Nicole Kidman Pushed for This Actor to Be in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’

Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers centers around nine unique guests who arrive at Tranquillum House, an exclusive wellness retreat. Nicole Kidman plays Masha, the eccentric owner of the retreat who hand selects her clients. It seems that Kidman also had a hand in selecting one of the cast members. Kidman pushed for one actor to portray one of the nine guests at Tranquillum. Although the actor was somewhat unknown to American audiences, Kidman has a good feeling about her.

Nicole Kidman smiles for a photo with her hair in an updo wearing a sequined top.
Nicole Kidman | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Asher Keddie plays Heather Marconi in “Nine Perfect Strangers’

Australian actor Asher Keddie plays Heather Marconi in Nine Perfect Strangers. Heather is the matriarch of the Marconi family, who goes to Tranquillum with her husband, Napoleon, and daughter, Zoe. When viewers meet the Marconi family, they are still reeling from the death of Zoe’s twin brother Zach three years prior. They arrive at Tranquillum several days before what would have been the twins’ 21st birthday.

At the beginning of Nine Perfect Strangers, Heather seems the most damaged by Zach’s death. Napoleon attempts to move on by maintaining a positive outlook on life. Zoe tells people that she wasn’t close with Zach. Heather, however, seems angry, depressed, and emotionally closed off. Her family is concerned about her enough to panic when she stands at the edge of a cliff in “The Critical Path.” However, as of the most recent episode, Tranquillum seems to be working wonders for Heather.

Keddie’s acting experience

Keddie gives an outstanding performance expressing the emotions of a grieving mother. Unsurprisingly, Nine Perfect Strangers isn’t her first acting gig. In fact, Keddie has earned quite a bit of praise for her role in the critically acclaimed Australian series, Offspring.

Asher Keddie smiles in a white top with short blonde hair and blue earrings.
Asher Keddie | Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

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Her character Nina Proudman is an obstetrician navigating the dating world after her divorce. Nina also eventually discovers that she was adopted. Keddie’s part in the series earned her a prestigious Golden Logie Award, according to Insider. She actually has a grand total of seven Logie awards.

Nicole Kidman pushed for Asher Keddie to play Heather

Despite her previous acting experience, it took a little prompting from Kidman for Keddie to be cast as Heather in Nine Perfect Strangers. Marie Claire states that American financiers were wary about casting an actor who would be mostly unknown to American audiences. Keddie’s only American acting credit was a small part as Dr. Carol Frost in the superhero film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Kidman is the founder of Blossom Films, the production company that acquired the TV and film rights to the Nine Perfect Strangers novel. She also serves as the executive producer on the series. Kidman feels strongly about using Blossom Films to showcase talented women who might be overlooked. “When you get to this point in your career, it becomes your greatest joy,” she told Marie Claire. “Part of my mission is to give chances to creatives, women especially, who haven’t really had the opportunity; it’s my greatest thrill.”

Keddie initially felt both “thrilled” and “frightened” at the prospect of portraying a mother grieving the loss of her son to suicide, Insider reports. However, Keddie rose to the occasion and gave the character new life.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.