5th September 2021 – (Hong Kong) Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman came to Hong Kong for the shooting of the Amazon series “EXPATS and her exemption from quarantine has caused great controversy. During the filming, there was a dispute with her movie director Lulu Wang. Nicole was apparently not accustomed to the filming style in Hong Kong. After coming to Hong Kong for just 25 days, she finally “surrendered” due to the built-up pressure and she decided to take 2 months off. She left Hong Kong in a private jet today and is tentatively scheduled to return to Hong Kong to start work in November.
Nicole Kidman flew to Hong Kong from Australia on the 12th of last month to start work on the American drama “Expats”. Due to the severe epidemic in Australia, the Delta variant virus is currently raging in Sydney, but she was exempted from quarantine by the Hong Kong government. After arriving in Hong Kong, she was accused of going out shopping at COS boutique in Central. However, Commerce and Economic Development Bureau subsequently justified her shopping spree as part of her itinerary to select costumes for the set.
The incident caused great repercussions and the government was accused of potentially causing a loophole in epidemic prevention.
Nevertheless, the crew continued to shooting in multiple districts in Hong Kong including Admiralty, Western District, Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui, during which there were even some unpleasant incidents. At a filming of a large-scale street scene on Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok for 4 nights, Nicole once had a dispute with director Lulu Wang, she allegedly lost her cool and returned to the residence on the Peak and suspended filming.
Initially it was thought that Nicole would return to work after a short break and everything would return to normal. However, she finally succumbed to pressure from public opinion and disagreements with the director. She also reportedly complained of the restrictive shooting environment in Hong Kong because most foreign countries have large facilities during filming.
The crew originally applied to the Hong Kong government for a three-month filming period. She was expected to stay in Hong Kong until October before flying to Malaysia to shoot for other scenes. However, due to the severe epidemic situation in Malaysia, the crew finally cancelled the trip and decided to build a Malaysian street scene in Hong Kong instead. The crew members were supposed to extend their stay in Hong Kong until December.
Nicole’s sudden departure today has resulted mayhem in the filming schedule. In order to minimise the impact, the crew will stay in Hong Kong to film other scenes without Nicole and continued to shoot again when she returns to Hong Kong. It is said that after Nicole leaves Hong Kong, she will return to her hometown in Australia for a short rest before flying to U.K. to film “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom 2”.
In response to the incident, Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said that it did not ask the production team to provide departure information for individual personnel and will not comment on the relevant news. It is unsure if Nicole Kidman will be subject to quarantine measures when she returns to Hong Kong in November as COVID-19 situation in Australia may become more severe by then.