Meryl Streep to Star in ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 for HBO
The actress, fresh off her Oscar nomination for ‘The Post,’ returns to HBO after winning an Emmy for ‘Angels in America.’ HBO’s Big Little Lies is upping its star power for season two. Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Meryl Streep has boarded the premium
cable network’s second season of the drama starring Reese Witherspoon
and Nicole Kidman. Streep will play Mary Louise Wright, the mother to the abusive Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard), who (spoiler alert!)
was revealed to have been the one who died during the Emmy-winning
first season of the David E. Kelley drama based on the Liane Moriarty
novel. (Skarsgard is said to be returning in some capacity for season
two.) Streep’s Mary Louise Wright is described as a woman who is concerned
for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son Perry’s death.
She arrives in Monterey searching for answers. (Fun fact: Kelley told THR in October that Streep — and Tom Hanks — were his dream casting goals for Big Little Lies.) Big Little Lies took home eight Emmys and four Golden Globes
and prompted the cabler to stretch beyond Moriarty’s book. Sources say
season two, officially greenlit for seven episodes,
will also feature the parents for Zoe Kravitz’s character, Bonnie.
(Thus far, only Streep, Witherspoon and Kidman are confirmed to return
as deals with the remainder of the cast are still being worked out.
Sources note that the stars earned major salary bumps after Witherspoon’s sizable payday to star in and exec produce a morning show drama for Apple.)
Kelley is confirmed to return and has already penned all seven the
scripts for season two, which is partially based on a story by Moriarty.
HBO says season two will explore the “malignancy of lies, the
durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the
vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties
will erode … the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.”
Exec producers on season two include Kelley via his David E. Kelley
Productions banner; Kidman and her Blossom Films shingle topper Per
Saari, Witherspoon via Hello Sunshine, Bruna Papandrea, Andrea Arnold,
Jean-Marc Vallée, Nathan Ross and Gregg Fienberg. Moriarty will produce.
Arnold will direct all seven episodes and replaces Vallée behind the
Streep, meanwhile, is a three-time Oscar winner (The Iron Lady, Sophie’s Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer). She earned her 21st Oscar nomination this week for her role in Steven Spielberg’s journalism film The Post. She previously earned an Emmy win for her leading role in HBO’s miniseries adaptation of Angels in America. Big Little Lies will be her largest TV role to date after Angels. She is also attached to star in J.J. Abrams TV series The Nix, which
has been in the works since September 2016 and is rumored to have been
set up at Amazon. Streep is repped by CAA and Gendler and Kelly.
Big Little Lies Season Two is officially happening, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman to star
In one of the most memorable scenes of HBO’s Big Little Lies, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) confide in each other while sitting in a car, yelling things like “I want more!” and “I fucking miss it!” Fans have surely felt the same way since the show’s April finale, and now it’s official: Everyone will get more.
On Friday, HBO announced that BLL will return for a seven-episode second season, which will be directed entirely by Andrea Arnold (Transparent, I Love Dick). Witherspoon and Kidman are also signed on to return as stars and executive producers.
“I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists,”
Witherspoon said in a statement. “It gives us the opportunity to delve
deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey
families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who
embraced and championed them. I’m beyond excited to be working with
talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold who will be at the
helm. Andrea’s unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to
the filmmaking team.”
According to the HBO press release, most of the cast is expected to
return and contract negotiations are underway. Veteran TV
writer-producer David E. Kelley will write the entire season based on a
story created by Liane Moriarty, the author of the novel Big Little Lies. Jean-Marc Vallée, who directed the first season, will retain his role as an executive producer.
Additionally, Vulture has learned that auditions are underway for four
new characters and that production will occur between March and August.
(An HBO spokesperson said the network could not confirm the information
about the new characters.) According to a casting breakdown sent to
talent agencies for auditions, Emmy-winning casting director David Rubin
is searching for four actors to play the following characters:
Michael Perkins, a new second-grade teacher at Otter Bay Elementary
School who wants to cultivate global and social consciousness in his
young students. Renata (Laura Dern) becomes furious when Mr. Perkins’s
lessons on global warming causes Amabella to have a panic attack. (Poor
Amabella can’t get a break!) •
A new employee in the school administration office who befriends Jane
(Shailene Woodley). Eventually, the two women learn about each other’s
“deepest secrets.” •
Bonnie’s parents, Elizabeth and Martin Howard. Elizabeth is described
as someone who has passed on her outwardly Zen qualities to her daughter
Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz), but ultimately reveals herself to be controlling
and abusive. Martin is emotionally distant toward his daughter, but a
family emergency forces him to address the strain between them. Source
Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole
Kidman, Jessica Lange, Elisabeth Moss and Chrissy Metz gather for the
drama actresses roundtable to debate the power and pain of strong
females (onscreen and off) amid a culture of discrimination in the
industry and beyond