'Nine Perfect Strangers' Cast and Character Guide: Meet the Hulu Show's All-Star Cast

Nine Perfect Strangers and three staff members from Tranquillum House make up the core cast of Hulu's new drama series starting on Wednesday August 18, 2021.

David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) and James Henry Butterworth bring to life Liane Moriarty's novel of the same name which sees nine damaged people attend a health and wellness center in the hope of finding inner-peace. However, the illusion of paradise starts to unravel as the guests start to discover each other's secrets and the motives of the resort's host.

Newsweek spoke to many of the cast members and the team behind the new show ahead of its launch. Here's everything you need to know about the cast and the characters they play in the upcoming Hulu series.

Nicole Kidman as Masha Dmitrichenko

Kidman leads the cast as Masha Dmitrichenko, the mysterious host hiding secrets from her guests. She runs Tranquillum House, and is said to carefully hand pick the guests who get to attend the health and wellness center that she founded. Masha leads the nine strangers in unconventional meditative practices as well as holding emotionally exposing one-on-one sessions with each guest.

Nicole Kidman in Nine Perfect Strangers
Nicole Kidman runs Tranquillum House as Russian Masha Dmitrichenko in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Kidman, along with McCarthy, also serves as an executive producer on the show. Director Jonathan Levine told Newsweek that their dual roles were never an issue for him. He said: "When you're working with famous people and big movie stars you certainly can't help but treat them a little differently but very quickly that starts to go away. When you're in the trenches with someone for that long, you're just three folks trying to get the job done.

"That is what I respect the most about Melissa and Nicole, they're relentless in their pursuit of greatness and I think that's why they're so successful. After all the success they've had their goal is still to make something as good as possible and to be as rigorous as possible in doing that."

Melissa McCarthy as Frances Welty

Melissa McCarthy in Nine Perfect Strangers
Frances Welty (Melissa McCarthy) makes her way to the resort in Nine Perfect Strangers Vince Valitutti/Hulu

McCarthy's character Frances Welty arrives at Tranquillum House after suffering both a personal and a professional crisis. We meet her driving to the retreat as she receives unwelcome news that her latest book is not getting picked up.

As McCarthy describes, Frances is a romance novelist who is at a point in her life where she thought she'd be "peaking at every level—relationships, personal and a work level" but unfortunately everything falls apart and she feels "devalued" as a result.

McCarthy told Newsweek how she interpreted the character of Frances. "I think she knows that she's broken and maybe at a point where she's not sure she can get herself back together. We watch that facade slowly get chipped away, to think 'it's OK to be scared and so is everybody else' and to actually make yourself vulnerable.

"She's a character that really puts on a facade of some sort of how she looks, you know 'you put your face on, do your hair, speak with confidence' it doesn't always change the inside, you can still be insecure and I think she finally lets her real self show. That's such a fun wild ride to get to play," McCarthy said.

Bobby Cannavale as Tony Hogburn

Bobby Cannavale in Nine Perfect Strangers
Bobby Cannavale's character Tony Hogburn is trying to overcome addiction in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Cannavale had to commit his body to the role of Tony Hogburn, a man struggling with addiction issues. Curmudgeon Tony instantly starts rubbing people the wrong way when he arrives and has multiple run ins with McCarthy's Frances.

Cannavale said the extra commitment he made to the role with his body made it easier to get into his character's mindset. "I had lots of conversations with Jon [Levine] about what kind of physical shape a guy like that would be in, a guy who was in elite shape, and the toll that those opioids would be taking on him.

Initially Cannavale wanted to be "rail thin" for this role but he and the director eventually decided to go in the opposite direction. "We decided to go on and put on the weight, then grow the beard. Sometimes when you start with the physical like that it can inform a lot of things and this was one of those cases. It really actually helped. I spent a lot of time being physically uncomfortable on this job."

Regina Hall as Carmel Schneider

Regina Hallin Nine Perfect Strangers
Regina Hall plays struggling divorcee Carmel Schneider in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Fragile optimist Carmel is played with underlying anger by Hall. Carmel is a recent divorcee who is still coming to terms with her husband leaving her for a younger woman while her children start to drift away from her emotionally too.

The heart-breaking origins for her character are addressed by Hall: "I think Carmel's coping skills are not there. There's a deep loneliness that she feels and very, very low self esteem and self worth.

"She wants to meet people for various reasons and make connections, but for Carmel, she kind of unravels and it was fun to play someone who unravels. She probably is seemingly the most together person or certainly the kindest from the outside but you kind of get to see what's kind of underneath that facade, as they all have facades," Hall said.

Melvin Gregg as Ben Chandler

Melvin Gregg in Nine Perfect Strangers
Melvin Gregg plays car-fanatic Ben Chandler in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Ben Chandler seemingly has it all as he arrives at Tranquillum House looking for answers. A young man, pulling up in an expensive super-car with a beautiful wife (Weaving) in the passenger seat; viewers and his fellow guests will be forgiven for wondering what he's doing there.

Gregg came to prominence as a social media star on Vine but soon transitioned to film and television. He's since gone on to star in the likes of American Vandal, The United States vs. Billie Holiday and Snowfall.

