When news broke that Meryl Streep had been cast in the second season of Big Little Lies, fans everywhere lost their big little minds. Turns out, Nicole Kidman was among that excited collective. “[The role] was written for her and we wanted her,” Kidman told Entertainment Tonight this week. Streep will be playing the role of Mary Louise Wright, mother to Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) and Kidman’s character’s mother-in-law. “Reese [Witherspoon] and I were just [thinking], ‘She would be so amazing in the role!'” Kidman recalled.
At first, Kidman said, “We didn’t think we’d get her.” Laura Dern, who plays Renata Klein on the show, also chimed in, telling ET that everyone involved, “worked very hard to beg her.” But, according to Kidman, Streep wasn’t too hard to convince; the 68-year-old was clamoring to work with a group of female actresses and producers (and the many awards the show and its stars have won in the past year can’t have hurt, either). “It really is [Streep] 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 of Streep’s decision to work on the project, which is produced by Kidman and Witherspoon.
Though it would’ve been extremely easy to believe that all these Academy Award–winning actresses had bumped into each other at another awards show and convinced Streep to take on the role, fans actually have Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty to thank. Moriarty reportedly wrote an outline for the show’s second season, all the while secretly wishing for Streep to take on the part—she even named the character Mary Louise, which is Streep’s real name.
Now that Streep has officially signed on, her character will arrive in Monterey, California, “concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son Perry’s death and on the hunt for answers.” With a bit of extra star power (not that they needed it), the star-studded group is feeling the pressure to amp up the production of the second season of the hit HBO show. “We’re determined to give [Streep] an extraordinary experience,” Kidman said. “She’s had a lot of experiences so we just want to make it fun for her and vibrant and exciting.” What could be more exciting than a still-unfolding murder mystery?