Nicole Kidman Proves She Can Clap Normally on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The award-winning actress opens up on Ellen about the success of Big Little Lies, being a woman in Hollywood and more

By Alana Moskowitz May 09, 2017 6:55 PMTags

We've got to hand it to Nicole Kidman—she knows how to laugh at herself!

Despite being the star of a show about murder, the Academy Award-winning actress definitely has a sense of humor. Kidman was all smiles on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday as she talked with Ellen DeGeneres about her successful HBO miniseries Big Little Lies (which will almost certainly be up for an Emmy this year) and the hilariously awkward moment at the 2017 Oscars when she seemingly forgot how to clap.

We just can't get enough of Big Little Lies, and neither can Kidman!

The show not only stars Kidman and her bestie Reese Witherspoon, but it's executive produced by them, too. They acted alongside other A-list stars like Zoë Kravitz, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern. Naturally, we were sold on this star-studded (and aesthetically gorgeous) beachfront thriller from the start. That said, not even the show's creators anticipated just how big Big Little Lies was going to be!


"It was weird, because when it first came out, I remember kinda going, 'Oh, I was hoping it would be a little more successful. Maybe it's not gonna hit the place I really want it to hit.' And then it just started to snowball!" Kidman said.

"I was suddenly being recognized on airports and in airplanes, and women were coming up to me in the streets asking about the characters and what's coming up next," the actress said, adding that husband Keith Urban's friends would text her to confess they were staying in and ordering pizza just to make sure they didn't miss the show.

Which Big Little Lies Mom Are You? Take Our Handy Quiz
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Big Little Lies isn't the only major success the actress has had in the last year, as she was also nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Lion.

Unfortunately, her performance at the Oscars nearly overshadowed her film role.

"Lion, as you said, was up for an Academy Award—great great film, beautiful film—and you got a lot of attention for the...way you were clapping," DeGeneres said. "Did you know ahead of time you clapped in a different way?"

"I do not clap like that!" Kidman said as she laughed at the footage. "That is a weird lens."


So, what's with the "seal clap" then? As Kidman explained, she was merely cautious about using her fingers, as she was wearing 119 carats worth of diamonds that didn't belong to her.

"It's the Cinderella thing. You borrow these expensive jewels and I'm like, 'I must not damage these diamonds, because I have to give them back at midnight!'" she told DeGeneres. "And they went back beautifully intact—not a scratch on them."

The Moulin Rouge! star then proved that she does, in fact, know how to clap like a normal person.

"I've worked on it!" she joked.


Big Little Lies followed a group of women and some of the problems many women face every day, ranging from catty suburban drama to real domestic abuse.

"I feel like the constant women of incredible talent playing wives and girlfriends with thankless parts, I just had enough," Witherspoon said on a panel at the 2017 Winter TCA Press Tour.

Kidman echoed those sentiments, saying that she felt responsible for delivering an honest performance, even coming home with real bruises after shooting scenes for the show. That said, it all paid off—the show has been a massive hit, both critically and commercially, and it may get picked up for a second season.

"When women choose to combine their power, they can get things done," Kidman asked on Ellen. "Am I right?"

We couldn't agree more.

Latest News