Nicole Kidman on Marriage to Tom Cruise: We Lived in a Romantic Bubble

10/29/2013 at 02:00 PM EDT

Nicole Kidman on Marriage to Tom Cruise: We Lived in a Romantic Bubble
Nicole Kidman
Patrick Demarchelier exclusively for Vanity Fair.
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise spent most of their decade-long marriage in the center of the celebrity spotlight.

Now, 12 years after their split, Kidman, 46, says she's relieved that much of that attention has dimmed – even if she looks back on that period with a hint of wistful fondness.

"There is something about that sort of existence that, if you really focus on each other and you're in that bubble, it's very intoxicating, because it's just the two of you," she tells December's Vanity Fair. "And there is only one other person that's going through it. So it brings you very close, and it's deeply romantic."

She says few people are part of that exclusive club.



"I'm sure Brad and Angelina have that, because there's nobody else that understands it except that person who's sleeping right next to you," says the Oscar winner, who can soon be seen playing another person who surely understood that existence: Grace Kelly. Kidman stars as the actress-turned-princess in Grace of Monaco.

Kidman might have felt passion during her marriage to Cruise, 51, but she makes it clear that her current marriage to Keith Urban, 46, is even better – in part because she remained single for so long before marrying the Australian country star in 2006.

"With no disrespect to what I had with Tom, I've met my great love now," she says, pointing out that she was only 23 when she wed Cruise in 1990. "I didn't want to jump from one relationship to another … I was a child, really, when I got married. And I needed to grow up."

Today, she, Urban and their two children Sunday Rose, 5, and Faith, 2 are based in Nashville, and Kidman says she enjoys being away from the intensity in Los Angeles.

The Australian-raised star loves living in Nashville, she says, "because I can kind of have a very odd, idiosyncratic kind of path."

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