When Nicole Kidman met Keith Urban in 2005, she was still picking up the pieces of her failed marriage with her first husband, Tom Cruise. Fortunately, the iconic country singer restored her “confidence” following the highly publicized split by sweeping the Big Little Lies actress off her feet.

“[Keith] just came along and protected me,” the 53-year-old gushed to Marie Claire in an article published on Thursday, October 8. “He’s loved me, given me confidence and made me so much more comfortable.”

Because Nicole is “deeply introverted,” she’s struggled to open up in certain situations. “When I’m with a small number of people [I’m fine], but I’m not comfortable in crowds,” she explained. “I have trouble public speaking.”

nicole kidman and tom cruise
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That all changed when she fell in love with the “Blue Ain’t Your Color” crooner, whom Nicole exchanged vows with in 2006. “I married into my heart. He knows who I am and he’s opened me up,” she gushed of Keith, 52. “We have an interesting balance because I’m an introvert and he’s an extrovert.”

Prior to her romance with the Grammy Award winner, Nicole was married to the Top Gun star from 1990 to 2001. Throughout their 11 years together, Nicole and Tom, 58, became the proud parents of their adopted kids, Isabella Cruise, 27, and Connor Cruise, 25.

Since the two stars have gone their separate ways, though, Nicole hasn’t commented much on their former romance. However, the Academy Award winner – who shares younger daughters Sunday, 12, and Faith, 9, with Keith — recently revealed they were “happily married” while filming Eyes Wide Shut in 1999.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
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“We would go go-kart racing after [intense] scenes. We’d rent out a place and go racing at 3 in the morning,” she recalled to The New York Times in early October. Despite some challenges, Nicole said she “loved” working on the psychological drama with Tom and director Stanley Kubrick for almost two years.

“We had two kids and were living in a trailer on the lot primarily, making spaghetti because Stanley liked to eat with us sometimes,” she explained. “We were working with the greatest filmmaker and learning about our lives and enjoying our lives on set. We would say, ‘When is it going to end?'”

What they thought was “going to be three months” turned into more than “a year and a half” of filming, Nicole noted. “But you go, ‘As long as I surrender to what this is, I’m going to have an incredible time.'”

Nicole and Tom’s marriage may be a thing of the past, but the Moulin Rouge! alum couldn’t be happier about spending the rest of her life with the country icon. “Keith and I always say that we are just so lucky to have each other,” she told News.com.au in February 2017. “In this world, to be able to come back to that love and that strength is so nourishing and powerful.”

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