The actress won the ultimate acting accolade at the 2003 ceremony for her role as British writer Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

However as her win came after the end of her 11 year marriage, to fellow Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise, Nicole's triumph was tinged with sadness because she did not have a partner to share the moment with.

"Winning the Oscar was a turning point, but not in terms of my life as an actor, because it was incredibly validating, but it actually symbolized loneliness to me because I didn't have anyone to share it with at that stage in my life," Nicole said at a Q&A session promoting her new movie Lion at the BFI London Film Festival.

According to the Irish Examiner, she added, "I was like, 'Wow, this means I need to get my act together and I want to fall in love' so it was weird."

The star was subsequently linked with a number of high profile stars, including musicians Lenny Kravitz and Robbie Williams, before embarking on a relationship with country musician Keith Urban in 2005.

The couple married the next year (06), and now have two daughters Sunday Rose, eight, and Faith Margaret, five, together.

Lion, which tells the story of Saroo Brierley, an Indian boy adopted by an Australian family who seeks out his biological parents with the help of Google Earth.

Nicole's role as Saroo's mum Sue has earned particularly warm early reviews, and sparked speculation she may be in line to win a second Academy Award.

Addressing the Oscar buzz with website, Nicole said, "I mean you feel honoured and you feel glad to be a part of the conversation."

Lion, which stars Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel as Saroo, is in cinemas on 25 November (16).