Murder roils oceanfront town in HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’
That’s where the moms of HBO’s Big Little Lies (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET/PT) take out the big guns — verbally, at least — when the arrival of a new family and an accusation of bullying disrupts a California seaside community where beautiful family facades aren’t as sturdy as they appear.
The fighting is vicious, but sometimes hilarious, especially when local firebrand Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) and no-nonsense businesswoman Renata Klein (Laura Dern) go at it.
“I always say there’s girl politics,” Witherspoon says, “but I don’t think we’ve seen as much of the girl-politicking and mother-politicking world on film. This is how women really speak to each other: candidly, raw. They say filthy, dirty, disgusting things to each other. Then, they smother each other in love and admiration. It’s a very interesting thing to see, and I think we worked really hard on making that grounded and natural.”
Maternal power runs through the seven-episode miniseries, with the five women at its center expressing deep love but also darker emotions when it comes to their children, husbands and jobs in beautiful Monterey. And that’s before a mysterious murder — a future incident that plays in the background as the story recounts the days leading up to it — rocks the community like a tidal wave.
The star-studded drama, based on the instant (and durable) 2014 bestseller by Liane Moriarty, digs into the lives of the women, all with first-graders attending a model public school, and shows how outward appearances can deceive.Continue reading this entry »
— HBO (@HBO) February 16, 2017
‘Legion’s Noah Hawley Pacts Two Fox Searchlight Pics; Helming Reese Witherspoon In ‘Pale Blue Dot’
Noah Hawley, who followed his Emmy-winning minseries Fargo by creating the FX drama Legion, has set a pair of films at Fox Searchlight. Top of the list is Pale Blue Dot, a sci-fi project that has Reese Witherspoon starring. Set up as a spec by Brian C Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi, Pale Blue Dot tells the story of a female astronaut who, upon returning to Earth from a mission in space, begins to slowly unravel and lose touch with reality. Witherspoon will produce with Bruna Papandrea.
Through his production company 26 Keys, Hawley is also developing with Searchlight Buried Bodies, the working title of a drama inspired by the Lake Pleasant Bodies Case from the mid-1970s. Attorneys Frank Armani and Francis Belge faced the ethical dilemma of upholding attorney-client privilege after their client, accused murderer Robert Garrow, revealed to them the location of the bodies of two additional missing girls. The lawyers verified the findings, but did not report them to police, even though one of the lawyers had a daughter who was a classmate of sisters of one of the murdered girls. The lawyers only divulged information after the killer escaped prison and threatened one of the attorneys. The pair was reviled by the families of the victims and ostracized by the community for their agonizing commitment to their oath. Hawley is repped by CAA.
Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon on bringing the female-driven ‘Big Little Lies’ to life
She had learned not to get excited. Australian author Liane Moriarty had gone through the process of having a book optioned for a movie or TV series before and had endured the realities of it getting lost in Hollywood development purgatory.
Moriarty, though, had never done business with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.
“When I met with Nicole, she was like, ‘No, no, no. If we option it, get excited. We don’t option things just for the sake of it. We don’t have time for that,’ ” Moriarty said by phone when recalling her midmorning coffee meeting with Kidman in a Sydney suburb about 18 months ago.
“She kept her word.”
Moriarty’s 2014 bestseller “Big Little Lies” is now a seven-episode limited series on HBO. And it boasts the Oscar-winning actresses as leads and executive producers.
It continues in the HBO tradition of drawing marquee feature film stars to the small screen. And it serves as a bit of an antidote to the premium network’s recent tent-pole attraction, “Westworld,” and the unusual religious drama “The Young Pope.”
“Not since ‘Big Love’ have we had a drama that is this female-centric,” said Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming. “The issues they get into on the show are things people deal with in life, and it was nice to have this framework to put these stories forward.”Continue reading this entry »
Big Little Lies’ Stephen Graybill Reveals What It’s Really Like Working with Reese Witherspoon
Walking onto the Big Little Lies set for the first time was a daunting task for actor Stephen Graybill.
“It was like being shot out of a cannon. I was thinking, ‘These are incredible actresses!’ That can be really intimidating,” the actor tells PEOPLE of working with Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley on the new HBO limited series. “They are big names and you never know how people are going to be.”
“I thought they might be a little distant, but that theory was quickly dispelled on the first day,” he continues. “Very quickly after arriving, I found myself saying, ‘Hey, Reese. How are you?’ and I’d think, ‘Wow. They cold not have been more welcoming and generous.’ ”
Graybill — a British American Drama Academy graduate and veteran of the New York theater scene who stars in Lies as Saxon Baker, a character pivotal to the secrets revealed in the HBO series — worked closely alongside Woodley and says that the actress was “unexpectedly vulnerable.”
“She has an incredible breadth of emotional availability to her,” Graybill says of Woodley. “She was able to go different ways and give the director different options: intense, crying, unsure. ”
Graybill says he appreciated the improv-friendly nature of the set.
“It was really exciting,” he says. “I’m so honored to be in this project with all of them. I’m blown away and am so grateful to have done this with such amazing people.”
Big Little Lies premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
The Gallery has also been updated recently with over 300 additional photos from old events. This ranges from Reese’s first ever movie premiere for The Man In The Moon in 1991, to the premiere of her hit romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama in 2002. Some of my favourites from this batch are the additions from the 2000 Blockbuster Awards and Independent Spirit Awards, the 2001 Legally Blonde premiere (love her pink dress!) and the 2002 Oscars, which is one of my all-time favourite looks of hers. It’s fun to see how Reese has grown over the years … and our next update will be additional photos from 2017 appearances!
Over the past couple of months I’ve been continuing to work on the Public Appearances section of our Gallery, and 2014 is now complete! 2014 was Reese’s busiest year to date, as she promoted Wild extensively and then celebrated its well-deserved success during the first part of ‘awards season’. She looked fabulous this year, confidently wearing a multitude of colours and designers – I think my favourite looks from this year are the Los Angeles and London premiere’s of Wild … but really, she looks amazing in all the photos 😉 Thousands of photos from these events have been added to the Gallery, so enjoy browsing 🙂