Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon & Alexander Skarsgard Talk ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 & Who Is Behind Those Binoculars
Much like we learned over the spring, season 2 of HBO’s Big Little Lies is still in the very early stages of development.
Reese Witherspoon told Deadline today, “We had initial conversations with (author) Liane Moriarty and she’s thinking about it, it’s up to her.”
“She is writing ideas and we’re hopeful,” said Nicole Kidman, “The characters are all so strong and to just leave them would be sad.”
Today, Big Little Lies, racked up 16 Emmy nominations including best limited series, Witherspoon and Kidman as lead limited series actress, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley as best supporting actress limited series and Alexander Skarsgard as best supporting actor in the category.
Back in April, Moriarty told the Sydney Morning Herald that she was approached by the producers of the HBO series, and that she’d like write the next iteration of the show as a story, not as a novel.
Told in present and flashbacks, Big Little Lies, based off the 2014 New York Times bestseller, is about an elementary school-related murder that rocks a highly affluent enclave of Monterey, CA where the moms rule the community with a catty fist. At the center are three women: Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), a posh housewife who is cheating on her husband; Celeste, a lawyer who is being sexually abused by her husband (Nicole Kidman); and Jane (Shailene Woodley), a mysterious single mom who has just moved into town. The series’ focus on the underbelly of upper-middle-class suburbia has hit a number of viewers, especially women, on a gut level. Kidman, who was bestowed with her second Emmy nom today, said “Everywhere I go from London to Australia, everyone talks about its topics, and I’ve never had that type of response in my career.”Continue reading this entry »
Congratulations to Reese and her Big Little Lies cast and crew for their Emmy nominations today! Reese scored a nomination for Best Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie alongside her co-star Nicole Kidman, and the show gained an impressive total of 16 nominations!
The Emmy Awards will be held on September 17th.
Best Limited Series
Big Little Lies (HBO)
Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)
Genius (National Geographic)
The Night Of (HBO)
Best Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie
Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies)
Jessica Lange (Feud)
Susan Sarandon (Feud)
Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies)
Carrie Coon (Fargo)
Felicity Huffman (American Crime)
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie
Laura Dern (Big Little Lies)
Judy Davis (Feud)
Jackie Hoffman (Feud)
Regina King (American Crime)
Michelle Pfeiffer (The Wizard of Lies)
Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies)
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie
Bill Camp (The Night Of)
Alfred Molina (Feud)
Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies)
David Thewlis (Fargo)
Stanley Tucci (Feud)
Michael K. Williams (The Night Of)Continue reading this entry »
A Wrinkle in Time first look: Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and more
The clock ticks, time bends, space shifts, and Oprah is your planet-hopping tour guide through all of it. Consider that your intro-level education to A Wrinkle in Time, Disney’s upcoming fantasy epic about an ordinary teenager named Meg (newcomer Storm Reid) who’s whisked on a cosmic adventure to find her missing scientist father (Chris Pine) with the help of three chimerical celestial beings who help her “wrinkle” time and space: philosophizing Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), inquisitive Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and wizened Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).
EW has an exclusive first look at the film, due in theaters March 9, 2018. (Check out even more images in the full gallery here.)
Director Ava DuVernay, fresh off of heavy projects like the civil rights drama Selma and her criminal-justice exposé 13th, was drawn to dabble in uncharted sci-fi territory upon discovering author Madeline L’Engle’s novel as an adult. DuVernay hadn’t read the novel — “I went to school in Compton and it wasn’t on my reading list,” she jokes — but the director, for whom time and energy on any project is a precious investment to say something, was impressed with the progressive ideas that L’Engle buried in her beloved 1962 novel. “I saw so much beauty in it, but also so much meaning. She’s a very radical thinker and she embedded her sense of what society should and could be in this piece, and a lot of it I agree with,” says DuVernay. “And through that, the story of this girl saving the world and being out there in the universe slaying the darkness, it also says a lot about slaying our own dragons.”
