UPDATE: We are getting a flood of phone calls tonight that Netflix’s B-roll filming of limited series The Perfect Couple in Nantucket was significantly disrupted by local SAG-AFTRA pickets.
We just heard from several local SAG-AFTRA actors and a local strike Captain in Nantucket there that when they learned of the production resuming shooting via permits –even without the series’ major cast– they smelled something fishy and headed to the Massachusetts island. Essentially, the word was out that the production was looking for people who were just driving cars. That’s a union actor’s job being taken away. “They’re messing with our money,” one Massachusetts actor tells Deadline tonight. Again, none of the major cast showed up to filming today.
It is unclear if Kidman and producers were aware of this B-roll shoot. Kidman was recently part of the group of celebrities who each donated $1M or more to the SAG-AFTRA foundation’s emergency assistance program that was formed to help with guild members during the strike. She also recently made a big donation to IATSE. She is a huge supporter of the guild and the strike.
“Netflix was trying to film pedestrians and make them unintentional scabs. They didn’t get to do it. IATSE didn’t cross the picket line and they didn’t get the filming done,” one SAG-AFTRA captain tells Deadline, “(author) Elin Hilderbrand confronted us in the morning and said we were crushing her dreams. Reamed us out and stomped off in tears.” Hilderbrand is reportedly a Nantucket local.
Local SAG-AFTRA actors are declaring a win in that The Perfect Couple production was canceled for today and the local paper Nantucket Current backs that up. “The members of SAG-AFTRA who traveled from all over New England to get to the island this morning said they considered anyone who would be driving the vehicle or was pictured in the shots to be scabbing their jobs,” reads the Nantucket Current.
A source close to the production tells Deadline that filming today for The Perfect Couple in Nantucket wasn’t totally shut down; that after SAG-AFTRA picks forced filming to stop, the production ventured elsewhere to shoot. No word on whether production will continue tomorrow.
Earlier this summer we’re told WGA picks shut down The Perfect Couple shooting in Chatham, Mass.
PREVIOUS, 6:15PM: In a good sign that the industry is quickly getting back on its feet after the WGA strike, Netflix returned to filming its Nicole Kidman, Liev Schreiber, Dakota Fanning and Omar Epps limited series, The Perfect Couple in Nantucket, Mass. today, less than 48 hours after scribe pickets stopped.
However, today’s shoot we understand, largely second unit, was without actors given SAG-AFTRA’s continuing strike now in its 77th day.
Filming on The Perfect Couple earlier in the year in Chatham, Mass where parts of the Cape Cod town occurred doubled as Nantucket locales, ie the town’s police department.
Deadline confirmed local reports that the streamer sent a 50-person crew to shoot the TV adaptation of Elin Hilderbrand’s 2018 New York Times bestselling murder mystery novel. The story follows Nantucket native Celeste Otis, who on the Fourth of July is about to marry the perfect man, who just so happens to be from the wealthiest family in the area. But when a body is discovered floating in the harbor on the morning of what was to be the #weddingoftheyear, everyone at the party is suddenly a suspect. Eve Hewson plays Amelia Sacks, the bride, while Kidman plays the groom’s mother and famous novelist Greer Garrison Winbury.
The limited series is directed and exec produced by Emmy winner Susanne Bier (The Undoing) and comes from Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps.
The Nantucket Current reports that filming was to occur on Nantucket’s Main Street with three areas decorated for Fourth of July including the town’s book store, local restaurant Brotherhood of Thieves and a Civil War monument.
Reportedly the scenes shot did not require writers to be present.
Netflix hasn’t officially set a premiere date for the series.
21 Laps developed the limited series under their overall deal with Netflix and is producing alongside The Jackal Group. It’s created by showrunner Jenna Lamia, who will exec produce alongside 21 Laps’ Levy and Josh Barry, Hilderbrand, and the Jackal Group’s Berman and Hend Baghdady.
Kidman previously teamed with Bier on the HBO crime drama The Undoing.
SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP are expected to return to talks on Monday.