Oprah: Are your children usually with you on the set?

Nicole: While I was working on Moulin Rouge [the 2001 film for which she received an Oscar nomination], my children [Isabella, 9, and Connor, 7, whom she adopted with Tom Cruise] wanted to be there. But they usually get bored very quickly on a set.

Oprah: So on The Hours set, Virginia Woolf wasn't turning them on?

Nicole: They didn't like my new look! [Kidman wore a prosthetic nose to look more like Virginia Woolf.] When I took my kids to see a movie the other night, Connor saw a poster for The Hours and said, "I don't like that nose." He was like, "Uh-uh!"

Meryl: Children don't usually like their mothers to change anything, really.

Julianne: And they prefer you to be at home.

Meryl: And when your kids come home, they don't necessarily want to talk to you—they just want to know you're standing there ready to talk.

Julianne: When my son, Caleb, saw that same poster, he said, "I don't like that movie because there's another little boy in it."

Nicole: Oh, yes—they do get jealous of other kids playing your children.

Julianne: My son told his grandmother, "When I see that poster, I feel like my mommy is not my mommy." That was so upsetting to me!

Meryl: When I was learning Polish for Sophie's Choice [the 1982 film for which Streep won a Best Actress Oscar], my son used to say, "No Poshish, Mommy." I could only practice in the car on the way to work.

Oprah: What has motherhood taught you?

Meryl: Humility.

Nicole: Patience—and that I really don't have all the answers.

Meryl: Gratitude toward my own mother.

Julianne: Yes. When you become a parent, you finally appreciate and understand what your mother did. It's such a gift. You think, You felt this way about me? It's astonishing.


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