Nicole Kidman is facing some backlash in Hong Kong right now because of the circumstances surrounding her ability to take part in a production that is filming there right now. According to Deadline, Kidman was able to bypass some rather strict quarantining rules for the country and was granted a waiver that doesn’t seem to apply to everyday citizens of the country. Now, some folks are more than a bit miffed over what appears to be special treatment given to Kidman in a country that has some extremely stringent Covid-19 related rules in place.
The issue around Nicole Kidman here has to do with her being granted an exemption on August 12th by the Hong Kong Commerce and Economic Development Bureau so she could take part in the filming for the Amazon series The Expats. Apparently, Hong Kong citizens or others entering the country for the first time are subject to a mandatory 21-day quarantine. This would have had Kidman sidelined from filming for three weeks upon entering. But with the exemption, she was able to skirt that rule and avoid the quarantine altogether. Hong Kong representatives explained the exemption by saying it was necessary to the economic integrity of the country to have this show be able to shoot on time.
Obviously, Nicole Kidman being able to do this rankled more than a few citizens and commenters who felt this was a clear case of preferential treatment for the actress, something not considered for nearly anyone else entering the country. Some took to social media to vent their frustrations around Kidman not being subject to the same protocols many other citizens are required to follow during the pandemic.
The Expats, the series Nicole Kidman was flying into Hong Kong to shoot, focuses on a group of titular non-Hong Kongese who are vying for status in the country. The theme of the show is an interesting twist on this story considering the actress was able to avoid rules set in place for nearly every citizen there. The show will be based on the 2016 novel The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee that focuses on three women living in Hong Kong and how their lives intersect.
It is unclear if this latest dust-up with Nicole Kidman will have any long-term ramifications for the show. The way these things go is there is an initial outburst of frustration and then the news cycle moves on. But seeing as Hong Kong is embroiled in its own issues with China right now specifically around censorship and personal freedoms, it just adds another layer of problems for a country struggling with its current political climate.
In addition to The Expats, Nicole Kidman has a few other high-profile productions coming down the pike. The first will be the Viking thriller The Northman featuring an all-star cast of Anya Taylor-Joy, Alexander Skarsgard, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Bjork among others. And then she will be playing Lucille Ball in the biopic about the icon’s life. Being the Ricardos is in pre-production right now. And finally, she is also set to start filming the series Roar which will have her as part of a rotating cast that explores a different woman’s story in each episode.