(L-R) Actresses Reese Witherspoon, ZOe Kravitz, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep attend HBO's
(L-R) Actresses Reese Witherspoon, ZOe Kravitz, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep attend HBO's "Big Little Lies" Season 2 premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 29, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP)

Why there won’t be a third Big Little Lies

SHE'S behind one of the most critically-acclaimed TV series in recent years, but not even Big Little Lies creator Liane Moriarty knows what to expect from season two.

One thing she does believe, however: there's not likely to be a third.

The Sydney-based bestselling author, whose 2014 novel was turned into the 2017 first season of Big Little Lies, wrote a 50,000 word "novella" on which the second seres is based.

Yet with powerhouse production duo Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon at the helm and famed screenwriter David E. Kelley turning her unpublished story into scripts, Moriarty has no idea which parts made the final cut.

"I've seen episode one but I haven't seen anything else. I said I didn't want to see the scripts, I prefer to just see it as a viewer," Moriarty said.

"There's no danger of me giving away any spoilers."

What she can reveal, though, is that season two "goes deeper and possibly, darker, and more complicated … but just as funny".

"It explores each character in more depth."

Returning are Reese Witherspoon as neurotic busybody Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Nicole Kidman as abused housewife Celeste Wright, and Shailene Woodley as young mum Jane Chapman, who are all dealing with their own secrets … and lies.

 

Nicole Kidman at the premiere of Big Little Lies’ second season in New York this week. Picture: AP
Nicole Kidman at the premiere of Big Little Lies’ second season in New York this week. Picture: AP

 

Reese Witherspoon is also back playing Madeline (and as an executive producer). Picture: Getty Images
Reese Witherspoon is also back playing Madeline (and as an executive producer). Picture: Getty Images

Add to that laid-back yoga guru Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) and resident drama queen Renata (Laura Dern), and Big Little Lies' first season - which air on Foxtel in Australia - was one of the breakout hits of 2017.

Moriarty is, however, incredibly low-key and humble about all the Hollywood fanfare. She didn't even make it out to the set (she was on a book deadline).

"I was invited (to set) and people did tell me I was crazy … but I didn't go," Moriarty said.

Oscar-winner Meryl Streep joins the cast as Mary Louise Wright, the mother-in-law of Kidman's character, Celeste - a role Moriarty famously wrote with Streep in mind.

"I was about half way through (writing) and I was talking to the producers and I said, I've got this role of Perry's mother and … not quite believing my own audacity, I'd like Meryl to play this character," Moriarty said.

"And the producers were laughing at me because they were saying 'you've become so Hollywood' … as in, picking up the phone and saying, 'get me Meryl'.

 

‘Get me Meryl’. Picture: Getty Images
‘Get me Meryl’. Picture: Getty Images

"They were teasing me … but then they were saying, it's not beyond the realm of possibilities because Nicole and Meryl are friends."

And to Moriarty's delight, it actually happened. "Nicole sent me an email saying, 'ask and you shall receive,'" Moriarty said.

She said Streep's character "deeply loved her son … as much as any mother can love her son" and was "deeply grieving" in the wake of Perry's death.

"She had a slightly fraught relationship with her daughter-in-law, so it's a very complicated, difficult time."

 

The writer who started it all … Big Little Lies’ author Liane Moriarty in New York this week. Picture: Getty Images
The writer who started it all … Big Little Lies’ author Liane Moriarty in New York this week. Picture: Getty Images

There's also been speculation Alexander Skarsgard who played Perry Wright - Celeste's abusive husband - would return to screens in series two, despite being killed off at the end of the first by the so-called Monterey Five.

"I saw Alexander being interviewed, saying, 'maybe I'm not even dead,'" Moriarty told News Corp Australia.

"But I don't think anyone took him seriously. He's definitely dead but I think I shouldn't say anything else."

And Kidman's Celeste is dealing with the aftermath.

"Although Perry has died … when you're in a relationship like that, just because he has died, you still feel like you're in that relationship," Moriarty said.

"There's a lot to get over. She still needs to extricate herself from that relationship. He's gone, now what? How does she rebuild herself?"

Though Big Little Lies was only ever earmarked for one season and is now back for a second, Moriarty said there is unlikely to be a third.

"I feel like there won't be," she said. "I feel like this will be it … it was only meant to be one season. My feeling is that this will probably be it."

Though her professional relationship with Kidman and Witherspoon will continue as they have purchased the film rights to Moriarty's other novels.

Kidman, Kelley and Big Little Lies' executive producer Bruna Papandrea are adapting Nine Perfect Strangers for US streaming giant, Hulu, where it received a straight-to-series order.

And Kidman and Witherspoon are adapting Moriarty's novel Truly Madly Guilty ("I believe they're looking at the script for that," she said).

So does the author who famously requested Meryl Streep be in her show have any casting requests for the future projects?

"I feel like it would be greedy to want anything more after Meryl, what more could you ask for?," Moriarty said with a laugh.

"For many years, Jennifer Aniston was talked about for the role of Alice in What Alice Forgot.

"I think she could do anything."

Big Little Lies' second series screens on Foxtel's Showcase on June 10 at 11am. It is repeated at 8.30pm.


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