Two key elements convinced DuVernay that Wrinkle, with its script by Oscar winner Jennifer Lee (Frozen), was worth investigating when Disney proposed the idea. “The first image [I had in my head] was to place a brown girl in that role of Meg, a girl traveling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I’d never seen a girl of color in,” she explains. “All of those scenes struck my fancy, and then it was also something that [Disney VP of production] Tendo Nagenda said to me, which I’ll never forget. One of the things that really made me want to read it was when he said, ‘Ava, imagine what you would do with the worlds.’ Worlds! ‘Planets no one’s ever seen or heard of,’ he said. There aren’t any other black women who have been invited to imagine what other planets in the universe might look and feel like. I was interested in that and in a heroine that looked like the girls I grew up with.”
DuVernay plucked 14-year-old Reid from thousands of hopefuls across the country to play teen protagonist Meg, who travels the cosmos with her younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and unlocks her inner warrior along the way. “She’s got the sweetest, warmest heart, and all that I saw every day was just a further blossoming of the good that is Storm Reid,” the director gushes. “She’s appropriately named. She’s a force.” Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Chris Pine play Meg’s parents, two world-renowned physicists, the latter of whom disappears under mysterious circumstances. “Chris is the first full-on heart-throb type of actor that I’ve ever worked with,” DuVernay notes. “That’s how the world sees him. But I always just saw a damn good actor. I saw Z for Zachariah and Hell or High Water, and I just knew I wanted him because I saw, that dude’s got chops.”Continue reading this entry »
Adam Scott spoke to Rogue magazine about working with Reese on Big Little Lies, and the project of hers that made him seek her out to work with:
Scott has very much been a prominent part of Hollywood’s comedy community, appearing in fan favorite shows like Children’s Hospital, Eastbound and Down, Burning Love and most recently The Good Place, also created by Mike Schur. Which makes his latest notable endeavor Big Little Lies an interesting pick. Scott gives a powerful performance in the critically-acclaimed show, but it’s a clear, dramatic distinction from the comedic work that has defined much of his career.
“I was looking to try something different, specifically finding something pushing a little away from the comedy realm and then this show popped up,” Scott explained. “I actually reached out to [Reese Witherspoon] after I saw Wild, because I found that movie so moving and so beautifully shot and edited and her performance was astounding. So it was kind of a wish list group of people and luckily I got the gig, so if that’s all that came from this, that’s more than enough, just the experience of doing it. I’m really happy that people liked it.”
One of the main subplots of Big Little Lies is Scott’s character Ed, trying to prove his masculinity and hold his own against his wife’s ex-husband. Which is a bit of an interesting position for Scott, since he has played the bullying, douche bro character very convincingly in movies like Step Brothers and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He can play the abuser just as well as the abused, and watching him onscreen might conjure some unpleasant memories of your own high school bully from years passed.
Our Gallery was updated last week with lots of additional HQ photos from the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Diane Keaton that Reese attended last month. I’ve also added screencaptures from Reese’s speech segment during the event, the video of which you can watch in our original post.
Director Ava DuVernay announced that the first trailer for A Wrinkle In Time will premiere at Disney Fan Event D23 Expo later this month:
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 3, 2017
The THR 100: Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful People in Entertainment
The second annual ranking brings new blood (Sony’s Tony Vinciquerra), stars who also produce (welcome, Reese!) and two Jenkinses (Barry and Patty), along with the movers and multihyphenates who make the town run and the stock prices soar.
Who in this town has actual power, anyway? In short, the people on this list do.
In compiling the THR 100, our second annual ranking of Hollywood’s most powerful people, we used one overarching criterion: the power of “yes.” THR 100 essentially is a greenlight list: who has the authority to take projects from a no to a yes or the talent and track record to make what he or she wants. There are objective factors, like the size of an executive’s empire (owning it helps, a la Shari Redstone), access to vast sums of money (both Megan Ellison and David Ellison) or the number of series a showrunner has on the air and their ratings (congrats, Ryan Murphy).
