Country music star Keith Urban and Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman appear to be one of Hollywood’s most loved-up married couples. You see, the pair haven’t stopped gushing about each other since getting hitched in the mid-’00s. And while being interviewed by another celeb in 2020, Urban offered another loving insight into his high-profile relationship.
Urban was speaking on Armchair Expert, the hugely popular podcast co-hosted by comedic actor Dax Shepard. More than 200 famous faces have been interviewed by the Parenthood star alongside Emmy nominee Monica Padman since its launch in 2018. And the very first guest was none other than Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell.
It’s probably easier to name the A-listers who haven’t appeared on the podcast over the past few years. In 2020 alone Armchair Expert has attracted the likes of Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Melissa McCarthy, Alanis Morissette, Rob Lowe, 50 Cent, Ashton Kutcher and Matthew McConaughey. But in an interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Shepard revealed that the aim of the chat show was different to most.
Yes, the inspiration for Shepard’s podcast ambitions came from none other than the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program. He told the newspaper in 2019, “People who are sober have had to go through so much introspection and get so vulnerable. I wanted to give people the experience of an AA meeting without them having to become a drunk.”
Of course, Urban knows all too well about the demon drink. The country singer famously struggled with substance abuse during his rise to fame. And he had no qualms about discussing his addiction issues during his chat with Shepard and Padman. Unsurprisingly, Urban was more than happy to talk about his famous wife, too.
Urban’s two daughters with wife Kidman, Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret, also got a look in as well. The star revealed that despite both parents hailing from Down Under, the girls haven’t inherited their accents. He said, “I’m not aware of it, it’s just how they sound. I couldn’t picture them any other way… They sound like everybody else. They blend right in.”
Luckily, Urban also doesn’t have a problem with being outnumbered by women at his Nashville home, either. He added, “I grew up… me and my brother, mom and dad, no sisters, but somehow I just fit right into this family. It’s all females. We have a male dog… to balance things out… I love it.”
Urban then expanded on how much he likes his family set-up. He said, “I’m often grateful that I have two daughters because I don’t have to be involved in that father/son thing. That was very complicated for me and my dad… I just feel this great sense of relief that I don’t have to do any of that. I love having little girls and just being sweet with them and, you know, playing dolls and imagination and all this stuff.”
“It takes me giving more than I want to give to actually live this life I was trying to find.” That sounds like a lyric from one of Urban’s many country number one hits. But it was, in fact, what he told Shepard and Padman about the sobriety he’s maintained over the years. The singer went on to add, “I just was never giving enough, ever.”
Of course, Urban has never been afraid to open up about his problems with alcohol and drugs. It’s widely known that the star twice attended rehab and twice relapsed into his old partying ways. The Aussie has also freely admitted that it was only through the intervention of his famous wife that he finally managed to get clean.
The ability to make amends, in particular, has since helped Urban on his path to recovery. He told Armchair Expert listeners, “I was on the phone with somebody yesterday and I’d had a long day. It’s a bit stressed and I was a bit edgy and I got off the phone a bit abruptly and I’m like, ‘What an a**hole.’ I shouldn’t have done that. And I called the person right back and I just said, ‘I’m so sorry for that.’”
Shepard and Padman’s interview with Urban coincided with the release of his new studio effort. The Speed of Now Part 1 hit the shelves that same month. And if you listen to commercial radio you may already know that the record boasts a guest appearance from everyone’s favorite acrobatic pop singer Pink.
Urban told Armchair Expert why he split up the album into two parts. He said, “I just ended up recording too many songs… I’m not a fan of 25-song albums and I was struggling to figure out which ones should be on this record, kind of like who gets to be in the lifeboat and who doesn’t. Yeah, and I felt bad for the songs that didn’t get to go in a lifeboat, so I just had two lifeboats.”
The topic of American Idol also came up during the 80-minute chat. Urban spent four seasons on the judging panel of the TV talent show alongside the likes of Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. And Shepard admitted that the Fox hit was the first time that he’d truly paid attention to Urban as a personality.
