in terms of what I wanted for my life — I was like, ‘Forget it. This is it.’”
Cruise and Kidman married the same year Days of Thunder came out in theaters. They instantly became the media’s favorite power couple. The public couldn’t get enough of their relationship, and tabloids fervently kept track of them, scrutinizing the then fairly unknown Kidman.
Her career also started to take off in this period, with Kidman landing leading roles in Batman Forever, and the critically acclaimed dark comedy To Die For in 1995. The latter won her a Golden Globe, and Kidman next appeared alongside John Malkovich and Barbara Hershey in the Portrait of a Lady in 1996. However, while her professional life was at an all-time high, her personal life was nowhere near as rosy.