‘Nine Perfect Strangers’: Samara Weaving’s Perspective of Influencers Changed After Playing Jessica

Samara Weaving‘s role in Nine Perfect Strangers feels familiar to many fans. The influencer lifestyle Weaving’s character Jessica aspires to have is very common, but being an influencer can evokes a negative perception. Weaving did a lot of research on the work women put in to become successful influencers. By playing Jessica in Hulu‘s Nine Perfect Strangers, Weaving formerly negative perspective of influencers shifted. 

Samara Weaving as Jessica in 'Nine Perfect Strangers'  smiling and digging with a shovel, wearing a purple sports bra and leggings.
Samara Weaving as Jessica in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ | Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Samara Weaving plays influencer with body dysmorphia in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’

Nine Perfect Strangers is an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name. The star-studded cast of the Hulu series includes Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, who are both producers. Regina Hall, Luke Evans, Michael Shannon, and Bobby Cannavale are also in the cast of Nine Perfect Strangers

Weaving plays Jessica, an Instagram-obsessed influencer with severe body dysmorphia. Her husband (Melvin Gregg) agrees to stay at the idyllic Tranquillum House in the hopes of fixing their marriage. Jessica’s stay at the wellness retreat unearths a different problem — her lacking self-esteem and an obsession with plastic surgery. 

“I spoke to friends of mine who have body dysmorphia, as well as someone whose mum has it,” Weaving tells Cosmopolitan. “We went into what it was like to grow up around it. There was one case where a woman had liposuction on her kneecaps, which summed up for me how unwell the illness can make you.”

Samara Weaving knows it’s ‘really hard to be an influencer’ 

Weaving did a lot of soul-searching in preparing to play Jessica. “[She] made me think about my perception of women and where I’m at fault in snap judgments that are anti-feminist,” Weaving tells W Magazine. The actor says she “unlearned” a few things to play the part, like how not to judge or gossip about “women who dress a certain way and get a lot of work done.”

Weaving’s role in Nine Perfect Strangers proves what influencers share on the internet doesn’t even scratch the surface of who they are. “And even if it is, why do we care and judge people for that?” Weaving adds. “The judgment on influencers in general — it’s really hard to be an influencer.” 

Samara Weaving seeks to ‘smash patriarchal resentments’ as Jessica Chandler in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ 

Recognizing the over-saturation in the influencer market, Weaving realizes the challenges women face to get ahead in the industry. That’s part of the reason she took on the role of Jessica. 

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“What drew me to the character [was] smashing those patriarchal, very stale resentments that are in our culture,” she explains to W Magazine. Ironically, Weaving has been “smashing” the patriarchy for quite a while. Nine Perfect Strangers isn’t a first for Weaving in terms of strong female roles. 

In Ready or Not, Weaving plays Grace, a newlywed bride who must fight to survive her groom’s family in a twisted game of hide-and-seek. Grace manages to stave off her in-laws in a bloody wedding dress, proving to be one badass bride. 

Watch Weaving continue “smashing” the patriarchy in Nine Perfect Strangers — new episodes release Wednesdays on Hulu.