“I was going to call him on his last night alive and I didn’t”: Nicole Kidman Had One Regret After Stanley Kubrick’s Death

Stanley Kubrick's death jarred Nicole Kidman in more ways than one after wrapping up the filming of Eyes Wide Shut in 1999.

Nicole Kidman and Stanley Kubrik
Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Blz


  • Stanley Kubrick was already suffering from a failing health even before the filming of Eyes Wide Shut.
  • Nicole Kidman was given the career of a lifetime by Stanley Kubrick with his daring final film, Eyes Wide Shut.
  • Nicole Kidman harbored one major regret due to not calling Stanley Kubrick on the eve of his death.
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One of the greatest visionary directors that Hollywood had the privilege of hosting, Stanley Kubrick revolutionized the process of filmmaking for the foreseeable future. The director of such instant classics as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and The Shining got around to claiming Tom Cruise, the biggest movie star in the world, in one of his movies shortly before his death.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) [Credit: Warner Bros.]
Eyes Wide Shut [Credit: Warner Bros.]

Although the collaboration was short-lived and tragically bookended, their project was anything but less than glorious. Their 1999 film, Eyes Wide Shut, categorized as an erotic mystery thriller, marked the end of an era – both for Kubrick and the deteriorating relationship between the lead glamorous couple, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman Recalls Her Great Stanley Kubrick Regret

At the advent of her career, the Australian model Nicole Kidman, with her wild red mane and tall lanky figure, was considered a far throw from a career in film and television. But Stanley Kubrick was not one to chase after looks. The director gave Kidman her big break in a film that established her as a movie star almost overnight.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Nicole Kidman (L) and Tom Cruise (R) in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) [Credit: Warner Bros.]

After the filming of Eyes Wide Shut was wrapped up and the cast was dismantled, Nicole Kidman revisited the days in the aftermath of the movie and her attempts to communicate with Kubrick on his final eve on Earth. During a Q&A before the screening of her film The Paperboy at the 2012 New York Film Festival, Kidman revealed [via Page Six]:

“One of the worst things was, I was going to call him on his last night alive and I didn’t. Instead I got a phone call the next day saying Stanley was dead. It was one of my great regrets that I didn’t call him that night.”

On 7th March 1999, Stanley Kubrick passed away at the age of 70 from a fatal heart attack merely 4 days after screening the final cut of Eyes Wide Shut. The film was released posthumously 6 months later on 3rd September 1999. Shortly after, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman separated and within two years, the power couple of the ’90s were divorced.

Nicole Kidman Cannot Forget Her First Kubrick Meeting

Stanley Kubrick [Photo Phillip A. Harrington, Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, 1949]
Stanley Kubrick photographed at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, 1949 [Photo by Phillip A. Harrington via Wikimedia Commons]

Despite the marvelous creative brain power that went behind all of Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre, Eyes Wide Shut remains one of his greatest. His massive deviation from depicting the horror of man and the sadism of the future was shunned in favor of a more realistic film.


Kidman, recalling the first time she met with Stanley Kubrick, reminisced:

“Tom and I went to his house and had dinner, and I remember I was nervous. I was able to sit on the floor of his office and be privy to so many things. It was like having a great, great teacher. I remember thinking he was frail, and if I were more intuitive I would have realized that he was not well.”

Despite Kidman’s regrets living on as a part of her memory, her performance in Eyes Wide Shut was truly phenomenal. Unfortunately, the film was not nominated for any Oscars, neither for acting nor for directing and film editing work.

Eyes Wide Shut is available for renting or buying on Apple TV and Prime Video.


Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1611

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has over 1600 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for music, Monet, and Van Gogh.