When shooting the Hulu limited series “Nine Perfect Strangers,” Nicole Kidman and her character, healing guru Masha, were inseparable.
In fact, the scene where the rest of the characters first lay eyes on Masha as she enters the chakra room is the same moment most of the actors first met Kidman in real life. And she was in character right from the start.
“I wanted to not meet everybody before we started, so we set it up in the way where that was the first time I would meet everybody,” Kidman said. “I stayed in character so that I could just relate to each person in that way. Otherwise it would have felt very strange, coming in and chatting and trying to slip into Masha.”
This method acting approach instilled a healthy level of fear and uncertainty.
Regina Hall noted that she never heard Kidman — “what she actually sounded like — until she wrapped,” while Grace Van Patten said, “The hair on my arms stood up. It was this force of nature walking in. It was hypnotic… I automatically was like, ‘I will do anything you say.'”
The adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same title follows a group of stressed out city-dwellers who spend 10 days at a boutique health-and-wellness center looking to “get fixed.” As the mysterious Masha, Kidman runs the resort, looking to transform the lives of guests who don’t exactly know what they’re in for.
Melissa McCarthy noted that there was a surreal element to filming a series about healing with strangers during a pandemic.
“Everything kept becoming more magical about it,” she said. “The show is about being able to reach out and have strangers help you, and we had all been isolated for so long, and we were really just getting to know each other.”
Kidman previously worked with co-creator of “Nine Perfect Strangers” David E. Kelley on “Big Little Lies” and “The Undoing.” She won an Emmy for her lead role in the former in 2017. With each new project, Kidman finds new creative challenges and rewards.
“I still approach acting with such vigor after so many years because I expand,” Kidman said. “I literally can change because of a role.”