Then there’s the subjective element of heat around town: “juice,” for lack of a better word. The Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox is far more profitable than Netflix, but Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos rank higher because there’s no company more the subject of Hollywood fascination and envy these days than theirs. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman probably will end up grossing less worldwide than F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious, but the fact that Jenkins broke ground for female directors lands her (and not him) on the list. And so on.
In dozens of off-the-record conversations with top players, our team got an honest assessment of the pecking order at TV networks and film studios, the influence of talent agencies and the true value of stars (hint: It helps a lot when you also produce). Then the internal debate began: We started with 2016’s list but weren’t beholden to it. Some have risen significantly (producer Jason Blum rockets from 98 to 40 thanks to the surprise hits Get Out and Split), some have dropped (STX’s Bob Simonds and Adam Fogelson had a rough year at the box office) and some have fallen off entirely (sorry, Ben Affleck). And while Hollywood’s upper echelon remains overwhelmingly white and male, it’s a small sign of increasing inclusiveness that the number of women on the list (24, up from 19) and people of color (17, up from 10) are on the rise.
So congrats to everyone on the THR 100. You have actual power in this town.
98/100 Reese Witherspoon
The 41-year-old Oscar winner has emerged as one of the most formidable producers in film and television, snapping up new projects with a keen eye on adaptations and vehicles for other actresses. Her acting day job has yet to slow down, with upcoming roles in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time and late-summer romantic comedy Home Again. She’ll also take the occasional gig from her own Hello Sunshine shingle — most notably HBO’s hit Big Little Lies.
BIG WIN Assembling an A-list cast, Nicole Kidman for one — in HBO’s Big Little Lies.
BIG BET Teasing the possibility of a second BLL season.
Best advice I’ve received about power I had the privilege of working with Oprah Winfrey on a movie for three months this year, and she taught me so much about business. She does not waste a minute of her time, and she does it all with grace and style and humor. She is hustle personified.
What I’ve learned about my job from my kids My kids help me understand emerging platforms and the opportunity there to reach a broader audience. It inspired me to expand my production company into digital and mobile content for women and create a dialogue on social media with my fans.
My primary news source The Wall Street Journal, the Skimm and Business of Fashion.
Q&A: Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern talk sex, ‘Lies’ and a second chapter for their HBO series
Many people thought they had “Big Little Lies” pegged after HBO aired the first episode of the limited series in February. Soapy whodunit. Bitchy behavior. Mommy wars. Privileged women. Impossibly gorgeous homes.
The series invited those judgments and then proceeded to methodically upend them, delivering a nuanced look at motherhood, domestic abuse and, yes, the ways that knee-jerk assumptions can be wrong, damaging and self-sabotaging. Ultimately, it’s about a group of women finding solace and strength in each other.
That dynamic played out among the cast, as we learn from a long conversation with “Big Little Lies” stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. In the series, Witherspoon plays Madeline, the community’s queen bee, who clashes with Dern’s steely career mom, Renata. Kidman plays Celeste, envied, elegant, but hiding a secret life of violent abuse.
These actresses adore one another and, in between Dern and Witherspoon planning a vacation together and stories of Dern’s dad, Bruce, visiting the set (“It was a scene with a lot of profanity,” Dern remembers, laughing, “and I think he brought out the best in us”), they spoke about what made the series so special and why they’re eager to bring it back for a second season.
People take this show to heart. They want to talk about it. Has that led to some interesting public encounters?
Kidman: I was on a plane coming out here last night and I had a guy stand up and go, “ ‘Big Little Lies’! Yes!” And I’m kind of embarrassed because of my character. I’m not quite sure how to communicate with people. Am I communicating on behalf of Celeste and saying, “I know”? It’s weird. And then the people sitting behind me told me, “We just really want a Season 2. That’s all we want to say.”
Dern: I think we all want a Season 2!
Nicole and Reese, you’re producers. You can make it happen.Continue reading this entry »