Nicole Kidman leads the cast of ‘Expats’ in this rich story about life in Hong Kong

Expatriate games.
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It’s not every day that an Oscar winner asks you to helm their next major TV series.

But this is precisely what happened when Nicole Kidman approached filmmaker Lulu Wang about creating an Amazon TV adaption of the 2016 novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, The Expatriates.

“[Nicole] said, ‘I have this book that I optioned and you’re really the only director that I want to make this,” Lulu told Deadline.

But after reading the fascinating story about the intersection of three starkly different American expatriates in Hong Kong, the Chinese-born American director had a counteroffer.

“I said to Nicole the only way that I could make this show is if I could do it completely my way… and have total freedom.” Fortunately, the A-lister agreed.

The result is this six-part masterpiece drama series where each episode is feature-like in length and production.

Margaret and her husband Clarke (Brian Tee) suffer

a shattering loss.

(Prime Video)

“Obviously, when you have someone like Nicole who backs your vision, it makes it all the more compelling to make a series of this size”, says Lulu.

In Expats, the three main characters become inextricably intertwined after a sudden family tragedy affects them all. A bond is forged – but it also sets in motion a chain of life-altering events that leaves the women with unthinkable choices.

Nicole plays Margaret, a married mother of three whose happy family life is upended by unbearable tragedy.

Margaret’s friend Hilary is played by Sarayu Blue, who brings to life a rich housewife conflicted by infertility issues.

Rounding out the lead trio is Ji-young Yoo who portrays Mercy, a young college graduate starting a new chapter in her life.

Hilary is played by Sarayu Blue.

(Prime Video)

But if this sounds like a Nicole Kidman-heavy production, think again. One of the other provisos Lulu had was her insistence that Nicole’s character would be peripheral in certain episodes.

“Everyone thought I was joking but Nicole got it,” Lulu explained. “It was exciting for us to go against what [the studio] were expecting.”

“I said, ‘She’s not even getting a closeup,'” laughed Lulu.

“I’m joking, I tell them. She’s going to get closeups, but I really wanted to shift the perspective in [some] episodes.”

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