EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Kidman on 'Lion's Message of 'Unconditional Love' and Hanging With Her Hollywood Squad

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Nicole Kidman's
new drama Lion is an emotional rollercoaster that's been resonating with audiences and tells an important message about love and the meaning of family.

The actress sat down with ET's Nischelle Turner on Sunday, where she opened up about how her own experiences as an adoptive mother helped her understand her character, who is based on a real person.

"Sue Brierley is a real woman, so I had to absorb who she was and kind of try to honor her," Kidman shared. "I wanted to really layer it so you felt her heart beat and you felt her spirit."

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tells the story of a man named Saroo (Dev Patel) who, as a young boy, gets lost in Calcutta, hundreds of miles from his home. After surviving on the streets for a time, Saroo is adopted by a caring Australian couple, Sue and John Brierley (David Wenham). When Saroo grows up, he begins a search to find the family he disappeared from as a child.

Kidman, who explained that she feels one of the films main themes is the "strength of mothers," has called Lion a love letter to her own children because "it's about unconditional love."

"It's like any mother will tell you, no matter happens, where you go, how it happens, where it happens, there's always love waiting for you here," Kidman shared.

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However, just because the film is a tribute to her kids doesn't mean they've actually seen the movie.

"It's not my style. I like to be just kind of under the radar with my work in terms of my family," Kidman explained, adding that her own mother hasn't seen the film either.

"The film is very life-affirming," she concluded. "It's about the goodness in people, ultimately, and I think that's a beautiful message right now, emphasizing the way we're all inherently good."

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As Lion gears up for awards season, Kidman has been hitting red carpets a lot recently, often joined by her own squad of besties including Naomi Watts, Laura Dern, and Reese Witherspoon.

"There's just a group of us now that are very supportive," Kidman said. "We've worked together, we've shared a lot, we're at a certain age."

Kidman, Dern, Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz are also starring together in the upcoming HBO series Big Little Lies, and the Oscar winner had nothing but love for the experience, sharing, "It was great working with those women."

"It's great knowing that they're there," said Kidman, stressing the importance of supporting the younger generation of actress like Woodley and Kravitz. "It's just nice having all of that intertwined."

hits theaters Nov. 25.

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