En raccrochant le téléphone avec la délicieuse chargée de relations publiques de la marque Omega, Adriana, je contemplais ces quelques mots notés durant la conversation sur le carnet de courtoisie de l’hôtel Ritz : « 10h30 Conférence de presse avec Nicole Kidman« .
Des mots qui contiennent plus d’adrénaline dans l’esprit d’une fashionista, que l’achat d’une nouvelle paire de stilettos. Pincez-moi les filles je rêve : j’étais sur le point de rencontrer une star oscarisée et de découvrir les nouvelles montres dames auxquelles elle prête son image.
Et quelle image! Arrivée en se déplaçant avec l’élégance d’une liane, avec la folle allure d’un mélange de tailleur en tweed sagement boutonné associé d’escarpins rock contrastés, l’actrice avait le plus naturellement du monde, un rayonnement fascinant. Oui au delà de la séduction universellement reconnue que peut présenter ce type de femme élancée d’1m80 à la peau, au regard et à la chevelure clairs, c’est d’avantage son aura que je trouvais sur l’instant, réellement captivante. Un peu comme un rayon de soleil entre dans une pièce sombre, en souriant. Disponible d’éclat et de luminosité tout en étant fidèle à Omega, depuis des années.
Quand on imagine avec quelle insistance les marques du monde entier doivent solliciter Nicole Kidman à les porter, et combien il serait simple pour elle comme un accessoire d’en changer, on mesure à quel point sa fidélité était ici personnifiée. Présente par choix et par conviction, jusqu’à nous partager d’avoir offert récemment à sa propre soeur un modèle qui l’enchanta, une Ladymatic c’est évident : the Nicole’s choice.
Moins starifié et pourtant initiateur de ce mariage de style, Stephen Urquhart, Président de la marque, m’accorda le plaisir d’un moment en sa compagnie, un véritable privilège, de pouvoir l’entendre me parler de cette marque qu’il chérit et de son bonheur à en exhausser un luxe exquis par la présence complice de Nicole à ses cotés tout en partageant avec elle des valeurs communes.
Car Nicole est bien plus qu’un testimonial publicitaire, c’est une cliente convaincue, qui souhaite témoigner de sa joie à porter cette montre qui lui ressemble. Au point qu’étant pourtant ambassadrice accomplie, elle s’efface d’elle-même derrière cette montre qu’elle valorise sans l’éteindre. En effet, elle porte la Ladymatic comme un flambeau: historique, émotionnel, horloger, artisanal. Très présente et pourtant en retrait, douce mais vive, complice sans écraser, d’avantage soucieuse de partager que de s’approprier.
Et la voici ainsi en conférence de presse, offrant cette montre en vedette comme la plus accomplie des journalistes, répondant aux questions avec rires et entrain, témoignant de son histoire avec le produit pour lequel elle vibre d’émotion. Toute une palette d’attitudes offertes qui me firent penser que, véritablement, Nicole Kidman aurait fait une excellente bloggeuse, probablement la meilleure.
★ Les nouveautés shootées dans le salon d’à coté sur fond de mes propres accessoires :
★ L’interview de Nicole Kidman :
Master of Ceremonies, Austrian/German actor Maximilian Simonischek, welcomed Nicole Kidman and Stephen Urquhart to the stage. His first question was addressed to Mr Urquhart.
MS = Maximilian Simonischek; NK = Nicole Kidman; SU = Stephen Urquhart
MS: One of the main arguments in favour of Ladymatic at the time it was launched was that it was designed for women who care as much about what’s inside the watch as in its external design. Your marketing and advertising campaigns tend not to focus much on the movement. Has it been decided that the watch’s technology is, at the end of the day, not an important selling point for women?
SU: No, to the contrary. The idea for Ladymatic was to have a mechanical watch that was designed for ladies. You know, OMEGA has a long history of watches that were designed for men – the Speedmaster has been to the Moon, etc. We had this fantastic movement – the Co-Axial calibre 8520/8521 – and we wanted to put it in a case that a lady could appreciate.
