- Melvin Gregg plays Ben in Nine Perfect Strangers opposite Jessica from Samara Weaving.
- His partner’s daily transformation was so drastic that her normal appearance took him by surprise.
- “I’ve seen Jessica more than Sam,” he told Insider.
When Melvin Gregg saw his Nine Perfect Strangers co-star Samara Ukala without a suit, he was amazed.
The 32-year-old man who plays Ben Chandler is used to seeing the Australian actress as his on-screen wife Jessica Chandler, for whom she covered her body with a faux tanner, wore fake teeth and tightened the skin on her skin. her face with wire.
Without heavy makeup and dentures, Weaving looked like a completely different person.
“I was shocked when I saw Jessica every day and then met Sam,” Gregg told Insider.
He added, “I’ve seen Jessica more than Sam.”
In David E. Kelly’s eight-part adaptation of Liana Moriarty’s 2018 novel, partners play two young lottery winners whose reality turns out to be incompatible with the wealth tale they envisioned.
Ben is a retired truck driver who has no purpose after making a $ 22 million fortune overnight, and Jessica is an ambitious influencer with body dysmorphia and an overwhelming preoccupation with being perceived by strangers.
Eager to save their marriage, they stay at an elite wellness center called Tranquillum House for family therapy.
Before production of Nine Perfect Strangers began in early 2020 in Byron Bay, the partners met several times over lunch to get to know each other better and to understand the backstories of their characters.
They joined in with the rest of the cast to film the big group scenes first, so Gregg said he and Weaving got used to playing with each other before moving on to the relationship scenes.
“I kind of built Ben around who Jessica was, so it definitely helped to see how she took Jessica,” he said, adding, “We had the opportunity to get to know each other throughout the process before filming a lot. paired things. “
But with Weaving wearing a lot of makeup from day one on set, where the actors spent most of their time, Gregg quickly got used to seeing his on-screen doppelganger as Jessica – fake teeth, nails, tanning and all.
“As soon as we started filming, I would see her every day in the form of Jessica, and everyone cleaned up before anything, whether it was lunch or game night. She would appear as Sam, and I would say, “Wait, wait.” “Gregg remembered.
To him, she looked “a completely different person.”
The other cast members of Nine Perfect Strangers reportedly reacted exactly the opposite. When Weaving first stepped onto the set as Jessica, some of them had no idea who she was.
“Nobody recognized me. My phone wouldn’t open when I saw my face, ”Weaving said. Digital spy… “Regina [Hall] did not recognize me at all. She’s like, “Who is this?”
Dressing up Jessica turned out to be a kind of experiment for Weaving, which discovered a difference in the way people behaved towards her when she was in a suit, not in a suit.
“All reactions and their behavior varied depending on how I looked, even though they knew I was not Jessica,” she said. “It definitely helped me because it was so interesting to see how other people perceive her, and using that, you feel in full view.”
The actress continued, “And just imagining how everyone would behave was really exciting and made me think,“ Are we judging people by their looks a lot more than I thought? “
Nine Perfect Strangers available to stream
, with the release of new episodes weekly.