Sometimes the best way to get in character is to be the character. 

In a Television Critics Association panel for Nicole Kidman’s new Hulu drama Nine Perfect Strangers, Deadline reports that she said she stayed in character for five months while preparing for her role. As she admits, she thinks she was “batshit crazy.”

“I’d only respond as Masha,” Kidman said. “I wanted a very calm healing energy to emanate all the time so I remember going over to people and sort of putting my hand on their heart, holding their hand, they would talk to me or use my name Nicole when I would completely ignore them.”

Nicole’s character of Masha, in the series that’s based on Liane Moriarty’s book, is a boutique health-and-wellness resort director who watches over other women on a 10-day retreat. Kidman herself calls the series “trippy” and “crazy,” and that describing it in terms of genre is near impossible. 

“The only way I could actually relate to people was that way because I felt like otherwise I would be doing a performance and I didn’t want to feel that way,” she said of her push to stay in character. 

Melissa McCarthy also stars in the series, which is directed by Jonathan Levine, and Kidman says that being part of a limited series isn’t too different than appearing in a film, as long as the team behind each episode remains more or less the same. 

”I haven’t actually done a show where you have different directors coming in and doing different episodes so for me it’s more like that extended cinematic storytelling,” Kidman revealed. “
At the same time, I started off in Australia, doing mini-series which is the equivalent of limited series… so I’ve always embraced it. I just think now it’s such a fantastic landscape because you have these writers and directors who are willing to work in this in this territory.”