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EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Kidman on Reevaluating Priorities and Gaining a 'Real Life' After Father's Death

ETOnline logo ETOnline 4/01/2017 Raphael Chestang

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This week, Nicole Kidman returned to the Palm Springs International Film Festival for the first time since her father's death.

"Last time I was here, I was making a lot of movies and I was single," Kidman told ET, acknowledging that it's been 12 years since she walked the PSIFF red carpet. "I was here with my dad last time, and I have photos walking up the red carpet with my dad, holding his hand."

Dr Antony Kidman - a clinical psychologist at the University of Technology Sydney - died unexpectedly in September 2014 after he fell while on vacation in Singapore.

ET was with the Oscar winner and her father when they attended the PSIFF in 2005. That year, Nicole was presented with the organisation's highest honour, the Chairman's Award, and Antony was clearly pleased with his daughter's accomplishments.

"I'm very proud," he told ET, adding that the distinction was "well deserved."

"Unbelievable that was 12 years ago," Nicole said after watching ET's flashback footage. "But I've also found love and I have a family and grown a family. I have four children now. Amazing things have happened to me in the past 12 years."

The 49-year-old actress married her current husband, Keith Urban, in 2006. The couple are parents to eight-year-old daughter Sunday and six-year-old daughter Faith, but Nicole also has a daughter (Isabella, 24) and an adopted son (Connor, 21) from her previous marriage to Tom Cruise.

Kidman credited her family, especially Urban, with helping her through the grieving process after her father's death.

"I had a husband that came right back," she told CBS last month. "I called him screaming and crying. And he was about to go onstage. And he walked offstage and he got on a plane - he had just gotten there... He literally picked me up and pretty much carried me through the next two weeks."

"I had my children going, 'It's gonna be all right, Momma,'" Kidman added.

Kidman also told ET that losing her father gave her a clearer perspective on her priorities.

"I reevaluated what I wanted out of life, and I got a real life, if that makes sense," she said.

On Monday, Kidman's Lion co-star, Dev Patel, presented her with the International Star Award.

The Big Little Lies actress collected her prize after ringing in the New Year onstage with her husband on Saturday.

"He was like, 'Come on, baby. I want you to come out and dance around or sing with me,'" Kidman said of their Nashville performance. "On the spur of the moment I was like, 'All right! I'll go!' So I sort of ran out onstage dancing around."

Kidman already has plenty to dance about in 2017. Her Lion performance has garnered critical acclaim and plenty of awards show attention.

In the film, she plays Sue Brierley, a woman who - along with her husband, John Brierley (David Wenham) - adopts a young boy lost in Calcutta named Saroo (Patel). When Saroo grows up, he begins a search to find the family he disappeared from as a child.

As an adoptive mother, the story hit close to home.

"I think I really connect with Sue," Kidman told ET. "When particular roles come along at particular times and they align directly with your own personal feelings then it's sort of like you just give over to it. It's almost like you just step out of the way and let everything else do the work."

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