Nine Perfect Strangers arrives August 18 on Hulu, and it’s ready to get everybody talking. Not only will the audience aim to discover the mysteries hiding at its center, but the characters will be spending a lot of time talking about themselves and their problems. Seems fitting for a series based on a Liane Moriarty novel.
Samara Weaving and Melvin Gregg, who play a young couple in deep need of counseling, spoke to Screen Rant about the cast chemistry and how Nicole Kidman’s Masha affects their characters’ lives.
Screen Rant: Samara, you play Jessica, an aspiring social media influencer who feels she has to be perfect for the world. What did you want to bring to the role that wasn’t necessarily on the page?
Samara Weaving: I think I wanted to de-stigmatize this weird ideal, and maybe look at myself and how I see influencers and people [for whom] social media is their job. It made me really look at: why do we judge them so much? You have to be a real businesswoman to breakthrough.
Yeah, not judging people based on what they look like and getting to know them on the inside.
Melvin, you play Ben. Can you talk to me about Ben and his relationship with Jessica, and why they are there at Tranquillum?
Melvin Gregg: Jessica dragged me there. He literally didn’t want to go. But he needed to go, you know what I mean? He was in denial that he had an issue and that they had an issue. But throughout the different exercises at the resort, he realized that he had deep-rooted issues and that from that stemmed his marital issues.
How do your characters feel about Masha, played by Nicole Kidman?
Samara Weaving: Well, I think Jessica becomes just immediately obsessed with her and wants to be like her. I can’t speak for Melvin.
Melvin Gregg: At first, he’s a little skeptical. “What is this? It doesn’t make sense, what’s going on?” But then later, he develops an admiration.
Nine Perfect Strangers has a real mysterious vibe to it, almost like classic Twin Peaks and Lost. What themes are you most excited for audiences to discover?
Melvin Gregg: I don’t feel like it fits into a genre. It’s comedic, it’s heartfelt, it’s dark, it’s scary. It keeps you on edge, it’s suspenseful, and it’s a lot of things. So, just expect the unexpected.
Samara, can you talk about the collaboration process of working with David E. Kelley on Nine Perfect Strangers?
Samara Weaving: It’s such a well-oiled machine. They did Big Little Lies, which was such a success. I loved Bruna [Papandrea], Nicole, and Melissa [McCarthy] producing. It was awesome to have these powerhouse women producing it with the voice of David E. Kelley. It was a really great marriage of the minds.
Can you talk to me about the chemistry you guys all had when you were shooting?
Melvin Gregg: I feel like there was a commonality. There [were] parallels between being in a foreign place because we were in Australia, and being with nine strangers.
A few people knew each other, but I hadn’t met anyone on the cast before. So, they were all strangers outside of being fans of their work. It was just trying to find the commonalities between those places. I think it worked out.
Your director, Jonathan Levin, is amazing. Can you talk about how his directing style added to Nine Perfect Strangers?
Samara Weaving: Yeah, he was really collaborative. He really encouraged us to come to him with ideas. But at the same time, he had a very clear vision of what this show was. When we would improvise and be able to play on set, he was really kind and generous and smart. I really trusted him with this.
Nine Perfect Strangers premieres on Hulu August 18.