Meet the most powerful women on prime-time television
ACADEMY AWARD winner Reese Witherspoon is kicked about her HBO series Big Little Lies, starring alongside Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley (The Fault in our Stars), Alexander Skarsgard (The Legend of Tarzan, True Blood) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation). Reese and Nicole are making their TV debuts in a stated effort to empower women.
The show follows the lives of three mothers of kindergartners whose perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Reese plays the perfect wife, but the actor says she wasn’t content with the role. In fact, she asked screenwriter David E Kelley if they could change the story arc of her character, Madeline Martha McKenzie, “as I didn’t have anything to play but perfection, and I think people who are perfect [are] all full of sh*t”.
Women on a mission
On why she chose Oscar winner Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) as director, Reese says, “I feel safe with Jean-Marc—he’s my brother, my partner. We don’t have any artifice between us.” She has a few words to add about the female-heavy script: “It was a unique opportunity to have so many incredible parts for women. Any woman who’s trying to lift other women up and create more work for women is looking for parity. You need male and female energy, and different races on every project. The deep mission to understand each other is what creates great art.”
As for the divide between film and TV, Reese queries, “What is film? What is TV? What is digital? In four years, we’re not going to talk about that anymore. Content is content. The important thing is to have work that reaches people. I don’t care how it gets to them, if it’s in their living room, laptop or mobile phone —
I just want them to see it.”
Big Little Lies airs on Star World Premiere HD every Thursday at 10 pm.