Nicole Kidman says Keith Urban has become her ''love shield''.

The 'Stoker' star insists the country singer - with who she has two daughters, Sunday Rose, four, and two-year-old Faith Margaret - has given her a ''very strong'' home life to offset some of her characters' lives in her movies.

She said: ''He's given me a home. He's given me really strong love - he's given me a love shield. I have my girls and my husband and I have a very, very strong real life to counterbalance my fantasy life now.''

But this has not always been the case, as the 45-year-old star - who also has adopted kids Isabella, 20, and Conor, 17, with ex-husband Tom Cruise - admits she felt ''incredibly lonely'' after winning an Oscar in 2003 for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in 'The Hours' because she didn't have such a strong family structure around her.

She explained: ''When I won the Oscar it was kind of a mix of popping open a bottle of champagne but at the same time feeling incredibly lonely because I didn't have what I have now.''

Nicole has no plans to retire from acting just yet, and she is encouraged her career can last a long time after being inspired by 86-year-old star Emmanuelle Riva's recent Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role in French-language drama movie 'Amour'.

She added to Radio Times magazine: ''That's glorious. That says something great about the longevity of an actress' career. Everyone always says, 'Oh, they only have a shelf life of 40 years,' and you look at that and go, 'No way.' ''