"Big Little Lies" Star Nicole Kidman Defended The Decision To Return For A Second Season
“We don’t have to just be shut down and told, ‘No, that was good and you did well and off you go,’” Nicole Kidman said. (This story contains spoilers for Big Little Lies Season 1.)
Originally intended to be just a one-season limited series, the popular adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name was renewed for Season 2 after it proved a massive hit with fans, critics, and awards voters. That means viewers will get to see what happens to the fictional women of Monterey in the aftermath of the death of Perry (Alexander Skarsgård).
In a panel at the Wing in New York City on Wednesday, Kidman said she’s happy everyone had the chance to come back and film more episodes, even though there were some people who wanted the show to remain a stand-alone single season of television.
“The situation originally, it was that one go-around and I remember Reese [Witherspoon] and I both going, ‘Well, that’s that. Gosh, it was great,’ and then by popular demand we had to address whether we wanted to do it again,” Kidman said.
The actor said there was a debate about whether or not they should come back for a second season because of some people’s reactions, but ultimately a friend of hers helped change her mind.
“I had a lot of people say to me, ‘No no no, that’s it. You did only one. It was fantastic as one season.’ And a friend of mine, a male, said, ‘Those women deserve their stories to be told beyond what was just that first season,’” Kidman said.
“I was so touched by that and I went, 'Yeah, that’s what we’ve actually got to fight for now.' We don’t have to just be shut down and told, ‘No, that was good and you did well and off you go.’”
“Now you actually get to go and explore them on a deeper level and see the consequences and see their lives unfold in a much deeper way," Kidman said, "and that’s what was so exciting for me.”
In the show, Kidman plays Celeste, who is being assaulted by her husband, Perry, before Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) pushes him down a flight of stairs and kills him while all the other main Monterey mothers are present.
At the event on Wednesday, Kidman was also joined by her costars Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep, who is joining the show as Perry's mother this season.
Streep praised BLL for its complex women characters.
“This is an ensemble of very complicated, very flawed, hysterically funny, but tragic women,” Streep said. “For a long time in movies and television, women would be singular in a story and they would represent something — a love interest, the complications of individual women — and I think part of the appetite of the second season of this had to do with the fact that we were seeing people who were not emblematic.”
Kidman said the complicated storyline of how Celeste grapples with the death of her abusive husband, deals with her mother-in-law, and the effects of that on Jane (Shailene Woodley), whom Perry raped and impregnated, will be “complicated” and nuanced.
Ultimately, Kidman said she hopes it gets people talking.
“It will be controversial,” Kidman said. “There hopefully will be discussion and it will create more and more and more awareness and discussion and hopefully change.”