Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington on Going ‘Toe-to-Toe’ in ‘Little Fires Everywhere’
In Little Fires Everywhere, series stars Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon play two strong-willed women and mothers, who come from vastly different backgrounds and social spheres, and whose lives become inexorably intertwined through a web of deceit, secrets and self-deception.
While their roles called for a few scenes of heated confrontation, both stars seemed to enjoy the experience of facing off against one another on screen. ET’s Kevin Frazier sat down with the pair during a junket for the Hulu drama, and they opened up about shooting some of their more intense showdowns.
“It was so much fun,” Washington recalled excitedly. “I felt a little nervous when we did it because I felt the pressure. Because people were crowding around the monitor like it was a major fight. Like it was Vegas.”
“Once we got started it felt so good to be in a scene with a scene partner who is so talented and adept and courageous in the work,” Washington added. “I mean she’s a phenom so it was really fun.”
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere is a tale of intrigue and domestic strife, and both Washington and Witherspoon’s characters find themselves in direct conflict — with neither willing to concede ground and both strengthened by their staunchly held belief in their moral integrity.
“I feel like it was such a good [dynamic] cause it was such an equal match,” Witherspoon shared. “We really went toe-to-toe and we both had these fierce ideologies that our characters were so really dug in about.”
Coronavirus: Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington on canceled premiere, ‘social distancing’
Coronavirus has thrown a wrench into kickoff plans for Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington’s upcoming Hulu miniseries “Little Fires Everywhere.”
The series, based on the bestselling 2017 novel by Celeste Ng, has received rapturous reviews ahead of its March 18 release, with USA TODAY writing that “the two producer/stars not only meet but easily exceed towering expectations.”
“Fires” charts what happens when the delicate balance in the postcard-perfect suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio, is thrown out of whack by the clash of two families. Set in 1998, the show watches white, rich, starkly blonde Elena Richardson (Witherspoon) and her husband, Bill (Joshua Jackson) cope with the arrival of artist and single mother Mia Warren (Washington) and her daughter Pearl (Lexi Underwood).
A splashy premiere was planned for Thursday night in Los Angeles, but has been canceled, like all major public events in Hollywood and beyond, in the wake of the coronavirus spread.
Today, the show soldiered on with its press day in Beverly Hills. Many of those interviews moved to phones (including this interview, at USA TODAY’s request). Media attending were asked by publicists to “please refrain from shaking hands/selfies/touching on-site. Additionally, should anyone feel they may be getting sick, we respectfully ask that the outlet send a different press member in your place.”
Witherspoon and Washington spoke jointly with USA TODAY, with more of the interview to follow next week.
Question: How are you feeling today about the coronavirus news?
Reese Witherspoon: I’m feeling everything that everyone out there is feeling: Confusion, stress. I’m trying to look for the most scientific facts and not listen to too much opinion. I feel flooded by opinion. (I’m) talking to friends who I find very grounding. But Kerry and I are similar in that we both have young children and older parents and (are) just navigating that thoughtfully.
Kerry Washington: As Reese said, (I’m) trying to gather the information that we need to get in order to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, but also remembering that your stress level can impact your immunity, and so to try and be calm as well.
Witherspoon: It’s never happened in my lifetime. Talking to my mother and hearing a historical perspective is interesting from her. But I think we’re all in new territory.
Q: What are your thoughts on the cancellation of tonight’s “Little Fires Everywhere” premiere?
Witherspoon: (It was) absolutely necessary. Social distancing is critical right now as we are trying to protect our most vulnerable.
Q: Is it true that the second season of “The Morning Show” is now on hiatus for two weeks?
Witherspoon: Yes that’s correct. We were filming. I shot yesterday and then Apple made the decision last night. And I think it was the right one.
Hulu Cancels ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Premiere Over Coronavirus Concerns
With the coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading in the U.S., Hollywood has been canceling large gatherings to help slow the outbreak. The latest event to be pulled over the coronavirus is the March 12 premiere of Hulu’s new limited series Little Fires Everywhere starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. The streamer just notified attendees of the cancellation in an email.
“As you are all aware, the current state of affairs has altered the daily lives of many people, including our cast and crew. After hearing from many of you, and out of an abundance of caution, we are canceling tomorrow’s Little Fires Everywhere premiere screening and celebration,” Hulu said in the email. “We are extremely proud of this series and can’t wait to share it with you when it debuts on Hulu on March 18. Thank you for your understanding.”
Based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling book, Little Fires Everywhere premieres March 18.
Developed and written by Casual‘s Liz Tigelaar, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott, Lexi Underwood and Huang Lu also star.
The series is produced by Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Washington’s Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios. Tigelaar serves as creator, showrunner and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Lauren Levy Neustadter, Pilar Savone and Lynn Shelton. Author Celeste Ng serves as producer.
The Gallery has been updated with new Little Fires Everywhere promotional photos – screencaptures from the recent trailers/teasers, posters and artwork, and – best of all – the first HQ stills! I’m really looking forward to this show – only 18 days to go til it premieres now…
Here’s a new teaser trailer for Little Fires Everywhere, which was released today to coincide with the Oscars. Little Fires Everywhere premieres on Hulu on March 18th.
Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Reese attended the Television Critics Association Winter Tour on Friday, to preview her upcoming Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere. Reese’s co-star/co-executive producer Kerry Washington, and writer and co-executive producer Liz Tigelaar joined her for the panel. They talked about developing roles for women, the complexity of the characters and storylines, and how producing their own projects opens up more opportunities for them. Reese wore a chic black outfit by Michael Kors for the panel.
Witherspoon, Washington team in front of and behind camera
Tired of others influencing her career choices, Reese Witherspoon launched her own production company eight years ago. She has been calling the shots on both sides of the camera ever since, often in collaboration with other high-profile actresses.
“I didn’t see a place to exist within the industry that we had,” she said. “There just wasn’t a spectrum of storytelling for women that I felt like was representative of the world that we walk through.”
Her company Hello Sunshine generates most of what Witherspoon does when she isn’t working with streaming services like Hulu. Starting in March, it airs “Little Fires Everywhere,” based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, with Witherspoon and Kerry Washington playing mothers living in Ohio in the late 1990s. Both women were executive producers as well.
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