Nine Perfect Strangers, the latest miniseries from the Big Little Lies team of Nicole Kidman, Liane Moriarty, and David E. Kelley, almost never happened. The Hulu series was supposed to be filmed in the U.S., but production was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, then Kidman chose to film the series in Australia. The first three episodes of the eight-episode show, based on Moriarty's novel of the same name, hit Hulu on Aug. 18.
"It was a hustle. We were fully supported by all of the actors and the government and we were able to still get the show made instead of having to shut it down, which was the other possibility," Kidman explained in a new interview with The Sunday Telegraph, via The Daily Mail. Kidman, whose Blossom Films produced the series with Endeavor Content and Made Up Stories, said the producers struggled to find a location during the pandemic. Suddenly, Byron Bay became available, which saved the project.
Once filming began, the producers followed strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. Cast and crew were tested for the virus frequently, Kidman said. When it was announced that the show would be filmed in Australia, Kidman said she was "thrilled" to bring jobs to the country she grew up in. "I am thrilled we are able to make Nine Perfect Strangers in Australia," she said at the time. "It is a great opportunity for me to give back to the community that nurtured me through so much of my career."
Nine Perfect Strangers stars Kidman as Masha, a stressed-out host at a health and wellness retreat. The series also stars Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Samara Weaving, Michael Shannon, Manny Jacinto, Regina Hall, and Bobby Cannavale. John Henry Butterworth (Ford v. Ferrari) co-created the series with Kelley, while Jonathan Levine (Long Shot) directed every episode.
During production, Kidman stayed in character as Masha, even when cameras weren't rolling. "I'd only respond as Masha. 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," Kidman told reporters during the Television Critics Association summer press tour panel. "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."