They say there are no small roles, only small actors and so perhaps, when it was announced that Meryl Streep was joining Big Little Lies we should have assumed that role would be big. Well, now we have confirmation that it's actually huge. Not only is Streep's role in Big Little Lies season 2 bigger than first reported, but as BLL writer David E. Kelley recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, it turns out, there probably wouldn't have been another season of the HBO series without her.
When talking to THR, Kelley explained his reservations about filming another season of the hit show starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern. "We wrote it as a one-off and we ended it in a way that was very lyrical. But we ended on a lie," he said. "I get so protective of characters and series, too, that I don’t want to damage them in any way, and I so loved how we ended year one and I thought, 'Let’s just leave it at that.'"
So how did he end up writing a second season of the show? Well, it has a lot to do with Streep and the character she's playing in season 2. Streep is playing the mother of Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), who died in the first season. Perry's death is still a mystery to the authorities and the aftermath of his murder will be the focus of season 2. His mom showing up in Monterey means she's looking for answers, which will certainly make things more difficult for her daughter-in-law, Celeste, played by Kidman. Our hope, is this means Streep will get to play another Miranda Priestly type.
"It’s a delicious character," Kelley said of Streep's role. "And I felt bringing her in was both liberating and daunting. Daunting because she sets a high bar and you have to measure up, but liberating in that now the show’s not going to be compared to last year. There was freedom in that." Not to mention it was a dream come true for Kelley, who previously said his dream additions for Big Little Lies were Streep and Tom Hanks.
Back in February, Kidman and Dern revealed that the author of Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty wrote the role specifically for Streep and everyone was nervous that Streep might turn it down since she doesn't do much television. In fact, Streep hasn't worked in television since the 2003 miniseries Angels in America. But Kidman said Streep was game from the get-go. "It really is her standing up and going, 'I support you as women, and I believe in you.' I think that's a big statement from her," Kidman said.
Big Little Lies is certainly all about female empowerment. It was revealed that this season the BLL cast negotiated bigger paychecks, which is certainly a big deal. And now, with the addition of Streep, this confirms that this is the girl gang we want to join.
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