Elle.com spoke to Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty this week, and she revealed her thoughts on the changes to the book in the series, and the possibility of a sequel …
Big Little Lies Author Liane Moriarty Isn’t Ruling Out Season Two
It’s not just you—the Big Little Lies withdrawal symptoms are setting in for all of us. We’ve analyzed the fashion, lusted after the real estate, obsessed over the soundtrack, mulled over the show’s potent and timely themes about toxic masculinity and female friendship, and are now just left craving more.
Though all seven episodes of Big Little Lies were scripted by David E. Kelley, the bulk of the series —its core storyline, its sharply defined characters, and much of its distinctive dialogue—came directly from Liane Moriarty’s original 2014 novel. And Reese Witherspoon revealed on Friday that she is in discussions with Moriarty about developing a story for season two.
ELLE.com caught up with Moriarty this week to get some intel on the adaptation process, how she felt about the numerous changes made from page to screen, and those season two rumors.
When Nicole Kidman approached her about optioning the novel, Moriarty had only one stipulation.
“When I first spoke to Nicole Kidman in Sydney about the series and she said she wanted to play Celeste, I was thrilled. I thought she’d be perfect for the role, and it turns out she couldn’t have been more perfect. I said to her that it was very important to me that her character doesn’t just take the abuse—she hits back. That was my only stipulation. I didn’t want her to be a passive, pretty victim. I wanted to show how these relationships become tangled and confused.”
She had no qualms about switching the setting from the novel’s fictional Australia beachside town to the real city of Monterey, California.
“Over the years, readers have often written to me commenting on how playground politics are the same the world over! I thought the Californian setting was beautiful and very similar to the Australian setting I’d imagined. In a way, I think changing the setting helped me ‘let go,’ which I think every author has to do when their work is adapted. If it had been set in Australia, I might have resisted changes to the book, which I’ve always known and understood were necessary in an adaptation.”
She loved some of the changes that were made—and accepted others.
“I really loved some of the changes—I thought the wardrobe choice for Madeline at the trivia night was better than my own. I wish I’d thought of that. My Madeline would not have had an affair, but I do understand why the Madeline in the series did, and I was prepared from the beginning for there to be changes. I think it’s a mistake when adaptations try to stick too closely to the original source material. There were a number of scenes which were entirely new, created by David E. Kelley, and I actually loved watching those scenes because I could enjoy them more freely, in a way, as I wasn’t comparing them to the book.”
The finale episode of Big Little Lies aired on Sunday, and it did not disappoint! The mysteries unravelled over the course of the episode, resulting in an intense but poignant ending. As ever, everything was on point – direction, writing, music and acting etc.. Reese put in a fabulous final performance as Madeline, and I just loved the complexities of her character and her relationship with Ed. The episode only left us wanting more!!
HD screencaptures have been added to the Gallery, and within this post are a few clips from the show. Don’t watch any of the clips if you haven’t seen the full episode and want to avoid spoilers! Nicole Kidman did a lot of press prior to the episode airing, and further down is a quote from her about working with Reese and the potential for more…
Madeline: “I would’ve told him to go f*** himself. But I don’t talk like that.”
Reese took time out of her holiday in the Caribbean to chat to fans on Facebook live yesterday. She and co-star Laura Dern also did an interview on Instagram. They revealed that they are considering a second season of Big Little Lies…
‘Big Little Lies’ Feels Crazy Truthful to Reese Witherspoon
Yes, even Reese Witherspoon has felt judged as a parent. The actress, producer, newly-named Elizabeth Arden brand ambassador and mom of Ava, 17; Deacon, 13; and Tennessee, 4, is fascinated by just how opaque and unreadable kids can be and how hard moms and dads try to seem absolutely perfect.
“Have you ever gotten a call that your kid bit someone at school? I have. You feel awful. You feel like there is something wrong. It’s interesting how we stigmatize people,” she tells Yahoo Style.
She explores the disparaging, cutting and very juicy side of motherhood (and fatherhood) in Big Little Lies, which has exploded as this season’s must-see show. The HBO miniseries delves into the inner lives of a multitude of multidimensional women, showcasing a bully (Laura Dern), a cheater (Witherspoon), a domestic abuse victim (Nicole Kidman), and a single mom raising a child of rape (Shailene Woodley).
Witherspoon was instrumental in bringing Liane Moriarty’s bestseller to the screen. She, along with Kidman, produced it and the project resulted in a bidding war. That’s because while much of Hollywood was busy lamenting the dire lack of roles for women of a certain age, or any age, Witherspoon was busy creating them.
Her production house, Pacific Standard, is now a part of the content company Hello Sunshine, a joint venture with Peter Chernin and AT&T whose sole mission is to tell female-driven stories on TV, film, and digital platforms.
“It’s my entire life. It’s so fulfilling to me. It’s all been leading to this place where I took control of my career,” Witherspoon says. “It came out of a frustration, of seeing the kind of roles for women that were so flimsy. Buying books that have complex and real interior lives of women is my life’s work. I’m a storyteller, but I’m passionate that women have stories that need to be told.”
For years, she’s been diligently optioning, producing, and releasing projects with women at their core: 2014’s Gone Girl, starring Rosamund Pike as spectacularly manipulative Amy Dunne, generated $168 million domestically. The same year, Witherspoon and her friend Laura Dern earned Oscar nominations for the soul-searching saga Wild. In the pipeline is the date-rape thriller Luckiest Girl Alive.
Big Little Lies, meanwhile, is set in glitzy Monterey, Calif., but peel back the lush exteriors of waves, beaches, and pristine landscaping, and you’ll see the ugly underbelly of the posh town and its denizens — led by Witherspoon’s insufferable but also oddly tender grudge-bearer Madeline. The role fits her like a proverbial glove, but when Witherspoon read Moriarty’s book and realized it would make for delicious television, she didn’t know what part she’d play, just that she wanted in.
“You don’t know why people like a show. I responded to the truth, a real truthful look at how women feel about parenthood. Sometimes there’s maternal ambivalence. Women are not good or bad. I like that complexity of character,” she says. “I don’t think you ever know if things are going to work or not work. But there’s something interesting about five dynamic roles for women in which they talk about sex and marriage and relationships the way that women really talk about sex and marriage and relationships.”
Luckiest Girl Alive
Tiny Beautiful Things
Barbie origins project
In A Dark, Dark Wood
Untitled Rob Long Project
The Thing About Jellyfish
All Is Not Forgotten
Three Little Words
Pale Blue Dot
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