A true ’90s power couple. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman‘s romance didn’t last, but their relationship remains a subject of fascination for movie fans around the world.
The Oscar winner and the Mission: Impossible actor met in early 1990 while filming Tony Scott‘s Days of Thunder, in which Cruise played race car driver Cole Trickle and Kidman appeared as his love interest, Dr. Claire Lewicki. Some critics thought the film was too similar to 1986’s Top Gun, which also starred Cruise under the direction of Scott, but the romance developing between its two young stars quickly eclipsed any negative press.
Less than one year after finalizing his divorce from Mimi Rogers, Cruise married Kidman in December 1990 during a private ceremony held on Christmas Eve. The low-key event was attended by their family members and held in Telluride, Colorado.
“I was so young when I got married,” Kidman told Red magazine in 2016, reflecting on her marriage to Cruise. The Moulin Rouge! actress was 23 at the time, while the Top Gun: Maverick producer was 28. “I look back now and I’m like, ‘What?'”
Shortly after their wedding, the couple worked together again on Ron Howard‘s drama Far and Away, which hit theaters in 1992. That same year, the duo adopted daughter Isabella shortly after her birth. In 1995, they adopted son Connor, who later starred in the films Seven Pounds and Red Dawn.
Cruise and Kidman collaborated for a third time on Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut, which premiered in 1999. “We were happily married through that,” the Hours actress told The New York Times in 2020, reflecting on where she stood with Cruise while making the controversial movie. “We would go go-kart racing after [intense] scenes. We’d rent out a place and go racing at three in the morning.”
Less than two years after the movie’s release, however, the couple announced their separation. “Citing the difficulties inherent in divergent careers which constantly keep them apart, they concluded that an amicable separation seemed best for both of them at this time,” a rep for the duo said in a February 2001 statement.
The Jerry Maguire actor later moved on with Penélope Cruz before marrying Katie Holmes in 2006. Cruise and the Dawson’s Creek alum, who share daughter Suri (born in 2006), split in 2012.
Kidman, for her part, was briefly engaged to Lenny Kravitz in 2003. In June 2006, she wed country star Keith Urban, with whom she shares daughters Sunday Rose (born in 2008) and Faith (born in 2010).
Despite the end of her relationship with Cruise, Kidman has said she’s not bothered by the perpetual interest in their romance.
“I was young. I think I offered it up?” the Big Little Lies alum told Harper’s Bazaar in September 2021 when asked whether the continued fascination bothers her. “Maybe I’ve gotten a bit more trepidatious, but I’m always trying to be as open as possible. I just prefer to live in the world that way.”
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