The mechanical movement is a very important part of the message but talking about it too much in a campaign like this one would defeat the purpose. The movement itself is very difficult to describe in an advertisement – the boutiques can deliver the message of quality and innovation when people have been attracted by the emotional aesthetic appeal of our campaign.
In terms of a marketing message, we have Nicole Kidman being our spokesperson for Ladymatic. That is the main argument. The movement is something much more discreet and below the line that can be explained much more in our Boutiques.
People are drawn into our stores by the beautiful images of Nicole and the watch and once there, they will be impressed by the quality of the movement and the watch’s performance.
Q: What was your first watch? And are you punctual?
NK: My first watch because of my generation was a Swatch watch; I’ve moved up. I started working when I was 14 and punctuality is something that’s really important to me in terms of when I’m on set. I like to have my own watch on – I don’t want to be asking other people what time it is. Working in the film industry as a child, you learn to be on time. I was taught a very strong work ethic that included punctuality, which I’ve always felt is a sign of respect for others.
Q: What does a woman’s choice of watch say about her?
I suppose it’s the equivalent to shoes and bags in a way. You can be funky; you can be quirky, or you can be very straight down the line – in terms of the watch and the band as well. It’s interesting and I think now it’s a very important fashion accessory. I enjoy it. And I enjoy that it does allow you to map out your day in terms of time. So it’s practical but it’s also very beautiful. And I also like that you can go underwater with it (laughter).
Q : Before you leave for a red carpet event, do your husband and daughters weigh in on what you’ve worn – and have you ever changed your mind about what you’re wearing based on their input.
NK: I tend to solicit the opinions of all three of them even though one of them is only two. I’ve actually changed when my husband said something’s not great. A lot of times, I look in the mirror and see something different. He likes natural and he likes something that’s “not so ‘done’ ”, which I would say speaks for a lot of men. I’ve definitely changed my style since I’ve been with him as well.
Q: LM is mechanical. Do you have a relation to mechanical watches?
NK: I really like the mastery and the way OMEGA is so particular about how they make the watches. I’ve toured and seen a lot of the work that they do on the watches. And I also think that in terms of reliability, you don’t want something that’s going to be taken in and be repaired frequently. You want something with this level of quality that they’re very proud of. Am I right, Stephen?
SU: You expressed it perfectly. And if you had to repair it, you could repair it in fifty years’ time – that’s important.
Q: There are a lot of watch brands out there and I wanted to ask why you decided to represent OMEGA as brand ambassador?
NK: Eight years ago, when they approached me I was really honoured. I was thinking about what a great company they are. To be with a company for eight years is a big part of my life in a way. They’re amazing to work for and as you would all know, they take very good care of you. They’re also philanthropic and have been incredibly supportive of a lot of the work I do with UN Women. They’ve always reached out for that and tried to help with that, which is amazing. I’m actually very grateful.
Q: Nowadays, people work so hard that they don’t have time to do other things. Do you think that having control over your own time is a kind of luxury in modern life?
NK: I think that particularly as you get older, time is the most precious thing. You can’t buy it; you can’t get it back so how you spend it in terms of your life – that becomes the most important thing. I have a certain amount of control. I have young children so I’m very aware of how I allocate my time in terms of films and work. Time’s getting less and less, you know? Hopefully I’ll be sitting here at ninety talking to you but you never know. As you get older, particularly if you have parents who are aging, mortality becomes such an important part of our conversation and therefore, the choices that you make. Particularly, what I’m doing now is allocating time to travel to see my parents. All of those things that in my twenties wouldn’t have been so important have now become incredibly important. It’s a very strange thing to discuss time on a sort of a philosophical level, but I do love discussing how time is either nothing or everything.
Q: You took part in this amazing campaign. What was interesting and what was the most difficult part of the campaign?
NK: Peter is so easy. I don’t know if you know him but he’s so easy. He’s obviously one of the great photographers and when they asked who we’d want to work with, Peter was once again the first choice. There’s something modern about him and he knows how to photograph, and how to make it authentic and fun.
