The 24-year-old actress says she hadn’t met Kidman face to face prior to filming, and their first interaction was in character.
“I met her for the first time when we were supposed to see her for the first time in the show,” Van Patten tells 9Honey Celebrity.
“I don’t know if that was purposeful. I remember feeling the same reaction, as we were meant to feel in the show. I was mesmerised, she was hypnotic and this force of nature. I was ready to do whatever she said.”
Van Patten said she felt totally inspired by Kidman’s approach to her craft.
“Her focus and dedication was unlike anything I’ve seen,” she reveals. “The way she was in it, and kept to herself and was so invested in the project. It’s something I strive for.”
Van Patten scored a career-making role as Zoe Marconi, the youngest attendee at Tranquilium House in the series. Along with her parents, Heather and Napoleon, Zoe is grappling with the tragic death of her brother.
“It was really emotional,” she says. “I read the book before and thought Liane [Moriarty] had done such a beautiful job writing Zoe in a way that was relatable. I felt a responsibility to translate that on screen.”
The much-anticipated series follows nine burnt-out individuals who attend Tranquilim House for a healing experience. It boasts an all-star cast that includes Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans and Regina Hall.
“It was a masterclass,” Van Patten says of her first mainstream role. “Above their talent and professionalism, they were all such amazing people. So funny, and fun to be around. I had the best time. Especially those group scenes, it felt like summer camp!”
While the series is based on the novel by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, she teases some unexpected moments.
“The show takes its own course. Hopefully, fans of the book will be pleasantly surprised, because they won’t see what’s coming,” she explains. “It sticks to the characters trauma and the depth of their journey. In terms of plot, it does have a changeup which I love.”
However, Van Patten believes it will resonate with anyone who has dedicated themselves to some form of self-improvement.
“The show is so relatable is because everyone is always looking to improve and get better,” she says. “I feel that in my everyday life, but the show also shines a light on our culture’s obsession with self-awareness and transformation and wanting it to happen so quickly.”
She added, “I find it so fascinating that we do that as people.”
Van Patten caught the show business bug early when she was cast in the hit TV show The Sopranos. She’s since scored parts in The Meyerowitz Stories and Maniac.
“I was eight years old and I remember watching Jimmy Gandolfini go from this beautiful soulful sweet man to this monster gangster,” she says.
“I realised I want to play dress up for a living, I was so inspired by that. That’s definitely what lit the fire. I hope to continue to do it for as long as I can. It’s an unpredictable business. There’s no guarantee you will get the next job. I hope I will have the opportunity to keep doing it.”
Van Patten also hopes that she can fulfil her ambition of going behind the camera.
“I’d love to write, and direct, and produce,” she says. “That’s far ahead, but that’s definitely a dream of mine to go into those fields.”
Nine Perfect Strangers is available for streaming on Amazon Prime from August 20.
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