Reese Witherspoon talks about Meryl Streep joining ‘Big Little Lies’ for season two

It's a rare TV role for the legendary actress

Reese Witherspoon has discussed the news that Meryl Streep will join the cast of Big Little Lies for its second season.

The Hollywood legend will play the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s character, Perry Wright. Streep’s character, Mary Louise Wright, is said to be a woman concerned for her grandchildren’s welfare.

She joins returning cast members Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz in the cast of the acclaimed drama series.

Appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Witherspoon revealed how Streep’s involvement came about.

“Well, she sent an email to Nicole and I. And it said, ‘Okay, I read the part and I love it and I’m going to do it’,” Witherspoon explained. “And I like dropped the phone, like mic drop, but I phone dropped.”

“And then I called Nicole and I was like, ‘Is this real life? Is this really happening?’ And then I got off the phone with Nicole and I, like, hugged myself gently for a minute and said, ‘This is really happening. You’re really working with Meryl Streep’.”

Following months of rumours, HBO confirmed in December that Big Little Lies – which was originally envisioned as a one-off miniseries – would return for a second season. American Honey‘s Andrea Arnold will direct, taking over from season one’s director Jean-Marc Vallée.

HBO has said season two will focus on the “malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode … the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.”

Season one of Big Little Lies was based on an acclaimed bestselling novel by Lianne Moriarty. Season two is partly based on a story that Moriarty devised to continue the saga following the success of the TV adaptation.

Season one of Big Little Lies won seven Emmy Awards and four Golden Globes, including acting trophies at both ceremonies for Kidman, Dern and Skarsgard.

Meanwhile, Streep has just collected her 21st Oscar nomination for her performance in Steven Spielberg’s journalism drama The Post. She’s now earned nine more Oscar nominations for acting than any other performer.