SU: In fact the TV spot was made as a behind-the-scenes film of the photo shoot and when we saw it, we knew that we could make the commercial with it. He’s so creative that we knew we could make a 30-second and 60-second TV spot with the footage.
NK: Yeah, the TV commercial was the film that was made not as a TV commercial – we were just shooting footage of the photo-shoot. And suddenly they could put something together with what we had but that’s to do with how Peter does his sets and prepares his studio. He’s an artist and there are probably only nine or ten of them in the world who are of that calibre so we were lucky to get him.
Q: As you mentioned, it’s all about timekeeping and time saving. What’s your favourite waste of time?
NK: Daydreaming. I’m still a huge believer in daydreaming. I love lying around with no book or anything – just having my mind. I used to do it as a kid and I still do it. When I do, it’s when I come up with ideas. It’s creative time and it’s something I try to create for my children. We tend to schedule so much for our children and I try not to do that. So much of your creative life comes from lying around in your bedroom, or in the backyard or on your back in the pool looking up at the sky. Those times as a child are so important. I remember them vividly. And probably as an adult, they are still times that I would rate as the great moments in my life. I remember I used to lie on the grass and dream of being an astronaut. That didn’t happen.
SU: But it’s a good link to OMEGA (laughter).
Q: What facets of Ladymatic are reflected in your own personality? Also, you mentioned last night that Sunday wanted an OMEGA . . .
NK: She just wants a watch. She wants any watch. She has this obsession of wanting a watch, which, as a four-year-old, is fascinating. It represents being a grownup. I just love the Ladymatic because people notice it and they go, “Wow”. I haven’t experienced that before. I think men comment on each other’s watches a lot but I think women don’t notice as much. But with this watch, I’ve had so many people comment; and I just recently bought one for my sister. Her husband said to me, “You’ve done me in.” He didn’t know how to match it somehow. I think the impact of the watch is pretty extraordinary. It’s gorgeous.
Q: Time is not always kind to women working in Hollywood. You said once that after the Grace Kelly, that was it. But you told us yesterday that you are currently filming in London so nothing is stopping you right now?
NK: When I had Sunday, I took a long time off my schedule. And it was my mother and my husband who said not to give up my career. I was in a place of contentment. I kind of thought I don’t need to keep doing this. My mom, who is a huge driving force in my life, and my husband both said, “You still have things inside you. You should still pursue them or in the next few decades you’re going to wish you had maintained it.” Not to the degree that I used to do it because that takes an enormous amount of commitment, but I knew I could do the occasional thing. And then “Grace” came along which was an opportunity to work with Olivier Dahan and be able to go to France and spend a long time there, which was fantastic. And then to go to England – I’ve spent pretty much the last year in Europe and that’s been wonderful. I’m doing work but it also allows my children to constantly broaden themselves because they’re travelling and seeing a lot of the world. And I’m glad I didn’t completely abandon it and I’m trying to balance, which is what I used to not be able to do. I was far more of an extremist and right now I’m trying to keep a lot more balance in my life. I don’t think I said I was going to give it up after Grace . . . I think I told Lars von Trier that I was going to give up filming when I was forty but he texted me and said, “Hmm. You’re still working.”
Q: O has been associated with the environment. Daniel Craig has used his position to draw attention to ORBIS International. Is there something you would like to support as a brand ambassador?
NK: We support UN Women and particularly combatting violence against women which is something that I’ve been involved in now for over a decade. It’s a huge problem in the world. We’ve travelled and have done big events where Omega has made substantial contributions to the campaign to helping women’s rights on the planet and a lot of it goes towards eradicating violence against women.
Q: In your career, you have played many different and complex roles, often as mothers. How has your vision changed as a woman and as a mother. Do you think that in ancient and modern times, being only a mother might be not enough to reach happiness?
