nine perfect strangers

Nicole Kidman Really Committed to the Bit

Imagine wearing this for five months straight. Photo: Hulu

One of my favorite things about ensemble shows is the on-set drama that inevitably leaks from behind the scenes of production. Like the fact that everyone on Desperate Housewives allegedly hated Teri Hatcher, or Kim Cattrall being bullied by the other three Sex and the City actors (a drama that reportedly persists to this day). And now, Nicole Kidman has provided us with a precious peek into what life on the set of Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers was like. And I have a strong suspicion her fellow thespians spent a lot of production being vaguely annoyed — if not perplexed — by her on-set behavior.

Kidman recently revealed that she spent five months fully immersed in her role as wellness guru–slash–cult leader character Masha, Russian-ish accent and all. On Wednesday, she told People that she first met all her co-stars in character. “I would walk up, I’d put my hand on their heart,” she said. Imagine Kidman and her impeccable wig towering over poor Melissa McCarthy, her many rings resting on McCarthy’s chest. Is this really conducive to a comfortable and welcoming working environment?

Kidman has also boasted that she refused to answer to her own name. “I’d only respond as Masha,” she said in a panel earlier this month. As someone who attempted to introduce a new nickname for myself in fourth grade, I can tell you it is not easy to relearn one’s own name. Was Keith Urban really bumbling around their Australian farmhouse for five months calling her Masha? What about her kids? And, if she really did manage to rewire her brain to respond to a new name, how many hours on set were spent calling her over, only for her to dreamily emerge from her trailer and ask why they were calling her Nicole?

But perhaps most intriguing is the revelation that Kidman internalized her Russian-with-a-splash-of-Australian accent. “I was thinking primarily in my Russian-American accent,” she said. (Sorry: Russian-American-with-a-splash-of-Australian.) How, pray tell, does one think in a particular accent? Did she send telegraphic messages to Bobby Canavale in the accent? Did everyone in her dreams speak in her own little accent collage? I demand an explanation.

And finally, the most burning question of all: How, if she wore that wig the whole five months, did she lend it out to Lorde?

Nicole Kidman Really Committed to the Bit