Nicole Kidman's pale skin helped to build her ''inner life''.

The Australian actress lived in Sydney during her formative years and owing to her fair skin and the country's intense heat, she would often shelter herself indoors, where she'd spending time reading.

She recalled: ''As I was pale-skinned, I was kept indoors a lot - I couldn't be running around on the beach with my friends.

''But the benefit of that was that I was reading books, building my inner life and concocting ideas in my head.''

Nicole's parents, Janelle and Antony, were supportive of her ambitions to become an actress from a young age, taking her to ballet classes aged three and acting classes soon afterwards.

She explained: ''They used to take me to The Independent Theatre, which was very bohemian, and we would sit on beanbags on the floor.''

These days, Nicole and her family - which includes husband Keith Urban and their daughters, four-year-old Faith and seven-year-old Sunday Rose - live in the quiet surroundings of Nashville, Tennessee, which reminds her of Australia.

She told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: ''Smaller town, slower pace, which I prefer and you're actually living a life, rather than just analysing it and talking about living it.

''My daughters have Southern accents; it's where my husband's career is and I love it.''