NK: Oh, these are big questions. I think it’s different for every woman – what fulfils you and what fulfils you in terms of what you want to achieve and the purposes in life. I would never assume any position except in relation to myself. I never thought I would get to experience motherhood in terms of giving birth to a child. I’ve experienced many different types of how to become a mother because I have adopted children, and I have a birth child and a child through a surrogate and the greatest joys to me have come from my children. About six years ago, I moved to Nashville and I thought, “I think I’m done now” in terms of my career and I thought “that’s it for me”. My mother said I don’t think you should be done right now; I actually think you should keep a toe in the water and not give up your work, your creative life. She said, “As a woman, I wish I’d done more with my life in terms of my career and I’m encouraging you not to abandon it. And that was fantastic advice that probably only a mother could give. And now I’m far more balanced; I was far more extreme when I was in my twenties. I have a more balanced life and there’s definitely a lot more happiness and joy because of it. The greatest joy for me is from the simplest things, which come from daydreaming, spending time with my family and also then being able to delve into the psyches of different characters and work with extraordinary people. That’s the great thing about being an actor – you do have access to some of the greatest minds in the world. And therefore, your horizons are opened. Part of my quest is to live a well examined life. I’m very grateful that I was given the advice of keeping my toe in the water in terms of my career.
Q: You and Keith have been married for nearly 7 years. Can you tell me how you intend to celebrate? I’ve read reports that you’re going to renew your wedding vows.
NK: My mother called me and asked “Are you renewing your vows?” and I said no so . . . I don’t know where it came from.
Q: What does marriage mean to you now with a distance of seven years?
NK I’ve always wanted a partner in life – that’s just who I am. I’m not a loner. I like to have my partner to go through life with and I’ve been very fortunate to find him. It doesn’t matter how we celebrate it; I just don’t take any date for granted in a relationship. I think that’s the greatest advice you can be given – that as much as you say you’re married, you can never take it for granted. It’s something you work at and it’s something that you constantly create. I try to stay in a humble part. I’ll do everything I can to make it last but sometimes I’m humbled by it that I’ve actually found it.
Q: We had this wonderful event last night. For what reason did you leave the event early?
NK: So I could be here to work! You have to understand that I usually go to bed at 21:30. That was a really great night for me! To leave something early? To be honest, I don’t go to many parties. I prefer being at home I prefer to have people over. I’m not a good cook. I like somebody coming over and cooking because I’m not real good at it. I’m really good at enjoying the food. I suppose like the home life. I like entertaining in my home. I’m not so much of a party person even though I used to like going to clubs when I was younger.
Q: Have you found yourself drawn into what’s under the bonnet of the watch? Do women start to appreciate as much what’s inside the case as they do the beauty on the outside?
NK: I do think women now comment on each other’s watches more and I think there’s a greater appreciation for watches; it was more of a male thing. Now, I do think there’s an interest in watches for women and there certainly is for me. I have a particular interest in vintage watches and OMEGA has an incredible collection of them which I’ve been allowed to wear every now and then. I find them exquisite, particularly when they’re built into the jewellery. Ever since I was little and I started collecting vintage jewellery, I always looked at watches. My mother’s first piece of jewellery that was passed on to me was my grandfather’s pocket watch. So it’s quite a part of my life.
Q: I have two questions: if Ladymatic is a Lady, how would you describe this lady? In all the roles you have played, which would you associate with Ladymatic? Grace Kelly? Your characters in Australia or Eyes Wide Shut?
NK: I suppose if I had to use words to describe Ladymatic as a woman, it would be smart, elegant, and easy-going.
SU: I think the words “Nicole Kidman” would be the best.
NK: The film probably be Grace. That’s hard to say – if you say “Eyes Wide Shut”, I don’t know if she would have had a Ladymatic but she certainly would have had an OMEGA watch.
Q: Why was Vienna chosen to launch these particular models? Is there anything that Vienna possesses that you associate with a lady or something very feminine?
SU: Regarding Vienna, we wanted to do it in Europe. The obvious choices were London or Paris or maybe Rome. But we thought it would be good to do something in the heart of Europe, in the German-speaking part which is over 100 million people. We thought Vienna was most appropriate with its culture and in view of its history. I think this building and the Gartenpalais are great examples of what this city can offer in terms of atmosphere. Concerning the event last night, I think Nicole can answer that.
