I thought this was a fun little article where author Liane Moriarty got Nicole’s help to convince Meryl to join Big Little Lies.

Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty has revealed how Oscar-winner Meryl Streep joined the cast of the hit drama’s second series.

Sydney-based Moriarty said she wrote the role — of Nicole Kidman’s mother-in-law, Mary Louise Wright — with Streep in mind, and Kidman played a huge role in securing the Hollywood icon.

“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.’”

“They were teasing me … but then they were saying, it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities because Nicole and Meryl are friends,” Moriarty said.

The Australian author — who penned the book Big Little Lies on which the HBO series was based — named the character “Mary Louise” after Streep (it’s her real name) and said Kidman was instrumental to Streep joining the cast.

“Nicole sent me an email saying, ‘ask and you shall receive,’” Moriarty said.

Moriarty said Streep’s character was a “significant role”. Mary Louise (Streep) is the mother of Perry (Alexander Skarsgard), who was married to Celeste (Kidman), and was murdered at the end of season one.

“She deeply loved her son … as much as any mother can love her son,” Moriarty said, adding Streep’s character was “deeply grieving” .

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

“When I was writing it, I was calling her ‘Meryl’. But then I thought Meryl didn’t suit the character.

“So I looked up to see what Meryl’s middle name was and then I saw that, actually, her real name is Mary Louise. And Mary Louise fits the character perfectly.”

Moriarty said she wrote a 50,000 manuscript — about “half a novel” — as an outline for the second series of Big Little Lies, and executive producer and writer David E Kelley is penning the scripts.

“I wrote it (the outline ) especially for the show, so it doesn’t follow on from my novel,” Moriarty said. “It’s in his hands now. I’ve been happy to hand it over.”

This week, Kidman won a Screen Actors Guild award for her role as abused housewife Celeste, after winning a Golden Globe earlier this month.

“She is already preparing … asking me further questions about the role of Celeste for season two,” Moriarty said.

“You can see why she wins the awards because of all the work that goes into it.

“I have absolute confidence that anybody who said, ‘I don’t think we need a season two’, will change their mind when they see it.”

HBO previously announced that “most” of the cast from season one would return for the seven-episode second season, including Kidman and Reese Witherspoon as executive producers.

The cast have reportedly been given massive pay rises, with Kidman and Witherspoon expected to pocket $1.2 million per episode (up from $310,000 and $435,000 per show in the first season).

Zoe Kravitz, who was paid $470,000 for the first season, will now earn $3.7 million for her role as hippy Bonnie Carlson.

Production on the second season is due to begin in March and the series will air in 2019.


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