Naomi Watts Recalls Nicole Kidman's Act of Generosity When They First Met at 15: 'Like the Sister I Never Had'

The 'Mulholland Drive' actress described Kidman as "incredibly supportive of other women" while telling a story about bonding with her at an audition

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty </p> Nicole Kidman (left) and Naomi Watts in Los Angeles on April 27, 2024

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Nicole Kidman (left) and Naomi Watts in Los Angeles on April 27, 2024

Naomi Watts is letting the world know what a wonderful friend Nicole Kidman is.

The King Kong star, 55, reflected on her decades-long friendship with the Australian actress, 56, while honoring her at the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala, on Saturday, April 27 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, where Kidman was receiving one of the highest honors in cinema.

In her speech, Watts recalled meeting Kidman when they were both teenagers at an audition for an "'80s swimsuit commercial" while they had hours to wait while photographers made a decision.

"We covered everything, what movies we loved, what friends we had in common, our parents, schools, parties, boyfriends, teenage stuff," the Infinite Storm star recalled.

<p>Michael Caulfield/WireImage</p> Nicole Kidman (left) and Naomi Watts in Los Angeles on Nov. 27, 2001

Michael Caulfield/WireImage

Nicole Kidman (left) and Naomi Watts in Los Angeles on Nov. 27, 2001

Related: Reese Witherspoon Looks Radiant at AFI Award Gala as She Honors Friend Nicole Kidman: 'I Love You So Much'

It was dark before photographers came out and told them they were both free to leave, because in Watts' words, "It turns out, the two lanky, flat-chested teenage girls just didn't cut the naked for an '80s swimsuit commercial."

The British actress, who grew up in Australia like Kidman, remembered feeling "scared" because she'd missed the bus back home.

"Back in the Stone Age, we didn't have cell phones or Uber accounts. And no, our mums were not waiting for us outside," she continued. "But Nic offered to spring for a taxi, and she said she would drop me on the way home, even though it was 20 minutes out of her way and it was an extra $15.00 on the meter."

Watts went on to describe the mom of four as "the most generous person."

<p>Michael Kovac/Getty </p> Naomi Watts in Los Angeles on April 27, 2024

Michael Kovac/Getty

Naomi Watts in Los Angeles on April 27, 2024

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"She's opened up her homes to me. She's made me feel like part of her family. She was like the sister I'd never had," Watts, who starred with Kidman in 1991's Flirting, said.

"She's incredibly supportive of other women. For ten years, when I lived very much under the radar, she repeated to me, 'One thing, Nay, one thing will change everything, I swear. Just hang in there,' " the Birdman star said, adding that Kidman was right.

Watts said her friendship with the Cold Mountian star has "saved" her many times over the years.

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Nicole Kidman in Los Angeles on April 27, 2024


Nicole Kidman in Los Angeles on April 27, 2024

Related: Nicole Kidman Channels Classic Hollywood Glamour at the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala

"You hold each other up and you hold each other tight," she said. But Kidman goes a step further.

"She has this heart of a lioness, and she will not let a friend suffer," Watts said of the Bombshell star.

Watts ended her speech by describing Kidman's incredible love of adventure and fearlessness, as well as her willingness to push the "boundaries of her art in the name of storytelling."

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"Nic, I'm so honored to share this moment with you tonight for this incredible award. Your generosity, your loyalty, your sisterhood and your sense of adventure make you a truly remarkable woman who I'm proud to call my friend," Watts concluded her speech.

"So, wherever the road takes us, I want to be along for the journey and, I promise, the next ride's on me," she added.

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