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Nicole Kidman's maternal instinct

Nicole Kidman's maternal instinct

Nicole Kidman was very "maternal" to Dev Patel on the set of 'Lion'.

The 49-year-old actress - who played the adoptive mother of Dev's character in the drama film - admits she related to her co-star as if she was a maternal figure to him and is looking forward to see where his career takes him in the future.

Speaking to GoldDerby, she said: "I was maternal to him. I was pretty much in character playing the role ... I really just related to him as a mother. I would go up to him and stroke his hair and touch his face and hold his hand. He gave permission for that, which was terrific ...

"I also think now you'll see Dev as a leading man, not as an Indian man or anything other than a leading man. I look forward to his journey into all of that now."

It comes after Nicole - who has Isabella, 24, and Connor, 21, with her ex-husband Tom Cruise and Faith, six, and Sunday, eight, with her spouse Keith Urban - previously admitted she is "the caretaker" in her family.

She shared: "I still have a very strong relationship with them. I feel maternal to most people. In my family, I'm very much the caretaker. My husband always says, 'You can't save the world, Nicole,' but I think it's just an inherent part of me.

"The love is abundant, and it doesn't just evaporate or disappear - it's just there, and it is a bottomless well. It will always be there, which is a beautiful thing to say to a child, 'You'll never be abandoned. The love will always be there for you.' It's an important thing to hear that as a child. I beyond need it. Yes, I still need the acknowledgment."