During a TCA panel, she joked that she was “batshit crazy”, repeating a line from her character in the series, which is based on Liane Moriarty’s book.
“I’d only respond as Masha,” she said. “I wanted a very calm healing energy to emanate all the time so I remember going over to people and sort of putting my hand on their heart, holding their hand, they would talk to me or use my name Nicole when I would completely ignore them.”
“The only way I could actually relate to people was that way because I felt like otherwise I would be doing a performance and I didn’t want to feel that way,” she added.
Co-written by Kelley, John Henry Butterworth and Samantha Strauss and co-showrun by Kelley and Butterworth, Nine Perfect Strangers takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha (played by Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine “perfect” strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.
Kidman added that the show is “trippy” and “crazy”. “When people say define what it is, we still can’t, I mean I dare you to ask any of us, what genre this is, we have no idea,” she said.
Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, who plays Francis, were asked about working in television, even as they both had major film careers.
Kidman said that she has only worked in U.S. television with one director helming the whole project – in this case Jonathan Levine directs the entire series, and pointed to the likes of Krzysztof Kieślowski with his Polish miniseries Dekalog and Ingmar Bergman’s Swedish miniseries Scenes from a Marriage.
“I see it as an Extension of film it’s just a longer version. I haven’t actually done a show where you have different directors coming in and doing different episodes so for me it’s more like that extended cinematic storytelling. At the same time, I started off in Australia, doing mini-series which is the equivalent of limited series… so I’ve always embraced it. I just think now it’s such a fantastic landscape because you have these writers and directors who are willing to work in this in this territory,” she said.
McCarthy, who continued to star in CBS sitcom Mike & Molly despite the success of Bridesmaids, added, “When you can play a character longer, you don’t have to take everything out you can really get a long launchpad for a change. You can go from A to Z when you have three years of a show that you mean you just you couldn’t you couldn’t quite compact the same way in a film. It’s just the luxury of having more time to tell that story, and to show real changes is exciting for me.”
During the panel session, the cast, which also includes Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten, Tiffany Boone and Manny Jacinto, joked about working in Australia with a plethora of bull ants and koala bears with chlamydia.
Nine Perfect Strangers comes from Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories, Kidman’s Blossom Films and Endeavor Content.
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