TCA Truths About Big Little Lies

The stars and writer of the limited series shared some of their thoughts and feelings on the project at this year’s Television Critics Association winter preview.

Reese Witherspoon explained what drew her to the project in the first place
: “With this piece I feel like it was such a unique opportunity to have women of every age, of every color, talking about motherhood … that's the common denominator. Motherhood is the great equalizer. Parenthood is a good equalizer, socioeconomically, and everything brings these five different women together in a way that they clash but they also understand and discover each other.”

Nicole Kidman was struck by the strength and quantity of female roles in the series: “This piece for me was the story of women that I know, and it was a way which we could go to other women with five great roles that were complicated and deserve to be told. It’s very rare to find five roles in one piece that we’d all jump at a chance to play.”

Zoe Kravitz was excited to play a mother: “I hadn’t played a mother yet. And I’m not a mother yet, so it felt like new and beautifully interesting territory.”

Witherspoon saw her own journey within the story:
“I saw myself at different stages of motherhood all through my life … It explores so many aspects that are relatable to the lives of women; it wasn't about them being good or bad — they showed every spectrum and every color of women's lives.”

David E. Kelley found adapting the story both “easy and challenging”: “The architecture was there and the character development was there, the world was there. What was challenging was living up to the book and the complications of some of those characters.”

Big Little Lies is a passion project for Witherspoon: “Things have to change. … We need to see real women's experience, whether it involves domestic violence, whether it involves sexual assault, whether it involved motherhood of romance or infidelity or divorce. We need to see these things because we as human beings, we learn from art and what can you do if you never see it reflected?"

The cast loved working together:
“I’m at the stage in my life when I want to work with people that I really like,” Kidman said. “This is the perfect combination.”

“It’s so refreshing to spend time with all of these women,” Witherspoon added, giving a nod to her cast for the “collective performance,” going as far to say, “I really feel more strongly than anything I’ve ever done, and this is the greatest ensemble experience I’ve ever had.”

Watch Big Little Lies

  1. TelevisionThu, Mar 23, 10:00PM ETEpisode 5: Once BittenHBO EAST
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  3. On Demand5 episodes available