Urban revealed that he enjoyed his American Idol stint as he knew what it was like to be at the other end of the process. The star recalled the Australian TV show Pot of Gold in which he featured when he was just nine years old. Urban admits that he was left both “humiliated” and “crushed” by its head judge Bernard King’s scathing verdict.
Shepard then asked why Urban’s Americanized singing accent differs dramatically from his Australian speaking voice. The hitmaker replied, “Well I mean, it’s all to do with the music [that] we grew up being indoctrinated by for sure. I mean, all the blues cats in America influencing all the English guys. I used to get that question a lot.” Of course, many listeners were most interested in hearing what he had to say about his marriage to Kidman.
But how did the two even meet in the first place? Well, the Antipodeans first started talking at a gala named G’Day USA in 2005. Yet it’s fair to say that sparks didn’t immediately fly. In 2017 Kidman told Ellen on her self-titled TV chat show, “I remember thinking, I had such a crush on him, and he wasn’t interested in me. It’s true! He didn’t call me for four months.”
A year later Urban explained to Aussie TV talk show Interview why he’d played it so cool. “I wasn’t in a very healthy place in my life. I’d never have thought she’d see anything in a guy like me. But at some point, I plucked up the courage to call those numbers and she answered, and we started talking and we talked and talked and talked and talked and it was effortless.”
Things blossomed from there and Kidman later told People magazine that she knew Urban was the one when he whisked her away for a 38th-birthday visit to Woodstock. She said, “I believed by that point he was the love of my life. Maybe that’s because I am deeply romantic, or I’m an actress, or I have strong faith as well. But I just believed, ‘Oh, okay, here he is.’”
Later that same year the pair said ‘I do’ at a star-studded ceremony attended by Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. After helping her new husband to get clean, Kidman told Vanity Fair magazine that she and Urban were made for each other. The Oscar winner said, “I would probably say that two very lonely people managed to meet at a time when they could open themselves to each other. We were a mixture of frightened and brave.”
Kidman and Urban then became parents together for the first time in 2008 with the birth of Sunday Rose. Of course, the former was already a mom, having adopted two kids, Conner and Isabella, during her marriage to Tom Cruise. She and Urban then completed their family unit three years later with the arrival of daughter Faith Margaret.
Mind you, if Kidman could go back in time her brood would be much bigger. In 2015 she told Vogue magazine, “I wish I could have met [Keith] much earlier and had way more children with him, but I didn’t. I mean, if I could have had two more children with him, that would have been just glorious.”
Urban proved to be a rock for Kidman when her father died in 2014, as she explained in a chat with Ellen. The Cold Mountain actress said, “He has been so good to me for nine years. But for the last sort of month – which has been a really tough time for me – when you have your partner who just literally carries you through a tough time, he’s been amazing to me.”
Kidman couldn’t stop gushing about Urban in a 2019 interview with TV show Entertainment Tonight, either. She said, “I have the most extraordinary partner in life. I will always say that about him. I’m one of the very fortunate women in the world to have had a wonderful father, and I have a wonderful husband, and I’m just very – I love to be able to say that because to talk about the good men that have influenced me and affected me.”
But the compliments certainly haven’t all been one way. In 2020 Urban told Apple Music DJ Zane Lowe that Kidman has had a positive impact on his work. The Grammy winner said, “What I’ve learned from her is to be more fearless in artistry and go for the curious place that you want to go to as an artist and don’t question it. Her whole thing is like, ‘Oh I’m interested in that. I’m going to go over there.’”
Urban continued, “It’s not like, ‘Oh, can I do it? Should I do it?’ None of that ever comes into it. She just goes towards something and I’m like, ‘Can you do that?’ She goes, ‘I don’t know, but I’m interested in that.’ That fearlessness, and it’s actually not even fearlessness. Fear doesn’t come into it. It’s only curiosity. It’s pure curiosity. She just goes without questioning it.”
