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Women of Oscar: Kidman, Lane

Year of the woman

Editor's Note: CNN Access is a regular feature on providing interviews with newsmakers from around the world.

Best Actress
This year's best actress hopefuls pose for a picture while attending the Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Monday.

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(CNN) -- The Oscar nominees facing the stiffest competition this year, many argue, are the best actress hopefuls.

Strong roles for women dominate the category this year with Salma Hayek, who played famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; double nominee Julianne Moore, who portrayed an unhappy 1950s housewife in "Far From Heaven" for her best actress nod; Renee Zellweger's feisty Roxy in "Chicago;" and two more women who shared their excitement with CNN.

With the rush for Oscar gold in full force, CNN anchor Daryn Kagan sat down with Academy Award nominees Nicole Kidman and Diane Lane after Monday's Oscar luncheon in Beverly Hills, California.

• Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"

• Diane Lane, "Unfaithful"

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's just two girlfriends hanging out poolside. Year of the woman, so many great roles for women.

NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: I know. Isn't that good?


KIDMAN: Really good, actually ... . In the Golden Globes, when I was -- I said I want to say not just in film, as well in television. I mean, you see these women like Edie Falco, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall. They're all doing such good work, it's covering all mediums and that's really exciting.

KAGAN: So on one hand, it brings everybody together. That makes Oscars fun. But then it turns into a competition.

KIDMAN: Well, it sort of is a competition, but at the same time, it's -- I think the nomination is it. And you know, Julianne and Renee and Salma and all of us, we just had our photo taken together on a couch, and we were all laughing. And we all kind of, I think, have our heads screwed on the right way and realize what it is and want to support each other.

Kidman points out that roles for women have been strong in television this year too.

KAGAN: Is it the singular year, or are we turning a corner for women and their roles?

KIDMAN: I hope that it continues, you know, because as I said, we're interesting. Keep writing for us, because we are, we're interesting and we're fun. Girls are fun.

KAGAN: Yes, we are. Finally, I just have to ask you about picking out the dress.

KIDMAN: I've already picked it, and I'm simple.

KAGAN: We will look forward to that. ... We'll see you on Oscar night.

• Diane Lane, "Unfaithful"

KAGAN: I want to go with you on this ride a little bit, because we had a chance to talk [before].I saw you on the day that the nominations were announced. We had that visit over at the Four Seasons.

Lane says she felt star-struck among the best actress nominees at Monday's Oscar luncheon.


KAGAN: What's the ride been like?

LANE: I miss my mom. Other than that, it's everything that -- that one would hope. I mean, it's the most glamorous couple of weeks I have ever had in my life, that's for sure. You're not allowed to wear the same thing twice. So you go through all these incredible outfits, and I didn't realize that being an actress was so much about what you wear.

KAGAN: I was talking to Nicole Kidman earlier, and she was talking about this picture. [A picture, shown at the top of this story, was taken during Monday's Oscar luncheon.] Did you guys all get together and take a picture on a couch?

LANE: Yes -- all of us together. It was an interesting moment because the moment itself was being filmed, and they had to go. They had to go because it was taking us out of our moment. It was our moment. It was just us girls. They said we would have that. In a way, it was about sharing it almost before you have it. And it's very much like that, this moment, because for all of us, the first thing you do is answer, "How do you feel?" And you haven't figured it out for yourself.

KAGAN: Such an incredible year. I mean, everyone is talking about -- this is the year of the woman, with so many great roles. To be among those actresses, and to be included in that -- was there like a pinch-me moment with that?

LANE: When I [was] live with all the girls, and we sat there and we took a photo together, there was definitely a pinch-me moment, because they're real. I know them as movie stars and great actresses, and vulnerable people who make me feel things on their behalf. They manipulate me emotionally, and I feel like I know them in that star-struck way. So that was a pinch-me moment because I was one of them.

The Academy Awards ceremony is set for March 23. CNN anchor Daryn Kagan will cover the event.

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