By BILL HARRIS
Special to The Lede
There's nothing little about the big, star-studded cast of HBO's BIG LITTLE LIES, which returns for Season 2 on Sunday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET only on Crave.
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Laura Dern as “The Monterey 5,” Season 1 was a terrifically tense thriller that ended explosively. So who could be added to that stellar list to make it even more impressive for Season 2? None other than arguably the greatest actress of her generation, Meryl Streep.
At the Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena last February, the cast revealed their thoughts, theories, and “truths” leading up to the new season:
Q: For Meryl Streep (who plays Mary Louise Wright), what was it that made you want to join the cast?
MERYL STREEP: "I loved this show. I was addicted to it. I thought it was an amazing exercise in what we know and what we don't know about people, about family, about friends, how it flirted with the mystery of things. What was unsaid, unshown, unknown, was sort of the gravitational pull of the piece. So when I got the chance to join the crew, I thought, 'Yeah!' I wanted to do it, to be in that world."
Q: For Nicole Kidman (who plays Celeste Wright), what was the main drive to bring you all back together for another season?
NICOLE KIDMAN: "We had such a good time doing it, and the desire to spend more time together was a huge part of it. But also, there was an enormous demand from the audience. I mean, I've never been in something that reached so far, globally."
Q: For Reese Witherspoon (who plays Madeline Mackenzie), how much did timeliness have to do with the success of Season 1?
REESE WITHERSPOON: "We had no idea there was going to be that kind of public response to this show, that it was going to converge with this moment of women, sensing their need to be leaders and step up and talk about their experiences with strength, and with encouragement from other women. That is part of the reason that we felt like a Season 2 was not just a great experience for us to get back to, but also to talk about, now what? We’ve talked about trauma, we’ve experienced trauma, we see each other’s trauma, but how do we cope with it? How do we carry on? That's a big theme that we explore in Season 2."
Q: For Shailene Woodley (who plays Jane Chapman), your character was carrying the biggest burden through most of Season 1, so how does her mindset change in Season 2?
SHAILENE WOODLEY: "Jane had the idea of this sort of ghost in her closet, this demon that haunted her constantly. And her idea was always, if she could kill the man, or if she could get rid of the man, then she’d be free, and she’d be fine, and she’d be able to move forward. So without going into what happens in Season 2, it feels very exciting to be able to portray a character who has had extreme trauma in her life and who now is able to work on the other end of that trauma. What does it look like once this ghost in her closet is gone?"
Q: For Zoë Kravitz (who plays Bonnie Carlson), are these women who battled each other in Season 1 going to be able to hold it together as a unit with such a big secret in Season 2?
ZOE KRAVITZ: "The dynamic is really interesting, because even though we are a group, we’re all going through so much. So there still is a conflict within us. But we now have this thing that binds us together, and so watching us all kind of do this dance together, because of this lie that we all hold ... it's an interesting thing to see."
Q: For Laura Dern (who plays Renata Klein), your character was perhaps the most disliked character among the main group of women in Season 1 ...
LAURA DERN: "It's thrilling for Renata to have ANY friends, so I just want to say how happy I was going to work every day (while filming Season 2), because I had other people to talk to!"