As if Big Little Lies needed any more acting goddesses, season two just had to add the one and only Meryl Streep. The three-time Academy Award-winning actress will reportedly play Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s handsome and terrifying Perry Wright. Her character, according to THR, is described as a woman deeply concerned for her grandchildren after (spoilers) the death of her son in season one. Skarsgard took home an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award for his abusive turn in the show’s first season. He was killed (thank goodness) after attacking several of the female characters during a fundraising event in the season finale. Season one focused on a lot of marital problems and domestic abuse; however, the relationship between Nicole Kidman’s Celeste and Perry was by far the most volatile and disturbing to watch.
The new season plans to return in 2019, with seven episodes already greenlit by HBO and written by David E. Kelly. Kelly, who produced season one, says season two will “explore the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode … the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.” Kelly will come back to produce alongside season one director Jean-Marc Vallée, who will not direct this season due to scheduling conflicts. Andrea Arnold, who won an Oscar in 2003 for Best Short Film, will direct season two. As for its cast, so far only Reese Witherspoon and Kidman have been confirmed to return, although negotiations for the rest of the cast to return are pending. Sizable pay increases have been negotiated for the returning stars, with both Kidman and Witherspoon earning $1 million per episode, especially after Witherspoon’s huge pay bump by Apple to star and executive produce a morning show drama. It’s also rumored that Skarsgard will return in some capacity.
Streep, meanwhile, is just coming off her record-breaking 21st Oscar nomination for her leading role in Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which you can check out a review for here. She won Oscars for Best Supporting Actress in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Best Actress in Sophie’s Choice (1982) and Best Actress for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (2011). This will be Streep’s biggest comeback to television since her Emmy-winning performance in Angels in America (2003). She also won her first Emmy for the 1978 limited series Holocaust. She is the most awarded and decorated actress with nine Golden Globes on top of her earning the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2017. Fun fact: She is also one of the only American actors to be awarded the coveted French César award (the others being Adrien Brody and Kristen Stewart).
Big Little Lies’ first season won a total of eight Emmys and four Golden Globes, including Best Limited Series or TV Movie, Best Actress for Kidman, Best Supporting Actor for Skarsgard and Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern. The first season was based on Liane Moriarty’s novel, with season two going beyond the book but still being inspired by Mortiary’s writing. Kidman’s Blossom Films will executive produce alongside Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Kelly’s David E. Kelly Productions.