Nicole Kidman Applauded At The Premiere Of 'The Golden Compass'

Jano Gibson and Andrew Hornery

After the loud claps of thunder and torrential rain came the screams.

"Nicole! Nicole! Nicole!" yelled photographers and fans lining the red carpet at last night's Australian premiere of the fantasy adventure film The Golden Compass at the State Theatre.

"It's nice to be able to show up and just say thank you to the fans, and also thank you to the country actually," said Nicole Kidman, who plays the glamorous but sinister scholar Marisa Coulter in the movie adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Dressed in body-hugging, shiny silver pants and jacket, and holding an umbrella, Kidman signed autographs for some of the hundreds of fans who turned out in the rain with traffic closed on Market Street and Pitt Street.

Kidman revealed she was drawn to playing the role after receiving a personal appeal from Pullman.

"[He] wrote me an amazing letter telling me that when he was writing the novels he had me in mind. That's hard to turn down. He's such a good novelist."

The film, which opens on Boxing Day, has received mixed reviews overseas and not raked in as much money as expected.

For the past nine months, Kidman has been working on Baz Luhrmann's outback epic Australia, with many of the cast and crew joining the actor last night.

She said working on Australia had been one of the most enjoyable experiences of her life.

"Camping out in Kununurra, I mean I would never have gotten to do that. Going to Kakadu. You sort of talk about it but you rarely do that stuff. Riding scooters in Darwin, eating fish and chips in Bowen."

She told the audience inside the State Theatre that she does not normally like giving speeches, but on this occasion she wanted to say thank you to Australia.

She intends to spend next year on tour with her husband, Keith Urban.

"You have to have a sort of gypsy experience, or life, when you are married to a musician. So I'll be traipsing around on a tour bus next year," she said.


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