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star struck

In the Nic of time
Actress Nicole Kidman adds Omega endorsements to her growing list of activities
By Chris Betros

Nicole Kidman has had a busy first two months of this year. After completing two movies, she visited the tsunami-hit regions in Asia as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, then jetted into Japan to announce her collaboration with Swiss watchmaker Omega. While she was in Japan, her home in Sydney was bugged. She also declined an invitation to attend the Australian of the Year award after being nominated for it against her wishes because she preferred the award go to a humanitarian, community or a health officer.

However, the 37-year-old Oscar-winning actress was in a perky mood for her brief Japan visit, her first since October 2001. For once, she didn’t have to talk about her movies; this visit was all about time, namely her appointment as an Omega “ambassador.” Having just completed a series of commercials for Chanel (for which she reportedly received $15 million), Kidman is certainly in demand. Omega officials call her the world’s best actress and most glamorous woman.

As an Omega celebrity, Kidman is following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Michael Schumacher, Cindy Crawford and, of course, James Bond, not to mention six moon landings with US astronauts. “I think Omega has an understated elegance,” said Kidman, who likes to be called Nic. Coinciding with her visit to Japan, Omega launched a new timepiece, the Quadrella. To help raise money for tsunami relief, one of the high-priced watches (with Kidman’s signature on the case) was auctioned.

As testimony to Kidman’s popularity, more than 3,000 fans showed up at the Maru Building for a lunchtime event. Naturally, Kidman was asked her beauty tips. “Glamour is hard to define,” she said. “Throughout history, it has been about simplicity, individuality and not being frightened to express oneself. Of course, it helps to be in love. Love gives you an after glow. But in terms of beauty, it is more important to be healthy. I think Japanese women have the most beautiful skin in the world.”

Movie audiences will be seeing a lot of Kidman this year. She can currently be seen in The Stepford Wives, to be followed by Birth. Two other completed films — The Interpreter and Bewitched — are due for release later this year. Her next project, Eucalyptus, which co-stars with Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush, has been held up since the director quit last week four days into shooting. But there won’t be much of a respite for the star. She has signed on to do Emma’s War, Wedding Season and American Darlings this year.


 

 

the scene

Hello Dahling
Celebrating ten years in Tokyo for creative director, designer and drag queen Anthony

The cream of Tokyo’s creative crop looks back at ten outrageous years of fun and fashion as Anthony steps out of his nocturnal spotlight at The Orbient in Aoyama. Clockwise from top left: Performers Mitz and Chihiro; music producer James, artist manager Teresa and musician Orlando; Mark Dythem of architects KDA with financier Joe; CIA producer and party promoter Monty with design professor Rachel; Anthony with photographer and creative director Raymon

 

 

Q&A

Helen Northeast
The brains behind Womenfest

A full-time university teacher and part-timemusician, Helen Northeast first organized WomenFest in 1998.

What is WomenFest?
I thought that something should be done in Tokyo to support the women’s community, promote women artists and celebrate International Women’s Day.

What brought you to Tokyo?
I’d lived in England, Australia and Canada and I guess I’d finally had enough of Canadian prairie winters! I was ready for a completely different culture and new opportunities and here I am, 12 years later, still enjoying life in Japan.

Tell us about your musical roots?
I’m a self-taught musician. I learned to play drums as a kid in England on my brother’s drum set. Later I taught myself the bass and guitar and started writing songs and singing more seriously.

What performers have you lined up for WomenFest?
Akaonidaiko, Spring Day, Zilli, Momosen, Café Crème Tokyo, The Insistuz and more.

How do you think Japanese women can get ahead in a male-dominant society such as Tokyo?
The same way they do in other male-dominated societies: Be smarter, faster and more flexible. Find a way to become self-employed which, I think, can lead to true self-fulfillment. Surround yourself with the kind of people who will support you. That’s part of what WomenFest is all about. WomenFest takes place on Mar 13 at Ebisu What the Dickens. See festival listings for details.

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.

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