MURRAY BARTLETT is still in hot holiday mode. After scoring the ultimate television accolade last year with an Emmy for Mike White’s acclaimed vacation drama The White Lotus, the Aussie actor is now checking in to another fictional retreat — the luxurious yet suspect Tranquillum House, where Nine Perfect Strangers takes place.
The show’s second season has been long-rumoured, with Hulu only just confirming it will go ahead. Nicole Kidman will reprise her role as the oddly-accented Masha, but the remainder of the cast is entirely new. Given his hot streak — Bartlett also starred alongside fellow handsome man Pedro Pascal in this year’s post-apocalyptic phenomenon The Last Of Us — the addition of Bartlett adds some definite rizz to the cast.
At Tranquillum, though, Bartlett will be trading Armond’s signature Hawaiian shirts for a cosy wardrobe befitting of the Swiss Alps, where the second season of None Perfect Strangers will be set.
While details are enigmatic and sparse, it’s been reported that season two will bring the same culty wellness vibes, where rich city dwellers fork out thousands of dollars to drink transformative smoothies in the middle of nowhere. Starring a whole new ensemble, besides the eccentric lead counsellor Masha — who may or may not be Russian? — Nine Perfect Strangers 2.0 will see Murray sit in lotus position alongside two-time Oscar-nominated Norwegian actor Liv Ullmann, Golden Globe-nominated actor Dolly de Leon (Triangles Of Sadness), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) and Turkish actor Aras Aydin (Escape).
While appearing to be the perfect escape for their first world problems, the 10-day boutique retreat becomes a holiday of horrors when Masha’s kooky methods show a more sadistic side to the facials and yoga the guests signed up for. She did lace previous Tranquillum House guests Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall and Samara Weaving’s breakfasts with hallucinogens after all.
Nine Perfect Strangers was the biggest series launch of 2021 on Prime Video Australia across drama, comedy, limited series or unscripted releases — scoring higher views in its opening weekend than any other series of 2021. In the U.S., the Byron Bay-filmed series — which Kidman also executive produces — was Hulu’s most-watched Hulu original ever when it debuted in September 2021.
While it’s unclear at this stage where Bartlett could be placed in this Nine Perfect Strangers cohort, there’s no doubt he’ll capture us with his quick wit, style and finesse. The former Home and Away actor is also a Loewe ambassador and, at the ripe age of 51, an emerging cultural fixture and internet daddy.
With a solid history of producing batshit crazy on-screen moments — need we recall that scene in the final episode of White Lotus season one — we can’t wait to see what he brings to this batshit crazy series.