NK: it was gorgeous. I get to have a lovely time on a weekend in Vienna. When do you go and have a dinner like that? It was like walking into a magical fairyland, which is what OMEGA does for an event like this but I felt that one was the best I’ve been to. It was fun for me. I had a chance to mingle and to enjoy people. I’ve been making a film in London for the last six weeks. This was a little sojourn that I was happy to have!
Q: What’s your feeling about the launch in 2010 compared to this one in 2013?
NK: I’m glad it’s been so successful. It’s been a successful watch, which is difficult right now. I know from wearing it and how people react to it that it’s an extraordinary watch. I literally have people stop me and ask about it. It shows what an impact it makes. . I think this one now is gorgeous with the way they’ve combined rose gold and the steel is beautiful.
SU: The fact that we can do another event two and a half years later – A) with Nicole and B) with basically the same watch is really a sign that it’s a perfect match and the message that shows how successful it is. Maybe later we’ll do another Ladymatic event somewhere else in South America or somewhere.
Q: Nicole, when will you come to China again?
NK: Hopefully soon. I’m hoping that Grace Kelly, the movie will be shown in China. I would love to come over to launch that if it’s allowed to be screened there. It would be a great movie to show in China. Hopefully the film will be shown there and I’d love to come there to launch it, hopefully around November or December. Fingers crossed.
Q: As an OMEGA brand ambassador, what’s the most important character of the brand?
NK: The quality and the longevity – they’re a company that has existed for so long and their watches are impeccable in terms of the quality and reliability.
Q: You mentioned last night that you had made trips to Vienna and that nobody knew about them. When was that?
NK: I used to come here on the weekend when I was doing a film in Bratislava. I could come to town privately with my children. Nobody knew we were here, which is a nice way to see a city. It was about ten years ago.
Q: What do you remember about it?
Beautiful music. We used to go and listen to classical music. I remember going to hear a beautiful symphony one night. We would just come here to relax and look at art. And wander around the street. They’re really nice memories – peaceful.
Q: For a world-famous actress on the one hand and for a for a watch brand on the other, how important is it for you to stay timeless?
NK: I don’t know how you stay timeless but just know that time is precious. I’m particular about how I spend my time. I’m making a film so to be invited here to be with friends to be able to spend time with OMEGA and that beautiful dinner last night and seeing the palace – I wish I had time but I have to be back at work on Monday morning. But I was really charmed to arrive and see the falling. It’s really strange at the end of March.
Q: Did you choose Vienna for the presentation?
NK: No. But they chose Vienna, which is great. I do plan to come back here but not to work. I’m working in London so I’m in close proximity so I’ve gotten some restaurant recommendations.
Q: Nicole Kidman has been the face of OMEGA for eight years now, at a time that everything else is changing very quickly.
SU: I think it’s very important to have continuity. We have tended to stick with our ambassadors over the years and we’re very happy that Nicole has been with us. She has joined us at a number of events – she was with us at the Olympic Games in Vancouver and London and she’ll be in Sochi and Rio as well. Every event is different. To maintain a long-term, on-going partnership like this is very important for the brand.
Q: What kind of movie are you making in London?
NK: It’s called Before I go to Sleep, an English thriller. It’s with Colin Firth. I haven’t made a thriller for a while; it’s a really strong script. I just finished playing Grace Kelly so I’ve spent an enormous amount of time in Europe in the last year which has been fantastic because I used to live here. Ten years ago, I was basically based in Europe and most of my films were European-based. And then I went back to the states met husband and had children. So to be back in Europe now for a long period of time feels like coming back in a way so it’s nice to be here and I’ve really enjoyed it and hopefully I’ll be able to spend some more time here.
Q: Do you know our famous actors and directors?
NK: I think I’ve declared myself publicly as desperate to work with Michael Haneke. I’ll keep declaring that. But my favourite film of last year was Amour. It was the masterpiece to come out of last year in terms of filmmaking. So you’re lucky to call him your own.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to do in Vienna?
NK: I wish I could have looked around more. I love flea markets and would love to have gone to the Easter market. I have to get back to London because I have to be at work punctually at 6 a.m. on Monday morning.