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Nicole Kidman walks red carpet for Lion

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Danielle McGrane

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Nicole Kidman, who plays the mother of an adopted son in the new film Lion, has spoken about what it takes to raise children.

The actress walked the red carpet in Sydney for the film's Australian premiere, hand-in-hand with husband Keith Urban with whom she has two daughters.

But as the mother of two adopted children with ex-husband Tom Cruise, Kidman talked about how she related to her character - based on Sue Brierly, who adopted two sons from India.

"I related to when she talks about so many things in the film, but her maternal force I think is the thing I really relate to most strongly, and that idea of it takes a village to raise children and, good love is good love," Kidman told AAP on the red carpet on Monday night.

Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham arrive ahead of the Australian premiere of LION. © Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham arrive ahead of the Australian premiere of LION. Lion is based on a book by Saroo Brierley, charting his extraordinary true life story of becoming lost as a child in India, subsequently being adopted by an Australian couple and brought to Tasmania at the age of five.

In later life, he used Google Earth to track down his biological family.

The actress has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG award for her portrayal of Saroo's mother Sue in the film directed by Australian Garth Davis, and says she knew almost immediately that this was a special role.

"When I read the script initially I just thought this was a beautiful story and I knew Garth's talent, and I think when you see what Garth has done with the film, and Luke Davies wrote such a great screenplay, so I was just really happy to be asked to be in it," Kidman said.

Nicole Kidman poses for the photog. © Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Nicole Kidman poses for the photog. Actor Dev Patel, who plays Saroo, said he noticed how this was a personal role for Kidman.

"She's a mother with adopted children, so I'd been prepping for a long time but you could say this had been in her DNA for all her life in a way. So it's very personal," Patel said.

Saroo Brierley and his adopted parents, Sue and John, attended the Australian premiere and Patel, the star of Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, explained what it was like to portray a real person on screen.

"There's a lot more anxiety and pressure going into it, but it provides you with a lot of inspiration and strength knowing that those words that you've spoken are sacred," he said.

"They were once a real conversation between a mother and a son... and it makes it sacred in a way."

* Lion opens in Australian cinemas on January 19

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