- Joan Collins and Lauren Bacall ponder: Seriously, how much of a movie legend is Nicole Kidman?
Big-screen veterans Joan Collins & Lauren Bacall voice their views on Nicole Kidman’s alleged Movie Legend status
Feeling lost, depressed, and/or with grave concerns about the world’s state of affairs? That’s understandable, though we must remember that others are facing more pressing issues. This post, which focuses on a handful of thought-provoking quotes from the movie world, is evidence of that.
And so we begin with the latest utterances by actress Joan Collins – she of The Opposite Sex, Land of the Pharaohs, The Bravados, The Stud, The Bitch, and the TV soap Dynasty.
Collins, whose film career dates back to early 1950s England (I Believe in You, Decameron Nights), recently discussed Best Actress Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours, 2002), whose alleged legendary status gave revered Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall (To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep) the heebie-jeebies at the Venice Film Festival last September.
Here’s the Joan Collins quote via femalefirst.co.uk (where the quotation marks seem to have been misplaced).
“To be a legend you’re usually dead or exceedingly old. The legends are Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn – there are so many. As for the furor over whether Nicole Kidman is a legend, I don’t think she’s old enough or dead enough.”
The fierce debate about Nicole Kidman’s movie legend status began after a “journalist” asked Lauren Bacall what it felt like to be a Screen Legend working with another Screen Legend (Kidman) in Jonathan Glazer’s psychological drama Birth, in which the Howard Hawks discovery and Humphrey Bogart widow plays the mother of Tom Cruise’s ex.
“She’s not a legend. She’s a beginner [Nicole Kidman has been in movies for more than two decades]. What is this ‘legend’? She can’t be a legend at whatever age she is. She can’t be a legend, you have to be older.”
Now, Nicole Kidman has the following to say (via The Early Show) about her unexpected – legendary or otherwise – stardom:
“I just can’t believe that I’m even in a position to be making movies, to be honest. There’s times when I go, ‘I can’t believe somebody wants me to be in their movie.’ So, whatever power I have (in the business) at the moment, I want to give to the directors that I believe in.”
Nicole Kidman movies
A true legend or not, Nicole Kidman has been in movies since 1983, the year the Australian dramas Bush Christmas and BMX Bandits came out.
Since that time, Kidman has been seen in about 30 features, among them:
- Robert Benton’s Billy Bathgate (1991), with Dustin Hoffman.
- Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999), with then-husband Tom Cruise.
- Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! (2001), with Ewan McGregor.
- Stephen Daldry’s The Hours (2002), with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore.
- Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2004), with an all-star cast ranging from Harriet Andersson and Thom Hoffman to Blair Brown and none other than Lauren Bacall.
Besides her Best Actress Oscar win for The Hours, Kidman was nominated for Moulin Rouge!.
Lauren Bacall explains herself
Spring 2005 update: Lauren Bacall’s comments at last year’s Venice Film Festival were perceived as an impolite dismissal of Nicole Kidman’s two-decade-plus career. According to Bacall, that hadn’t been her intention.
As found in an April 2005 issue of The Guardian, Bacall told interviewer Susie Mackenzie:
“What I meant was that her career is just beginning [sic]. She is wonderfully talented, a working actress. I hate these labels, I hate categories. Why do they have to burden her with all that? … Legends are all to do with the past and nothing to do with the present.”
Bacall then added that Humphrey Bogart, who died in 1957, is “more of a legend now than ever. And he has been dead almost 50 years.”
Another bit of advice from Lauren Bacall: If you want to become “a legend in your own lifetime,” you’d better do like Greta Garbo and disappear from view.
“Joan Collins & Lauren Bacall Quotes” endnotes
Like Lauren Bacall, Joan Collins can’t be considered a “legend,” as she is still working. Collins’ most notable recent roles were as a veteran Hollywood star in Matthew Diamond’s made-for-TV comedy These Old Broads (2001), with fellow veterans Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Shirley MacLaine; and as a How to Marry a Millionaire expert in Pieter Kramer’s Dutch comedy Alice in Glamourland (2004), with Linda de Mol.
See also: Aamir Khan says his latest movie is not ‘anti-British’ propaganda. And the year shoo-in Lauren Bacall lost the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Juliette Binoche.
Joan Collins in Dynasty image: CBS Television Distribution.
Danny Houston, Cameron Bright, Alison Elliott, Lauren Bacall, and Nicole Kidman Birth movie image: New Line Cinema.
“Joan Collins & Lauren Bacall Quotes: What Exactly Is Nicole Kidman’s Movie Legend Status?” last updated in December 2022.