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EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Kidman on the power of female friendships and finding true love

Nicole opens up to The Weekly about her own empowering experience with the women-for-women movement sweeping Hollywood, as well as her gratitude for meeting her one true love a little later in life.

Nicole Kidman has shared with The Australian Women's Weekly the surreal moment when she received an email from an unexpected fan of the HBO TV series Big Little Lies, Meryl Streep - and her reaction is as similar as our own would be.

"She really responded to the show and wrote one of the most beautifully eloquent emails about her emotional response to my character Celeste's storyline of domestic violence," Nicole recounts excitedly.

The Aussie star and Meryl have been friends since they had a screen credit together in The Hours, which earned Nicole an Academy Award for Best Actress as author Virginia Woolf.

"I still call her The Great One," Nicole giggles as she recalls the nickname she gave Meryl at the time.

Nicole and Meryl's friendship first flourished back in 2002.

So, when Australian Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty revealed her plans for the next stage in the lives of the characters for a new season of the hit series, Nicole and her co-producer Reese Witherspoon both had one thought: 'Meryl Streep'. The actress - who has been nominated for an Oscar an astounding 21 times - was the perfect choice to play Mary Louise Wright, the distraught mother of Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) who comes looking for answers about her son's 'accident'.

"I called Reese and we were like, 'Gosh, I wonder if Meryl would be interested...' and in our wildest dreams we didn't dare to hope," Nicole explains. "But we were able to reach out to her and it was amazing that she thought the role was good enough that she wanted to do it. It really came down to her standing up and going, 'I support you as women, and I believe in you' and that's a big statement coming from her."

In response to the tabloid claims that she was opposed to Streep's casting for the role, she says: "As a group of girls, we don't even bother answering all of those stories." Adding that now, more than ever, women need to support each other not tear each other down.

Meryl will join Nicole and Reese in the next series of Big Little Lies.

Nicole is certainly grateful to be surrounded by amazing women in her own life – starting with her mother Janelle and sister Antonia and including her Big Little Lies collaborator. "I called Reese the other day and at the end of the call I said, 'Gosh I love working with you'," she says.

"We both bring different things to the table and it's exciting and fun when women can get together and complement each other to get things done. We still keep pinching ourselves. We can't believe we've wrangled everyone to come back together again, but we wanted to do it because it's ours and its fun and it's really cool!"

Nicole and Keith will have been married for 12 years in June, just five days after Nicole's 51st birthday.

But deep emotion floods Nicole's heart when she speaks about the love that's brought her to this sweet spot in life.

"To have met Keith just before I turned 40 and to be able to have Sunny and Fifi with him, what a beautiful, unexpected turn of events for me," she tells The Weekly.

"I wanted it and I dreamed of it but I had no idea if it was actually going to happen. I feel beyond blessed to have this incredibly deep and powerful relationship I have with him, and that our children are the recipients of the love we have for each other too."

Read our full interview with Nicole Kidman in the April issue of The Australian Women's Weekly, on sale now.