From Nine Perfect Strangers to The Undoing, We Ranked Nicole Kidman's Haunting Performances

Emmy winner Nicole Kidman always knows how to have a chillingly good time. Relive Kidman's most haunting roles ahead of Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers premiere on Aug. 18.

By Samantha Bergeson Aug 15, 2021 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Nicole Kidman Says Streep Convinced Her to Take Role in "Bombshell"

No one has played a child kidnapper, seductive serial killer and haunted mother quite like Nicole Kidman. And yes, we would still join any cult she leads!

Emmy and Oscar winner Kidman has kept audiences guessing in psychological thrillers like Big Little Lies and The Undoing, but Kidman's witchy ways have not only been limited to the small screen. Destroyer proved Kidman can take no prisoners as a grief-stricken LAPD detective, while Kidman later seamlessly transformed into FOX News anchor Gretchen Carlson for the disturbing real-life sexual harassment scandal in 2019's Bombshell. And how can we forget Kidman's pitch perfect portrayal of the "ideal" spouse in Stepford Wives

Kidman is just so good at playing damaged, broken and bad that it's almost impossible to pick our favorite from her chillingly memorable roles. And let's just say, her turn as mysterious wellness retreat guru Masha Dmitrichenko in the highly-anticipated series, Nine Perfect Strangers, premiering on Aug. 18, promises to be her most thrilling character yet. But no, this is not Kidman's first time with a Russian accent!

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A Tribute to Nicole Kidman's Undoing Coats

"I'm really, really just grateful to have opportunities as an actor, to be a part of these [movies] and that these filmmakers give me a chance," Kidman told E! News at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. 

Below, relive Kidman's haunting performances over the years.

Nine Perfect Strangers

Nicole Kidman plays a charismatic wellness leader leading a ten-day retreat that quickly turns sinister for nine strangers. Melissa McCarthyLuke EvansBobby CannavaleRegina HallMichael Shannon and Samara Weaving co-star in the David E. Kelley-produced Hulu miniseries based on the novel by Liane Moriarty

The Undoing

Kidman teams up again with showrunner Kelley for HBO Max's The Undoing, centered around an elite Manhattan family dealing with the unthinkable: the murder of a mistress. Besides wearing a slew of fashionable coats, Kidman's character Grace Fraser begins questioning her husband (Hugh Grant) and her own sanity. The gruesome miniseries even took a toll on Kidman's real-life mental health due to the "taxing" experience filming. 

"Even on The Undoing it kind of happened where I just like suddenly was in this place of... There was sort of a disquietness to my personality," Kidman revealed on podcast WTF With Marc Maron, "where I was uneasy and there was duress on who I was. I went down for a week, because your immune system it doesn't know the difference between acting and truth when you're doing them."

Big Little Lies

Celeste Wright has been through a lot: domestic violence, emotional abuse and you know, she may or may not have killed her husband. Kidman's turn on Big Little Lies landed her a well-deserved Emmy in 2017. "We've shown a light on domestic abuse," Kidman said in her acceptance speech. "It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame and secrecy and by you acknowledging me with this award it shines a light on it even more." 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

A beloved surgeon (Colin Farrell) watches as his children mysteriously become ill. Kidman plays his well-meaning wife whose health also takes a turn for the worse, as a creepy teenager (Barry Keoghan) slithers into their family. 

The Beguiled

Taking the Battle of the Sexes literally! Set during the Civil War, 2017 film Beguiled centers on a Southern girls' boarding school helmed by headmistress Kidman, that takes in a wounded soldier (Colin Farrell). The inevitable sexual tension turns violent, leading to a story of seductive competition, mysterious vengeance and a cat-and-mouse chase with deadly consequences. Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning co-star as a teacher and rebellious student, respectively. 

Before I Go to Sleep

Christine (Kidman) can't remember anything past 24 hours due to a past traumatic accident, yet she uncovers hints that her reality is not what it seems. 

The Others

A mother of two (Kidman) moves into an old family mansion that may or may not be haunted. Spoiler: it is.

Stoker

A death in the Stoker family leads to a mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) moving in with India (Mia Wasikowska) and her unstable mother (Kidman) in the 2013 film. India becomes infatuated with her newfound relative as family secrets emerge. 

The Golden Compass

Based on the novels of the same name, The Golden Compass takes place in a parallel universe where children are kidnapped by the terrifying Mrs. Coulter (Kidman) for experimental purposes. And yes, Kidman wears more stylish fur-lined coats laced with kids' tears. 

The Stepford Wives

Joanna Eberhart (Kidman) may not be the perfect wife, but at least she's real. The 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives uncovers the secret behind perfect suburbia: lobotomies. 

To Die For

A career worth killing for. An aspiring TV anchor (Kidman) films a documentary about teenagers, but she has a sinister ulterior motive to sharing their stories. Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck and Matt Dillon co-star in the 1995 film. 

Destroyer

Kidman is barely recognizable as a traumatized LAPD detective who is forced to confront her past in Destroyer while investigating a new, grisly case. 

Rabbit Hole

A mother (Kidman) grieves for her young son after a fatal accident, turning to intense sexual coping with her husband (Aaron Eckhart). 

Birth

Cue the paranoia, because Birth is all about the chilling aftermath of grief. A young boy (Cameron Bright) tries to convince a widow (Kidman) that he is her dead husband reborn. 

Eyes Wide Shut

Tom Cruise plays a New York City doctor who discovers an underground world of elite sexual predators after his wife (Kidman) reveals that she had an affair.

The Human Stain

A disgraced former college dean (Anthony Hopkins) has an affair with a mysterious younger woman (Kidman) who has secrets of her own.

Bombshell

Kidman transforms into former FOX News anchor Gretchen Carlson during the Oscar-nominated biopic Bombshell, based on the sexual harassment lawsuit against the network. 

Dogville

Lauren BacallPaul Bettany and Patricia Clarkson co-star in director Lars von Trier's Dogville about a woman (Kidman) on the run from the mob who finds solace in a small town...but everything comes with a price.

The Portrait of a Lady

Kidman stars as an American woman who inherits a fortune and enters a toxic relationship that turns her life into a nightmare. John Malkovich and Barbara Hershey co-star in the 1996 film. 

Birthday Girl

Ben Chaplin stars as a lonely bank clerk who sends for a Russian mail-order bride (Kidman) who has a surprising past of her own. 

Malice

Happily married couple Tracy (Kidman) and Andy (Bill Pullman) are struggling to conceive, but their world turns upside down after Tracy undergoes a mysterious procedure by a reckless doctor (Alec Baldwin). 

Practical Magic

OK so, yes, Practical Magic is, for all intents and purposes, a romantic comedy. However, we just can't stop thinking about how Bewitch-ing Kidman is as a victim of domestic abuse who watches her boyfriend die...only to then resurrect him using her powers as a witch, with disastrous consequences.

Nine Perfect Strangers premieres Wednesday, Aug. 18 on Hulu. 

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