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    totally present for this.’ That’s a great thing to hear from a man,” says Kidman.

    At his concert on their wedding anniversary in Australia earlier this year, Urban dedicated a song to his wife with the words, ‘Eight years, baby girl. This song is for you. I love you so much.’ Even her friends, she says, were jealous of that one. “I had two girlfriends sitting with me and they were like, ‘Bitch!’” Kidman laughs. “I went, ‘Hey! I’ve been to hell and back!’”

    Hell was her 2001 divorce from actor Tom Cruise after 11 years of marriage and the loneliness she felt in its wake. She’s philosophical, though, about dealing with the pain. “Now I have the ability to go, ‘Okay, this too shall pass.’ Sometimes you’ve just got to navigate through pain and depression. Maybe you have a down day, but life is contrast. I’d rather feel it and know it.”

    Those downs are a long way away today, in the climatic and social warmth of Nashville. The glow of Kidman’s contentment is like

    “Sometimes you’ve just got to NAVIGATE through pain. LIFE is contrast. I’d rather feel it and KNOW it”

    warming your toes by a campfire, leaving you feeling inexplicably lighter. She laughs at the idea of her happiness being so compelling. “My girlfriend Naomi [Watts] said to me, ‘You’re always so positive.’ I said, ‘Am I? I don’t mean to be!’ She said, ‘No, no, it’s a good thing.’ I don’t know if it’s being happy per se, but I’m always able to flick it and go, ‘Things are pretty good.’”

    Will she reveal it then, that surefire route to contentment? “Snuggling,” she smiles. “Snuggling is the secret to happiness.” See, ordinary yet extraordinary. Long may the snuggling continue.
    Before I Go to Sleep is out Sept 5 (UK); October 31 (US)


    Art director: Jon Wetherell. Makeup: Angela Levine. Hair: Italo Gregorio. Fashion assistant: Leah Henken

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