- Samara Weaving plays Jessica Chandler on Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers.”
- Her costars didn’t recognize her when she first transformed into her character, she told Digital Spy.
- “My phone wouldn’t open when it saw my face,” Weaving said.
The first day Samara Weaving walked on the “Nine Perfect Strangers” set in costume as Jessica Chandler, she looked so different that her costars had no idea who she was.
In a recent interview with Digital Spy, the 29-year-old Australian actress detailed the extensive process she underwent to transform into the lottery winner and social media influencer for
‘s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2018 novel.
“The first day of filming, when we did the camera tests, I had lots of fake tan and really long nails,” she said, continuing, “I had wire pulling my face up to help give me that face lift kind of look, and fake teeth.”
Weaving’s drastic makeover initially sparked confusion on the “Nine Perfect Strangers” set.
“No one recognized me. My phone wouldn’t open when it saw my face,” she recalled. “Regina [Hall] didn’t recognize me at all. She was like, ‘Who’s that?””
In the David E. Kelley series, Jessica checks into Tranquillum House, a holistic wellness retreat, with her husband (Melvin Gregg) in the hopes of reinvigorating their marriage. It quickly becomes clear that Jessica has body dysmorphia and is overwhelmed with insecurities, both related to herself and her dwindling relationship.
For Weaving, physically turning into Jessica gave her newfound empathy for the character. It also made her consider the extent to which people judge others based on their looks.
“Everyone’s reaction and their behavior shifted based on how I looked, even though they knew I wasn’t Jessica,” Weaving told Digital Spy. “That definitely helped me because it was so interesting seeing how other people perceived her and using that, you feel on display.”
Working with female producers — including Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, and Moriarty — made the actress feel comfortable throughout the eight-episode project, she explained.
“I felt very taken care of and seen, and especially playing someone who’s wearing quite risqué clothing, and I had these big fake breasts and fake bum, and being surrounded by women, I felt very safe,” she said.
Days after the first three episodes premiered on August 18, Weaving shared a behind-the-scenes video from her first day shooting with Gregg.
In the caption, she thanked makeup artist Sian Howard and hairstylist Chrissy Zemura for transforming her into Jessica.
“I still have the fake teeth if anyone wants to borrow them for Halloween,” Weaving joked.
The first four episodes of “Nine Perfect Strangers” are available to stream on Hulu, with new episodes released weekly.