“Big Little Lies” returns this Sunday, June 9 on HBO!
The second season of this subversive, darkly comedic drama will explore the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode…the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom. The Monterey Five – Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste (Nicole Kidman), Jane (Shailene Woodley), Renata (Laura Dern) and Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) – are joined by Celeste’s visiting mother-in-law, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep), and their husbands, Ed (Adam Scott), Nathan (James Tupper) and Gordon (Jeffrey Nordling), in this seven-episode season. Created by David E. Kelley; teleplays by David E. Kelley; story by David E. Kelley and Liane Moriarty; based on the novel by Liane Moriarty; directed by Andrea Arnold; executive producers, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, David E. Kelley, Andrea Arnold, Jean-Marc Vallée, Bruna Papandrea, Per Saari, Gregg Fienberg, Nathan Ross and Liane Moriarty.
We were on the red carpet at the New York premiere. Check out what the cast had to say below:
The Knockturnal: With the audience’s response to season 1, did it convince you that you had to make season 2?
Nicole Kidman: Yeah it’s that simple. When we went, we had no idea that we were going to do a season two. The reaction was so powerful and the fans were so…they wanted it and so we kind of went “okay” and what a fantastic thing that we were supported and actually pushed in that direction, so thank you to the fans and to the audiences– they have allowed us…I mean, HBO got behind us unwaveringly because of the demand of the audiences.
The Knockturnal: Can I ask you what men can learn from watching Big Little Lies?
Keith Urban: Oh gosh, it’s a good inside behind-the-scenes look at a lot of things. It’s an amazing series. I’ve been able to see all episodes and it’s extraordinary. It’s a wild ride, oh yeah.
The Knockturnal: Speak about collaborating with Andrea this season and what that was like?
Nicole Kidman: I think she dug into us, into our psyches and you see the way in which she went in. I’m just excited for people to sort of see the whole seven hours because it is cinema, it’s seven hours of cinema is how we describe it but it’s very much…I feel like it’s gone deeper so I’m hoping that will be the reaction but you never know and I also don’t like telling people what to think so think what you think but hey, we put a lot into it.
The Knockturnal: Speaking about collaborating with Andrea this season, what was it like?
Reese Witherspoon: Oh she’s extraordinary a filmmaker that I’ve watched for so many years so we were thrilled when she came on to lead the charge and stick with us through this very long and rigorous shoot and she’s wonderful.
The Knockturnal: Can I ask you what it was like working with Nicole in front of the camera and behind the camera?
Reese Witherspoon: It’s amazing. First of all, starting with Liane Moriarty who wrote this incredible novel and then she wrote a novella that we can base the second season on, but then I get to work with Nicole Kidman who’s been one of my acting idols forever and get to work with her everyday on producing material. It’s was just really a testament to female partnerships and how women [who work] together get so much more done.
The Knockturnal: What was it like working with a mainly female cast, compared to other movies where that wasn’t an opportunity for you?
Reese Witherspoon: It was just different. I’ve never really had that opportunity in my career so as, you know, Laura and Nicole and I looked around, we couldn’t believe we had so many scenes together and there were so many lines with each other that were exploring our relationships and so hopefully that will create more shows that do the same.
The Knockturnal: So when did this whole conception for season two come about. Can you tell us a little bit of the backstory?
Liane Moriarty: I guess once a season one came out and in the beginning, it was very clear that it would only be one season but then the fans loved it so much and so discussions began. I have to admit originally I was saying, “yes sure do it but I don’t want to be involved” because I’ve never written a sequel before but then I kept saying “but if you do it, do this.” I kept thinking of little ideas and then gradually I got caught up, you know, and I was happy to write a 50,000-word novella [that] became the basis of ideas. And then David E. Kelly has written the actual script.
The Knockturnal: And so what was your process like?
Liane Moriarty: Yeah so because all they asked from me was to come up with ideas for where these characters could go and I definitely did it from the point of view of the series, not from my own books. I wrote an American accent.
The Knockturnal: When you found out they were going to set the show in California, what was your reaction?
Liane Moriarty: Oh I was always happy. People sometimes say “oh I hope they don’t change the book” and I would always say “they can’t change my book because there’s my book.” This to me is something quite different and to me, it made sense that California was very similar. I guess I wouldn’t have liked it if I’d set it somewhere entirely…you know in a mountain, a village in the mountain, yeah that wouldn’t have worked to me. To me, the beach was an important part of it.
The Knockturnal: Do you hope to get into screenplay writing?
Liane Moriarty: No, I don’t think so. I do enjoy having my book at the end of it so I love being involved on the sidelines of all of this but really writing books is my passion.
The Knockturnal: How is collaborating with Reese and Nicole as producers?
Liane Moriarty: Wonderful, wonderful. They’ve always made me feel very much part of it. But I have handed it over.
The Knockturnal: What do you admire about David E. Kelley?
Liane Moriarty: Oh his dialogue is amazing and just his ability to create. It’s not my thing to create television, you know all those things about an arc through a story so it’s a different medium so yeah, it’s just everything about it really.
The Knockturnal: Do you have another book in the works or something coming out soon?
Liane Moriarty: Oh just my book Nine Perfect Strangers is my latest one, which Nicole [Kidman] has bought the rights to that and at the moment and in the very early stages of a new novel.