Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman reveal the genesis of Big Little Lies
It began with a manuscript. In 2014, a friend slipped Reese Witherspoon an early galley of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. The Australian author has a knack for spinning a compelling tale — her previous book, The Husband’s Secret, had hit No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list a year earlier — and this one was no exception.
“Liane’s writing is so enthralling, I was hanging on every word. I read it in one night,” says Witherspoon of the story of a wealthy seaside enclave where not everything is as perfect as it seems and the combined community secrets lead to a mysterious murder.
Her producing partner, Bruna Papandrea, called Nicole Kidman — a longtime friend since the women were teenagers — and said simply: “I’ve found the thing for us all to do together.” Kidman (who also read the book in a single sitting) happened to be leaving the next day for Australia, and while there she met Moriarty for coffee. “I said to her, ‘If you give us the rights to the book, we can get it made,’” says Kidman.
Within 18 months, a staggering number of A-listers were heading into production. Witherspoon and Kidman were joined by Shailene Woodley in the lead roles, with Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgård, and Adam Scott also in the cast. David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal) signed on as an executive producer and wrote all seven episodes. Jean-Marc Vallée — fresh off his Oscar-nominated film Wild — agreed to direct every installment, too. (He’d been planning to direct only the pilot but had a hard time saying no to his Wild leading lady. “This is all Reese’s fault,” he says with a laugh. “I was about to take a vacation, and I was so tired. But then I read it, and I couldn’t abandon it after I started.”)
All that talent shows: The series has its fair share of humor and dark drama — and then even darker drama — yet the actresses never miss a step. “I sometimes felt like I was watching a class in acting,” says Witherspoon of her costars.
Big Little Lies premieres on Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Check out the trailer above.
It’s the start of a New Year, and time for us to look back on Reese’s dynamic 2016 and look forward to what she’ll be offering in 2017. On the surface 2016 was a relatively quiet year for Reese, but behind the scenes it seemed as if she’d been working in overdrive! She made a few red carpet and magazine cover appearances, but Reese’s 2016 seemed to have been focused on her Draper James company and developing strong roles for women in film through her production company Pacific Standard. 💛
The start of the year bought us Reese on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, in a gorgeous, feminine new photoshoot and an interview in which she chatted to the magazine about Draper James and her career. She echoed similar sentiments about improving the image of women in film to Entertainment Weekly magazine, in a ‘beyond beautiful’ spread also including Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, and Elizabeth Banks. The interview touched on topics from social media to their diverse careers, and the pretty but simplistic photoshoot complemented the meaningful nature of the interview.
Reese’s major public appearance at the start of the year was at the Oscars. She wore a gorgeous purple gown by Oscar de la Renta, with Jimmy Choo shoes and jewellry from Tiffany’s. Her husband accompanied her on the red carpet, and inside the ceremony she introduced clips from two of the Best Picture nominees with her friend Kate Winslet. Reese’s stylist Leslie Fremar explained the choices behind Reese’s dress: “Last week, it was lavender. We remade it in a darker purple because we thought it was really fresh and looked beautiful with her skin tone. The shape of the fan was really different and something I hadn’t seen before, and the black corset was really sexy. We didn’t want to compete with how beautiful, but simple, the dress was.”
Reese and Matthew McConaughey attended AOL HQ in New York today to promote Sing for the BUILD series. Watch some clips below, and we’ll have photos for you asap …
BUILD is a live interview series like no other—a chance for fans to sit inches away from some of today’s biggest names in entertainment, tech, fashion and business as they share the stories behind their projects and passions. Every conversation yields insights, inspiration and plenty of surprises as moderators and audience members ask questions. It all happens several times a week from AOL headquarters in NYC and live-streamed at AOL.com.
November 29, 2016 • Category: "Big Little Lies" •
Comments Off on ‘Big Little Lies’ From David E. Kelley Gets Premiere Date On HBO
‘Big Little Lies’ From David E. Kelley Gets Premiere Date On HBO
HBO has set 9 PM Sunday, February 19, for the premiere of Big Little Lies, the anticipated seven-episode limited series created by David E. Kelley and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club).
Based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling book, the darkly comedic drama tells the tale of three mothers of first-graders whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz, James Tupper and Jeffrey Nordling star. Vallée directs from scripts by Kelley. The series is executive produced by Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea, Kidman, Per Saari, Kelley, Vallée, Nathan Ross and Gregg Fienberg; Barbara Hall and Liane Moriarty produce.
Reese’s former Pacific Standard producing partner Bruna Papandrea spoke about Big Little Lies with The Sydney Morning Herald:
Producer Bruna Papandrea tackles Hollywood sexism with Big Little Lies
“I want to keep putting women at the centre of stories, and giving our daughters examples of what women can be,” says Bruna Papandrea, the Australian-born, Hollywood-based producer of Gone Girl, Wild, Pom-zom-rom-com Warm Bodies and the hotly anticipated HBO series Big Little Lies.
“Maybe I’ll make a movie about a female president for instance, just to let the world know that is still possible.”
Papandrea is dressed all in black when we meet at the Screen Forever conference at Crown in Melbourne. “I’m in mourning, for the US election result,” she says. “I mean it. I’m really upset.”
It was the lack of decent roles for women that spurred Papandrea and Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon to launch Pacific Standard, a production company with the specific aim of finding and telling stories by and about women, in 2012. They made Gone Girl and Wild (buying the rights to both before the books had been released) and the cop comedy Hot Pursuit before parting ways in August.
Witherspoon continues with Pacific Standard, while Papandrea is again a solo operator, not yet settled on a name for her operation. “I think I’m calling it Make A Movie,” she says. “For now.”
She is coy about why they split. “Let’s just say we are two strong women who both speak their minds. But we have a lot of projects in the pipeline, so we will be doing business together for a long time yet.”
At any rate, the mission to create female-led content remains. “We are starving for it,” she says. “Television has done a better job than film, but we’ve not done a good job at representing women.”
Reese’s former Pacific Standard producing partner Bruna Papandrea spoke to the Aussie Daily Telegraph recently about what the twosome are still working on together, despite their recent split:
Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon still have a lot of work to do together
THERE’S no bad blood between acclaimed Aussie producer Bruna Papandrea and former production partner Reese Witherspoon.
The duo last month announced the shock dissolution of their creative partnership but Papandrea says they will continue to work together on a slate of upcoming projects.
“We’re just getting closer to what’s next, Reese and I still have 25 projects together,” Papandrea told Confidential.
Papandrea, 45, and the Sweet Home Alabama star joined forces in 2012, forming production company Pacific Standard that counts box office smash hit Gone Girl and Oscar winner Wild among its credits.
But in September this year, they announced the dissolution of their creative partnership, with Witherspoon retaining the production company while Papandrea creates a new venture.
“Bruna is a hardworking, extremely talented producer. I’m happy to further collaborate with her on the strong slate of Pacific Standard properties,” Witherspoon said in a statement at the time.
Before they part ways entirely, they will collaborate on a number of upcoming projects, including the adaptation of Liane Moriaty’s novel Big Little Lies that will star Witherspoon alongside Australians Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts.
“We’re in post (production) on that TV series, that’s airing on HBO next February. We just put out the first teasers, that’s exciting,” she said.
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