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New image of Nicole Kidman as 'Grace of Monaco' + views on older actresses

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Monaco's royal family may have denounced it as "pure fiction", but the first official picture of Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly suggests the Australian actor looks the part in the forthcoming biopic Grace of Monaco.

Directed by La Vie En Rose's Olivier Dahan, the film reportedly tells the story of Grace's intervention between France and Monaco in 1962, when the two states were in dispute over tax laws in the principality and a coup was a genuine possibility. Kidman, 45, plays Kelly in her early 30s, but the princess's children are more concerned about what they perceive as a "pointlessly glamorised" depiction of their mother. Prince Albert, the current ruling monarch of Monaco, issued a joint statement with Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie last month denouncing the project as historically inaccurate. "We have had absolutely no association with this project, which claims to be about the lives of our parents," the royal trio said.

Kidman, responding at a special screening of her new film Stoker in London last week, said she was determined to present a carefully crafted take on Alfred Hitchcock's best known muse. "I wanted to be respectful of her, her story and her essence so hopefully that will all come through," she said. "It's exciting but at first it was daunting. At the same time I had studied her and felt a kind of tenderness towards her."

Kelly became known as Princess Grace after the star of Dial M for Murder and Rear Window left Hollywood for a new life as the wife of Monaco's Prince Rainier III in 1956. She died in 1982 after suffering a stroke at the wheel of her car.

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Nicole Kidman says older women can still enjoy a successful career on the big screen.

The movie industry has been criticised in recent years over its dearth of roles for actresses once they reach their forties.

Nicole, 45, told the Radio Times: "I love that Emmanuelle Riva, who is 86, may well win best actress at the Oscars (the Oscar was won by 22-year-old Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence). That's glorious. That says something great about the longevity of an actress's career.

"Everyone always says 'oh, they only have a shelf life of 40 years' and you look at that and you go 'no way'."

The star admitted that she was "incredibly lonely" after her Oscar win for The Hours in 2003, because of the end of her 10-year marriage, in 2000, to Tom Cruise.

Nicole, who plays a lonely widow in psychological thriller Stoker and a woman who marries a convicted killer on death row in The Paperboy, said that "leading lady" roles were behind her.

"My desire, particularly now as I get older, is to play character roles," the Grace of Monaco star said.

"The Paperboy is a character role and so is Stoker, and Grace of Monaco. And it's a great thing being a character actor - the leading lady thing is fine but the interesting stuff is the character parts.

"I'm not interested in playing myself and I'm not interested in playing the same thing over and over again. I'm not good when I have to be the girl next door. That's just not my thing, so the more extreme the better in a way."

Nicole, who has two children with her country singer husband Keith Urban, said of winning the best actress Oscar: "That was a very strange time in my life because it was the collision of professional success and personal failure".

Dedicated to nt4michelangelo

source | 1& 2

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