The highly-anticipated Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers just premiered, and its star-studded cast has already won us over. The newest collaboration between Big Little Lies‘ David E Kelley and Nicole Kidman, the show depicts an ultra-exclusive wellness resort run by Russian guru Masha (Kidman). When nine strangers arrive at the resort with inner struggles they’re hoping to heal, Masha’s unorthodox methods leave the guests wondering what it truly means to be well.
In addition to Hollywood stars including Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, and Luke Evans, the cast of Nine Perfect Strangers also includes some up-and-coming actors in breakout roles. One outstanding performance comes from Samara Weaving, who plays Jessica, an aspiring social media influencer who hopes to strengthen her marriage with her husband, Ben. Though horror fans may be familiar with Weaving, everyone’s going to be raving about the Australian actress soon. Here’s everything we know about the up-and-coming star.
She was born in Adelaide, Australia.
Weaving, 29, was born in Adelaide, a town in southern Australia. Her childhood was spent living several countries in Asia, including Singapore, Fiji, and Indonesia. She also has some fellow actors in the family. Her uncle is Lord of the Rings and Transformers actor Hugo Weaving.
She decided to pursue acting at age 12 after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean.
Weaving started acting at a young age, after her parents put her in classes to help her get over her shyness. She told Harper’s BAZAAR that she decided to fully pursue acting after watching The Pirates of the Caribbean when she was 12. “I was exported out of this world. I was just so filled with curiosity, and I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever just happened to me. I wanted to know how to get an invitation to that party,” she said.
Her big break was in the soap opera Home and Away.
Following a long line of Australian who make it in America, Weaving got her big break on the soap opera Home and Away. She was cast when she was 17, and played teen Indi Walker from 2009-2013. Other famous Home and Away alums include Chris Hemsworth, Naomi Watts, and Heath Ledger.
She’s best known for acting in cult horror films.
After leaving Home and Away, Weaving began pursuing roles in the U.S. Besides landing Nine Perfect Strangers, she’s best known for leading several cult-favorite horror films. She played the titular role in the Netflix film The Babysitter in 2017, and later played a bride who is hunted by her spouse’s family for a demonic ritual in 2019’s Ready or Not (a must-watch film). Weaving also has a Screen Actors Guild award as part of the cast of 2018’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
She has a lot of respect for influencers after playing Jessica.
For her Nine Perfect Strangers role, Weaving researched Instagram influencers, and even spied on influencers IRL at coffee shops in Australia. She told W Magazine that playing the aspiring influencer made her rethink society’s at-times misogynistic judgment of influencers. “It’s really hard to be an influencer. The marketplace is swamped with people, all trying to do the same thing. You have to be a real business woman to get ahead in the influencer space. That was what drew me to the character: smashing those patriarchal, very stale resentments that are in our culture,” she said.
Weaving also told WWD that she hopes Jessica’s story, which includes struggling with body dysmorphia, will inspire viewers to try not to make snap judgments. “I even hear it now. I’ll just be in the car with friends, and someone will go, ‘Oh, she got too much filler.’ I’m just like, ‘Who cares, though?’ I remember, when tabloids would be like, ‘They’ve ruined their face.’ Jesus, this is someone’s life. If it makes them feel better, what’s it to you?”
She’s close friends with look-alike Margot Robbie.
Weaving is also part of a meme highlighting a group of women who look remarkably similar, including Margot Robbie, Jamie Pressly, and Sex Education’s Emma Mackey. Weaving told the The Sydney Morning Herald in 2019 that she’s been mistaken for Robbie on the street before, with strangers saying that they loved her in The Wolf of Wall Street. Turns out the Aussie actresses are close! “Margs and I hang out a lot,” she told SMH. “My fiancé [American writer and producer Jimmy Warden] and her husband [British director Tom Ackerley] are really close. She’s a wonderful, inspiring woman.”
She’s a huge fan of Love Island.
Like most of the world, Weaving’s a fan of the international reality-show franchise Love Island. She told W Magazine that she, Robbie, and a group of their friends all watch the show, and Robbie even hosted a Love Island-themed party this summer. “Our whole group of Aussies, Americans, and Brits over here in L.A., we’re all obsessed with Love Island. I just think it’s a fascinating human study—and a fun dress-up theme,” she said. She also described the dress code for the party as “skimpy bikinis and lots of fake tan.”
She’s scored roles in several highly anticipated films.
Nine Perfect Strangers is the first in a run of huge roles for Weaving. She’s also to star alongside Brad Pitt in Damien Chazelle’s new film Babylon, and she’ll play former Playboy bunny Holly Madison in the miniseries Down the Rabbit Hole, based on Madison’s memoir. “It’s going to blow the socks off of what people think of Playboy and Hugh Hefner,” Weaving said to Harper’s BAZAAR about the role.