Meryl Streep will star in the second season of Big Little Lies, HBO announced today (Jan. 24). In related news, the race for the 2019 Emmy for best supporting actress in a drama series is over before it could begin.
The illustrious actress, who broke her own Oscars record yesterday with her 21st nomination, will play Mary Louise Wright, the mother to Alexander Skarsgård’s character, Perry, who (spoiler alert) died at the end of the HBO drama’s first season. Wright will arrive in Monterey “searching for answers” about the death of her son, according to Variety.
We must cherish this moment. Like a comet, we don’t know when—or if—it’ll come again in our lifetimes. Streep rarely takes roles on television: her last major TV gig was in 2003 on the HBO series Angels in America, based on Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-winning play of the same name.
Envisioned as a limited series, Big Little Lies quickly became a resounding success for HBO, carving out a sizable audience and winning heaps of awards—mostly for its stable of venerated actresses. Despite some critics’ insistence that the show ended perfectly as is, HBO announced last month that the dark family dramedy would return for a second season.
With Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Zoe Kravitz aboard, Big Little Lies was already as star-studded as any drama on television. But the addition of Streep will push the series into the stuff of myth, of legend. We’re all blessed to be alive at this moment.
Based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies covered all of its source material in its debut season. The second season will go beyond Moriarty’s novel with a new story, but most of the original cast is expected to return.
Complicating the second season of the show is that the director of season one, Jean-Marc Vallée, will not return. He’ll be replaced by Andrea Arnold, director of the films Wuthering Heights and American Honey, who’s also worked on Amazon’s Transparent. Writer David E. Kelley will return, however, and has already penned all seven scripts for the upcoming season, the Hollywood Reporter said.
We don’t know much about Streep’s role beyond the brief character synopsis, but hopefully she is playing a villain. There is no actor or actress in the world who’d be as fun playing the campy villain in Big Little Lies as Meryl Streep, whose birth name was Mary Louise—the exact same as the character she’s portraying.