Lulu Wang said that it was Nicole Kidman who contacted her and asked her to take care of the series. Expats.
The Australian actress actually saw The Farewell and reached out to her, saying:
I have a book that I’ve acquired the rights to, and you’re really the only director I want to direct.
Lulu had not considered the possibility of creating a television project, but was still searching for her “voice.” However, the director admitted:
When Nicole Kidman comes to you and says, “I’ll let you do whatever you want with the material, you’re the only director… Take charge of one episode or the whole thing… Let’s just talk about it.” “then you listen.
Wang then read a book written by Janice Y. K. Lee in 2016, which is about three women living in Hong Kong, and told Deadline that her parents left China in 1989, when she was just six years old, due to what happened in Hong Kong. Tiananmen Square and many of their friends did the same, and some moved to Hong Kong.
I told Nicole that the only way to do this show was to do it completely my way, I would direct all the episodes and have complete freedom.
Lulu was convinced that she would never be allowed to do what she wanted and was afraid of misrepresenting anything, given that Hong Kong is a very sensitive topic. Instead, Kidman gave her carte blanche:
I thought, “Oh no, now I’m in trouble!”
The actress and producer were quick to express their support, but Lulu Wang felt a huge sense of responsibility and was aware of her limitations as an outsider in Hong Kong.
I thought it was pretty special how Amazon and Nicole allowed me to create a writer’s room. After all, it was full of women, some of whom didn’t have the experience that a studio would normally require. For example, Janice, who wrote the novel, has never worked in television and has never been part of a writers’ room.
The writer, in particular, showed a special willingness to cooperate:
Janice said: “I wrote this novel many years ago. I want the series to be alive. It shouldn’t just be a repeat of what I created, and so much has happened in Hong Kong and around the world since the novel was written.”
What do you think about Lulu Wang and Nicole Kidman’s collaboration in The Expats? Leave a comment!