Nicole Kidman: Being honoured at AFI is ‘a little overwhelming’ as an introvert

Australian actress Nicole Kidman has described a ceremony where she received the American Film Institute (AFI) life achievement award as “a little overwhelming” – but reiterated her gratitude for the honour.

Hollywood stars including Morgan Freeman, Naomi Watts and Reese Witherspoon appeared on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscar-winning actress, who became the 49th recipient of the award – the highest honour for a career in film at the AFI – arrived in a glittering golden dress.

49th AFI Life Achievement Award – Arrivals
Nicole Kidman arrives at the 49th AFI life achievement award (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/PA)

The Moulin Rouge star was the first Australian actor to receive the accolade and joins a star-studded roster of previous recipients including Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Robert De Niro.

Kidman, who said she has an introverted personality, told the PA news agency on the carpet: “It’s a little overwhelming.

“I want to be able to appreciate it and show that I love it, and that I am so grateful, but I’m a little awkward, that’s just my personality, I’m sometimes shy.”

Kidman described it as “everything short-circuits in me”.

The 56-year-old continued: “As an actor that’s what we do, we act as actors, we’re given scripts, we have direction, we collaborate.

“So, the idea of being by yourself … but I’ll always rise to the occasion and I’m so grateful to be on this list.”

49th AFI Life Achievement Award – Show
Nicole Kidman is helped down the stairs after being introduced to the audience during the tribute gala (Chris Pizzello/AP)

Kidman added that she wanted everyone to know she is “incredibly grateful and appreciative”.

The actress was scheduled to be presented with the award on June 10 last year but the ceremony was postponed indefinitely due to the writers’ strike, which was resolved in September after 146 days on the picket line.

Kidman has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning the best actress Oscar in 2003 for her performance in The Hours alongside three-time Oscar winner Streep.

During her career, she has also won a Bafta, two Emmys, and six Golden Globe awards.