Hollywood star Nicole Kidman cut short shooting in Hong Kong on TVseries Expats and flew back to Australia yesterday after a spat with her director and feeling irked and crowded in by ogling fans.
The 54-year-old Oscar winner will now take a two-month break in Sydney before heading to the United Kingdom to film the movie Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
She will then return to Hong Kong in November to complete filming on Expats, an Amazon Prime Video series.
Kidman attracted controversy last month after she was allowed to skip quarantine procedures when arriving in Hong Kong to film Expats, for which she is not only the leading actor but also its executive producer.
It is understood Kidman left Hong Kong on a private jet yesterday in the fallout of her losing her temper during a dispute with the Amazon TV series’ director, Chinese-American Lulu Wang Ziyi.
Kidman had argued with Wang during a shooting in a pet shop in Mong Kok on August 26. Kidman was supposed to shoot overnight, but she only stayed there for 2 hours before leaving in a huff after the argument.
And that was after she also swept all the items off her dressing table when she returned to her private resting room adjacent to the set, sources said. She then returned to the residence on the Peak where she had been staying without completing her filming schedule for that night.
It is understood the crew skipped over scenes in which she should have appeared and filmed other sections.
Kidman then suspended work for three days. The talk among the Expats’ crowd was how Kidman decided to leave Hong Kong as she failed to adapt to the filming environment in Hong Kong.
Unlike other overseas film facilities to which she has grown accustomed including private resting lounges, the sets for Expats are very close to local residents and she could only take time out in a small tent.
Linked to that, Kidman also became emotional when many residents took photographs of her while shooting.
The Expat team now plans to keep staying in Hong Kong and keep shooting until December, though with leading actress Kidman’s abrupt departure that will require much rescheduling.
Sources said Kidman planned to spend her time in Sydney resting – she cannot do much else as the city is in the middle of a strict lockdown as much of Australia fights the coronavirus – and then head to the United Kingdom for Aquaman filming.
Then she will return to Hong Kong.
Some people took to the internet to applaud Kidman’s departure, saying she should not have been allowed to skip quarantine when she first arrived and that she should not be able to do so again.
One pondered: “Is she stressed out because of the pandemic in Australia? She may be quarantined for 14 days when she comes back to Hong Kong because there are more than a thousand cases in Australia every day and the government won’t relax the quarantine rules again.”
But the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, which figured in Kidman’s easy arrival in Hong Kong, did not say whether she would be allowed to skip the mandatory quarantine period again when she returns to Hong Kong.
The bureau did no more than issue a statement to say: “All travelers arriving in Hong Kong must comply with the quarantine measures and requirements applicable at the time of arrival.” The bureau also refused to comment on Kidman’s departure, saying it did not require the crew to inform them about the departure of actors.
Kidman arrived in Hong Kong from Sydney on August 12 on a private plane and was exempted from a seven-day quarantine, triggering criticism that government officials had bent the rules for a movie star.
But the SAR administration’s line was that Kidman was exempted because it was “conducive to maintaining the necessary operation and development of Hong Kong’s economy.”