LOS ANGELES-Nicole Kidman is a hugely successful award-winning Hollywood actress who is currently enjoying success with the female-driven series, Big Little Lies. However, it seems the 51-year-old star believes she has others to thank for her long acting reign.

The Moulin Rogue star has praised stars including Meryl Streep and Dame Judi Dench, 63. for paving the way for older actresses on screen.

At 69, Meryl Streep is still very much in demand and will, in fact, appear in the second series of Big Little Lies as the mother of Kidman’s recently deceased abusive husband.

Nicole said the two stars had ‘given her a chance’ to win a Golden Globe at age 50. Speaking in London as the latest in a line of stars to take part in Bafta’s on-stage interviews, Kidman said: “There’s a time in this industry where they go, ‘Oh well, you are past your due date ... we are moving on to the next thing’.

“Having people like Meryl Streep and Susan Sarandon and Glenn Close - it gives you a chance.

“In this country [the UK] you’ve got Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, the greats. They are paving the way.”

The Australian actress and director admitted that she had - for a time - found it difficult to find rewarding roles as an older woman. However, she said the work of such celebrated actresses that came before her helped her realise she did not have to give in to the ‘normal trajectory’.

Kidman was also was critical of the lack of women across the film industry, describing the low proportion of female directors as ‘not good’.

She said: “I always say, ‘look at the statistics’ and the statistics are not good. I don’t know the exact number right now but it’s not looking good. It was about 11 per cent female directors.

“I made a pledge a few years ago to work with a female director every 18 months because you’ve just got to change the statistics.

“I can talk about it, we can all talk about it, or I can actually just get out there and do it. That’s what, at this stage in my career and in my life, I’m trying to do.”