Nicole Kidman may be one of the world's most recognizable screen stars, with an Oscar to her name, but it's premature to call her a legend. So learned British TV interviewer Jenni Falconer when chatting with an unimpeachable screen legend, Lauren Bacall. The 79-year-old, a Hollywood star for 60 years, cut Falconer off mid-sentence when she used the L-word to describe Kidman. ''She's not a legend,'' the sometime cat food pitchwoman said of the 37-year-old Aussie. ''She's a beginner. What is this 'legend'? She can't be a legend at whatever age she is. She can't be a legend, you have to be older.''
Bacall and Kidman were both at the Venice Film Festival promoting the movie ''Birth,'' in which the actresses play mother and daughter. It's their second film together, and Bacall told reporters that she and the younger actress were great friends, legend or no legend. ''I love working with a young actress,'' Bacall said, according to the Associated Press. ''Nicole and I worked together on 'Dogville,' and we were friends when we started this. That laid the groundwork for our fabulous relationship on screen and off.''
Reincarnation is a theme in ''Birth,'' but when reporters asked who Bacall might like to come back as in her next life, she said, ''It's not a fascinating question. No offense.'' Guess coming back as anything less than Lauren Bacall would be anticlimactic.