'Nine Perfect Strangers' star Melvin Gregg says working with Nicole Kidman was basically 'a master class' in acting
Melvin Gregg and Nicole Kidman star in "Nine Perfect Strangers". Vince Valitutti / Hulu; Vince Valitutti / Hulu
Melvin Gregg appears alongside Nicole Kidman in Hulu's "Nine Perfect Strangers".
He likened seeing her on set to a "master class" in acting.
"It was a pleasure to work with her and watch her at work and her process," he told Insider.
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Melvin Gregg raved about his experience working with Nicole Kidman on Hulu's "Nine Perfect Strangers".
In the eight-part David E. Kelley series, the 32-year-old actor takes on the role of Ben Chandler. Ben and his wife (Samara Weaving), a new lottery winner grappling with marital problems, are attending a wellness retreat led by Masha Dmitrichenko, a Russian wellness guru played by Kidman.
"It was a pleasure to work with her and watch her at work and her process," Gregg told Insider, adding, "It was like having a master class with her and all the other actors."
Despite Kidman's extensive list of accolades - including Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy wins - Gregg said the actress, who also served as executive producer on the adaptation of Liane Moriarty's novel, was anything but intimidating.
“She is so peaceful and zen. I don't think you can be intimidated around her. You might be intimidated if you meet her, but if you meet her she would just pull you back to earth, ”he said.
"Your energy is just peaceful."
Nicole Kidman stars in "Nine Perfect Strangers". Vince Valitutti / Hulu
During the five months the "Nine Perfect Strangers" cast filmed in Byron Bay, Australia in 2020, Kidman immersed himself in everything Masha was about, staying behind the scenes in the role, speaking exclusively with a Russian accent.
If someone on set called her with anything other than the character's name, she would "completely ignore them," she said during a Television Critics Association panel. And when Kidman first joined the rest of the cast to start filming, she stepped on the scene dressed in white, in her character as their cheerful leader.
"The first day we met was when Masha walked into the ashram," actor Bobby Cannavale, who plays Tony Hogburn on the show, told Insider, referring to the final scene in episode one.
He continued, “Nobody was really close to her. I didn't know what she looked like. I didn't know what it would sound like. That was a pretty intense day. "
Nicole Kidman in "Nine Perfect Strangers". Vince Valitutti / Hulu
From the moment Kidman walked into the ashram for the first group scene, the actress worked to reflect Masha's calming energy around her cast.
"I wanted to have a very calm healing energy emanating all the time, so I remember going up to people and putting my hand on their heart and holding their hand," she said during the TCA panel.
If Kidman hadn't walked away from Masha, adopted her accent, and mimicked her behavior off-camera as well, the character would have felt inauthentic, she said. Kidman followed, "I didn't mean to feel that way."
"Nine Perfect Strangers" is currently streamed on Hulu.
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