Just how far would you go to heal yourself? For Frances (Melissa McCarthy), Jessica (Samara Weaving), and the seven others who checked in to the Tranquillum House — the enigmatic retreat center run by reformed girl boss Masha (Nicole Kidman) in Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers — the answer is very far.
To appear in the heavily stylized show, some of the actors had to undergo a whopping transformation. Are the rumors anything to go by? Is Samara Weaving rocking fake teeth in Nine Perfect Strangers?
Samara Weaving plays Jessica, an influencer, in 'Nine Perfect Strangers.'
Similar in theme to The White Lotus and Fantasy Island (the 2020 horror film and the 2021 reboot series), Nine Perfect Strangers explores themes like interdependency and the strange workings of privilege.
Akin to a social experiment boosted by the presence of unnervingly colorful smoothies, Nine Perfect Strangers charts the journey of nine people eager to give the Bento box treatment to their increasingly troubled lives. Samara plays Jessica, an influencer with body dysmorphia and marital issues.
Jessica started to modify her body and appearance after she and her hubby, Ben (Melvin Gregg), won $22 million in the lottery. But the self-betterment plan turned out to be a slippery slope — as Jessica continued to fix up one barely perceptible flaw after another.
As actress Samara told Digital Spy, she had to wear an arsenal of accessories on set. Fake breasts and a fake behind were part and parcel of the look, she revealed. What's more, she was also rocking fake teeth.
"My phone wouldn't open when it saw my face," Samara described the transformation.
In addition, Samara had fake tan, dramatically long nails, wires pulling up her face to give it an exaggerated, Botox-y look, and makeup specifically devised to make her lips look even fuller and plumper.
"The first day of filming, when we did the camera tests, I had lots of fake tan and really long nails," Samara told Digital Spy. "I had wire pulling my face up to help give me that facelift kind of look and fake teeth. And the makeup team did an incredible job. [Makeup artist] Sian Howard really gave my lips that puffy look."
But the elaborate costume came with a few unexpected side effects.
"No one recognized me. My phone wouldn't open when it saw my face," Samara added. "Everyone's reaction and their behavior shifted based on how I looked, even though they knew I wasn't Jessica."
And Samara wasn't the only 'Nine Perfect Strangers' star to to go the extra mile.
The Academy Award–winning actress went "full method," only responding to Masha's name during the shooting. To achieve the impeccable composure of a real cult leader, Nicole experimented with ritualistic gestures such as putting her hands on people's hearts.
"I'd only respond as Masha," Nicole explained, per NME. "I wanted a very calm healing energy to emanate all the time, so I remember going over to people and sort of putting my hand on their heart, holding their hand. They would talk to me or use my name Nicole when I would completely ignore them."