Nicole Kidman really committed to the Russian accent in her new show, Nine Perfect Strangers.
The star shares behind-the-scenes details about the Hulu original series, for which she reunited with Big Little Lies and The Undoing creator David E. Kelly, in her October cover interview with Harper’s BAZAAR. On the show, based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Kidman plays Masha Dmitrichenko, a Russian wellness guru who uses unorthodox methods at her exclusive retreat, Tranquillum House.
As the show was filmed in the coastal town of Byron Bay, Australia, the Moulin Rouge actor says that the cast—Melissa McCarthy, Samara Weaving, Regina King, and other all-star actors—were “bubbled and isolated” together for six months.
“We just really bonded, and that’s unusual for this day and age. Because a lot of times people are coming in and leaving and you don’t get that camaraderie and friendship,” Kidman says.
Though they were filming in Kidman’s native country, she stayed in character as Masha for the entire shoot, speaking only in the character’s Russian-American accent. She says that she made the choice, because “it felt good, felt right.”
For Hall, who plays Masha’s divorcée guest, Carmel, “It was a little surreal, to be honest. She walked in and she was Russian! I did not hear Nicole’s real voice until we wrapped. She didn’t break.”
McCarthy, who plays romance author Frances, added, “She’ll try anything. She’s not afraid to be weird or vulnerable or harsh in any given moment.”
Still, as part of Kidman’s performance, she adds a layer of kindness to the wellness guru. Kelley says, “She’s able to recognize that a character may be behaving in an unsympathetic way, so it falls upon her, with her nuance and performance, to negate that.”
Hall adds, “She’s as good a human being as she is an artist, and that together, I think, only adds to her artistry. It must be the lens through which she looks at life. She really is in touch with all of her humanity. And that’s what we get to witness when we watch her.”
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