Samara Weaving as Jessica Chandler

Samara Weaving in Nine Perfect Strangers
Samara Weaving plays social media influencer Jessica Chandler and had to undergo regular extensive sessions in the make up chair to achieve her look. "Nine Perfect Strangers" starts on Hulu on Wednesday August 18, 2021. Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Samara Weaving, niece of actor Hugo Weaving, plays the social media influencer Jessica Chandler in Nine Perfect Strangers. Wife to Gregg's Ben Chandler, she hopes Tranquillum House will allow the two to reconnect and repair their fractured relationship.

Weaving told Newsweek how she prepared to take on the role of an influencer. She said: "I realized social media doesn't show the whole picture, because that's the whole point that they're trying to show just one side of them. So I would go and sit in coffee shops and watch how they would curate their coffee and their meal and take a photo and do selfies."

To get the look of a modern day influencer just right, Weaving had to undergo regular sessions in the makeup chair, which she says were surprisingly grueling. "The most taxing thing for me was keeping up all the physical things—getting my hair done, getting my nails done, getting a spray tan again and again. In the makeup chair they would put wire on the sides of my face and pull it so it looked like I had a face lift," she continues. "Putting the teeth in and out, and wearing the fake bust and fake butt. The upkeep of her was taxing."

Luke Evans as Lars Lee

Luke Evans in Nine Perfect Strangers
Luke Evans plays the mysterious guest Lars Lee in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Lars Lee arrives as perhaps the biggest enigma of the perfect strangers. Welsh actor Evans portrays Lee who turns up at the spa with his phone and iWatch in tow even though they'll be confiscated on arrival.

He's a gay man whose relationship remains ambiguously fragile, and he can't help but aim verbal barbs at other guests, especially Hall's Carmel Schneider.

Michael Shannon as Napoleon Marconi

Michael Shannon in Nine Perfect Strangers
Michael Shannon plays upbeat father Napoleon Marconi in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Shannon plays the patriarch of the Marconi family, Napoleon. The family suffered a tragedy after the death of their son three years prior to their arrival at Tranquillum House. Despite the loss, Napoleon remains an optimist and he hopes the discounted price they received to attend the resort will help heal each of them.

Many of the other cast members commented on Shannon's performance in Nine Perfect Strangers, praising him for giving one of the funniest performances. Cannavale however says he had a different experience with Shannon. "He's a great actor but he's intense. In certain scenes with Michael's grief stricken character, things were extra intense, I'll say. It got pretty real [on set] sometimes."

Asher Keddie as Heather Marconi

Asher Keddie in Nine Perfect Strangers
Australian actress Asher Keddie plays mother of the Marconi family Heather in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Matriarch of the Marconis, Keddie plays Heather who is still visibly suffering from the affects of her son's death. Heather seems to be one of the most damaged characters initially until the effects of Tranquillum's clandestine practices seem to heal her mind and set her on the road to recovery.

Actress Keddie is known for her roles in Australian TV shows such as Love My Way and Offspring. She also had parts in the likes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Rams.

Grace Van Patten as Zoe Marconi

Grace Van Patten in Nine Perfect Strangers
Grace Van Patten is the grieving Zoe Marconi in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

The daughter of the Marconi family, Zoe is still suffering from the loss of her twin-brother. At 20-years-old, Zoe will be turning 21 whilst at Tranquillum House, which her mother points out is an unusual way for a person to spend their 21st birthday.

Van Patten comes from an acting family and has starred in the likes of The Sopranos, Maniac, The Meyerowitz Stories and Tramps.

Manny Jacinto as Yao

Manny Jacinto in Nine Perfect Strangers
Manny Jacinto plays resort worker Yao in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

One of the Tranquillum House staff members, Yao is a calming influence on the guests and tries to maintain serenity as things start to get out of hand.

Jacinto, best known for his role as Jason in comedy The Good Place, says he's trying to be more like Yao in his real life. He told Newsweek: "I'm trying to practice a bit of Yao's meditative practices like breathing and staying calm.

"So many things were happening on the set and especially with Yao, he is injected into all these chaotic scenes, and you can't help but feel a little anxious, and hopefully try and do a good job. But when you move into the zone or aspect of 'just try and be of service. Just try and do the best that you can'. I think that alleviates a lot of pressure," Jacinto said.

Tiffany Boone as Delilah

Tiffany Boone in Nine Perfect Strangers
Tiffany Boone is Delilah, a Tranquillum House staff member in the new Hulu series "Nine Perfect Strangers." Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Rounding off the cast is Delilah, another staff member at Tranquillum House, who along with Masha (Kidman) and Yao (Jacinto) tries to soothe the often frantic guests at the resort.

She's in a fractious relationship with Yao as a third party threatens the tranquility of their bond. Along with Yao, she cares for the guests and leads them in activities, meal times and soothing sessions.

Nine Perfect Strangers first three episodes, "Random Acts of Mayhem," "The Critical Path" and "Earth Day" will all be available to watch on Hulu on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Episodes will air weekly from there with the finale airing on September 22, 2021.