Nicole Kidman compares acting to being a SNAKE

Nicole Kidman thinks slipping into different acting roles is similar to the life of a snake.

The ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ actress, 56, who has played a series of ultra-stressed women on screen including tortured writer Virginia Woolf, added she is fascinated by the slithering reptiles due to the way they move and constantly shed their skin.

She told Vogue Australia in a cover interview that featured her posing with a black snake coiled round her neck: “I like them… I think it’s something to do with the same way that I skydive or scuba dive.

“I think they’re very beautiful.”

Mum-of-four Nicole added she finds snakes “alluring” and is fixated on the way “they slither and move” and by the notion of shedding skins.

She went on: “You can become and try different things, all the time, which is what excites me.”

When asked if she felt as if she is still reinventing herself at this stage of her 40-year acting career: “I don’t even see it as reinvention. I think it’s more like different facets that you discover that are in existence, but you are attuned to the discovery of them.

“Yes, I remain very open and still very passionate about what I do, and curious. And those elements haven’t been dampened.

“You can either become more rigid as you become older, but you can also become more free.”

Born in Hawaii but raised on the North Shore of Sydney, Australia, Nicole said her obsession with snakes is also probably linked to the deadly wildlife that packs her homeland.

Nicole – who had adopted children Bella, 31, and Connor, 29, with ex-husband Tom Cruise, 61, and has daughters Sunday Rose, 15, and Faith Margaret, 13, with her musician spouse of 18 years Keith Urban, 56 – added: “We’re used to it. You dive into the swimming pool, and we’re like, ‘Be careful of the funnel-webs that can form a bubble on the bottom of the swimming pool.’

“With the kids, you’re like, ‘Eyes peeled, eyes peeled!’ When you’re walking barefoot on the rocks: ‘Blue-ringed octopus, be careful, in the tiny little crevices!’

“But it doesn’t stop you walking on the rocks. It doesn’t stop you exploring… which, I suppose, is very much a metaphor for the Australian spirit.

“We cannot be stopped.

“There was always that searching out the dangerous things, as well. For the drama of it.”