As well as sparking Urban’s creative curiosity, Kidman has also inspired him as a lyricist. In a 2019 chat with iNews, the New Zealand-born star revealed that his track “Gemini” was written in his wife’s honor. Despite lines such as “She’s a maniac in the bed/But a brainiac in her head,” Kidman is said to have been bowled over by the tribute.
Thankfully, Urban was a little more romantic in describing his wife of 14 years when he appeared on Armchair Expert. The country singer acknowledged that he’d had to “rise to the occasion” when he fell head-over-heels in love with Kidman. “She’s just the one, that was it.” And the heartfelt sentiments didn’t end there, either.
Urban continued, “She’s the one that I was searching for my whole life, and everything not only changed but had to change in me if I was going to go that road. It felt like an ultimate fork-in-the-road moment in my life. It was literally like, ‘You either get this right now, or you are never, ever going to get it right. This is your one shot.’”
“Obvious” was the word Urban used to describe his decision to change for the sake of his relationship. He went on to add, “I knew where I was going, and I was going into the light, finally. It was everything I was looking for and then some. Beyond, just beyond.”
Things continued to get real when Shepard discussed the issue of jealousy in a relationship. The Employee of the Month star admitted himself that he’d sometimes found it difficult to deal with his wife Bell, whose credits include Veronica Mars and The Good Place, enjoying more career success than him. But Urban claimed that this was simply not an issue for him.
Urban explained that career success is “only one of the things that is being brought home to contribute to the family. It’s a big one, but there’s so many other things that I can bring that help and blossom the family and protect it and take care of it and grow it, not just fiscally. So I bring everything I can most of the time.”
Just a month after his Armchair Expert interview, Urban proved once again that he’s nothing but supportive of his wife’s career. The country singer took to Instagram in October 2020 to help big up Kidman’s new TV series The Undoing. Alongside a promotional photo of the HBO show, Urban also gave his followers an early review.
A highly enthusiastic Urban captioned the Instagram story, “There’s nothing like a thriller. Who did it? What is going on? Addictive excellence! Congrats to you baby and all the incredible cast. The Undoing.” And according to Kidman, the “But for the Grace of God” singer isn’t normally one to offer false praise.
In an interview with Marie Claire magazine, Kidman explained that Urban had seen several previews of the show and was already hooked. She said, “Keith loved the whole series, and he is brutally honest. He didn’t fall asleep. He just kept saying, ‘When can I watch the next one?’ And I kept saying, ‘Well, not tonight, not tonight,’ and [he] kept begging for another one, which was kind of nice.”
It’s perhaps a good job that Urban was so enamored with the show, as his two daughters are in it, too. Mind you, it’s unlikely that anyone but their nearest and dearest would spot them. Faith and Sunday only appear as extras in the HBO show, in which their mother plays a therapist whose life dramatically unfolds.
Sunday and Faith’s roles may well have only been small but Kidman claims that her two daughters were still ultimate professionals on set. She told website News.com.au, “They’re used to being extras. But they did five days in the freezing New York cold, never complained, and didn’t get any special treatment.”
The fall of 2020 appears to have been a busy period for the Aussie power couple. Alongside Kidman’s new HBO series, The Undoing, and Urban’s new album, The Speed of Now Part 1, there was also a birthday in the family. And it was celebrated in heartwarming fashion on Instagram.
Yes, Urban turned 53 in October 2020. And Kidman let everyone know with a sweet pic of the couple having fun at a space center. She captioned the image, “Happy birthday my love! Love is in the air.” None other than Jennifer Aniston was the first star to give the post a like.
The pair are no stranger to displays of public affection on Instagram. Earlier on in the year Kidman commemorated their 14th wedding anniversary by uploading a black-and-white pic to the photo-sharing platform. Urban also posted a beachside snap of the couple together captioned, “Happy Anniversary Baby! 14 years… and I feel like your boyfriend in all the right ways!”