Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst used to go out for dinner and party in the evenings while shooting their new movie 'The Beguiled' together.

The trio star as Martha Farnsworth, Alicia and Edwina Dabney, respectively, in the thriller film, which is out in cinemas now, and while they were serious and co-operative on set, they weren't afraid to let their hair down once their scenes had wrapped up.

Speaking on BBC Radio 2, Nicole said: ''Yeah we all knew each other! I already knew Elle quite well. Sofia [Coppola, the director] had worked with Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst before, so we had a lot of fun. We would go out to dinner and go out to parties at night. So we had our off screen and our on screen fun.''

The 50-year-old actress has admitted she jumped at the chance to do the film when she found out Coppola was taking charge because she loves how feminine her work is.

She explained: ''I think she's incredibly feminine and the way in which she directs; it's incredibly feminine. I was actually speaking to Jane Campion about her because they were on the jury together at one point at the Cannes Film Festival and she said the thing about Sofia is that she just has that gorgeous ultra femme style to her film making, which is really rare, but you know it's the female gaze.''

And, although a lot of actresses complain that their careers start to slow down once they fit 50, Nicole believes she's had the best year of her life in terms of work.

She said: ''I think it sort of just crept up on me and suddenly I had my 50th birthday and everyone was like 'Oh wow! How are you feeling about it?' and I happened to have had a fantastic year in terms of just career at the same time of having a huge 50th birthday so it was just a massive compliments of events.''