Nicole Kidman

Cold Mountain

Nicole Kidman is something of an Oscar fixture these days, with a nom for 2001’s “Moulin Rouge” and a statue for her perf last year as Virginia Woolf in “The Hours” that, she says, took three weeks’ work.

And this year, she could figure once more for her well-groomed perf as Southerner Ada in “Cold Mountain,” which has already netted her a Golden Globe nod for lead actress. How does last spring’s trophy look in retrospect?

“I was so glad,” she says during the final days of shooting the Frank Oz-helmed remake of “The Stepford Wives,” opposite Matthew Broderick, “because I had not even thought I was going to go. I’m terrible at taking any compliments. I’m so hard on myself that to even stand up and accept something like that — I feel like I’m not worthy of it and I apologize for it.”

If that’s the case, she must have turned crimson at her recent American Cinematheque tribute in Los Angeles, where, recalls “Cold Mountain” helmer Anthony Minghella, “I found myself with a group of other directors crossing out adjectives because everybody was saying the same thing: ‘Miraculous,’ ‘extraordinary,’ ‘luminous.’ There were a lot of red markers at work.”

“For somebody who’s been doing this job nearly all her life, Nicole hasn’t lost the appetite to improve. And she’s got very good taste,” he says.

With “Stepford Wives” wrapped, she takes a break until March, when she shoots a political film, “The Interpreter,” for Sydney Pollack. A bigscreen “Bewitched,” with Will Ferrell, looks likely after that.

As far as this year’s Oscars go, Kidman prefers to pass the kudos elsewhere, notably Minghella. (“I would love that call to be made to Anthony where he would be told, ‘Yes, all of this was worth it.'”) And to co-star Renee Zellweger, who plays Ruby. “Renee said to me, ‘Don’t say that,’ but I’m going to say it outright, blatantly: I want her to win an Oscar for this. Man, she deserves it; give it to her, guys.”

Coming attractions: “Birth,” “Stepford Wives,” “The Interpreter”

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