'Nine Perfect Strangers' on Hulu: Everything to know about the buzzy new series

Hulu’s buzzy new original series “Nine Perfect Strangers,” featuring an all-star cast led by Nicole Kidman, debuts on Friday.

The show is based on Liane Moriarty’s New York Times bestselling novel of the same name from 2018. The Australian author’s 2014 novel “Big Little Lies” inspired the eponymous Emmy-winning HBO show.

According to the series’ official synopsis, “Nine Perfect Strangers” follows “nine stressed city dwellers” who, trying to “get on a path to a better way of living,” check into a 10-day retreat at a “boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation.”

Kidman plays Masha Dmitrichenko, director of the Tranquillum House resort, who is described as “a woman on a mission to reinvigorate [the guests’] tired minds and bodies.” Manny Jacinto and Tiffany Boone appear as Masha’s dedicated staff, Yao and Delilah.

Kidman said Moriary wrote the character of Masha specifically with her in mind, telling “Good Morning America,” “I’ve never had that happen where a novelist has written a role for me,” she said, calling it a “fantastic thing” for an actor to experience.

The Australian actress called playing Masha “such a different character” from the roles she normally takes on, adding that she was “quite nervous” about the part at first before digging in. Kidman said she “didn’t come out of character for pretty much the whole shoot” and that her co-stars were a bit taken aback by this.

McCarthy told “Good Morning America” that Kidman staying in character — even on the first day — throughout shooting “threw everyone off in a great way.” “It’s a wonderful thing to be a little knocked off your center as an actor,” she explained.

PHOTO: Bobby Cannavale as Tony and Nicole Kidman as Masha in a scene from Hulu's "Nine Perfect Strangers."

Kidman also said her husband, Keith Urban, watched the series and said, “The journey is what it’s about.”

“Hopefully you laugh, hopefully you cry, hopefully you feel frightened, intrigued, curious and you’re hanging on for the ride,” the Oscar winner teased. “Because it’s a ride!”

The nine guests — whom the synopsis teases “have no idea what is about to hit them” — include: Frances Welty (Melissa McCarthy), Carmel Schneider (Regina Hall), Tony Hogburn (Bobby Cannavale), Lars Lee (Luke Evans), Jessica Chandler (Samara Weaving), Ben Chandler (Melvin Gregg), Napoleon Marconi (Michael Shannon), Heather Marconi (​​Asher Keddie) and Zoe Marconi (Grace Van Patten).

The “Nine Perfect Strangers” trailer sets up the story and gives viewers insight into Masha and her persona and what the retreat participants might have just gotten themselves into. “You want to get well? You want to heal?” she asks them. “Surrender yourself to me.”

PHOTO: Manny Jacinto as Yao and Melissa McCarthy as Frances in a scene from Hulu's "Nine Perfect Strangers."

McCarthy said what drew her to the project — beyond being a fan of Moriarty’s book — was seeing how people, during the pandemic, have owned the fact that sometimes they need some help during the pandemic and the idea of them getting this help from strangers. “It doesn’t have to just be your close group,” the “Bridesmaids” star said.

David E. Kelley, who reunites with “Big Little Lies” star Kidman for another Moriarty collab, serves as showrunner for “Nine Perfect Strangers.” All eight episodes are directed by Jonathan Levine.

“Nine Perfect Strangers” begins streaming Friday, Aug. 20.

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