What Is This Accent Doing?

Nicole Kidman in Nine Perfect Strangers Photo: Hulu

My personal ASMR is anytime Nicole Kidman accidentally slips into her Australian accent while playing a character who is absolutely not Australian. She and her incredible coats did it in The Undoing, where she’s supposed to be from New York. It’s all over Big Little Lies in a way that made me forget her character was meant to be from California, not an Australian transplant in California. And now, we will most certainly be able to expect it in Hulu’s forthcoming series Nine Perfect Strangers. If you will, watch this trailer and try to answer the following question: What is that accent doing?

It would appear we’ve gotten a sneak peek at the dulcet tones of Kidman doing a Russian accent. At least, I’m assuming that’s the accent she’s putting on? In the book the show is based on — also called Nine Perfect Strangers, in which nine people attend a wellness retreat that becomes increasingly unhinged — Kidman’s character, Masha, is meant to be from Russia. However, I suspect we’ll be graced with a gorgeously confounding Australian-Russian hybrid accent that would make it just as likely that her character is from outer space.

If nothing else, her accent fits right in with the rest of the bonkers trailer. We’ve got Melissa McCarthy sporting a face full of acupuncture needles. There’s Regina Hall jumping on a bed in a way that can only be described as delusional. There are people hanging out in graves, which is apparently an actual wellness strategy meant to, I don’t know, further along the imminence of death?

However, the standout of the trailer is, of course, the vocal stylings of Kidman. To call her accent work a distraction is blasphemous. It’s a feature of her acting, a little Easter egg that sounds like she has two accents in her mouth each fighting for airtime. And I, for one, cannot wait to be soothed by a Russian Nicole Kidman telling me to bury myself alive.

What Is This Accent Doing?