As the world braces for the return of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and their heavyweight co-stars in Big Little Lies today, one of the newest talents to join the runaway TV success has called the opportunity “a gift came from the heavens”.
Crystal Fox, who is joining the show alongside new arrival Meryl Streep for Season Two, told News Corp she was a long-term fan of the original series and was “just going to watch like everyone else” — until she suddenly got the summons to join.
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Calling the show “painful, beautiful art” Fox, who plays the mother of Zoe Kravitz’ character Bonnie, admitted she was nervous about the prospect of joining the stellar cast.
“You have to hope you don’t go to work just fanning out every single day,” Fox told News Corp Australia.
“You have to be like ‘you’re here to do a job, not freak out’.
“Then when you’re standing there you go past how much you love them as artists to ‘I’m here as an artist too’. So it makes you rise up within yourself to do your best and then some.
“I hope that comes across when you all see me, the newbie.”
Fox plays the mother of Zoe Kravitz’s character, Bonnie.
Fans of the books will know Bonnie’s backstory and her interesting relationship with her parents.
The 53-year-old actor said joining the cast on the HBO drama was a dream come true, as she was already a devoted fan of the show following its hugely successful first season.
“I had no idea they were going to cast anyone else, the opportunity came about when the casting director saw me somewhere and called my agent. I don’t know what made him reach out to me,” she said.
“So it’s a gift that came from the heavens, and I hope I rise to the occasion to meet demand. It’s fantastic, I love these women.”
Fox went on to discuss the show’s appeal: how a story about mums, which one would expect to be “safe and nurturing”, shows ever darker twists and exposes “the facade of who we are”.
For the viewer, she says, “I think it’s a sense of voyeurism, that they (the characters) are talking about some stuff that most of us would keep hidden. So each week we lean in to see what else they are going to reveal.”
Fox isn’t the only newcomer to the series, which will air on Foxtel from Monday, June 10.
Oscar winning actor Streep also joined the ranks, playing Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s abusive character Perry.
He was killed at the end of Season 1 — and Mary Louise wants answers.
All the regulars will be back for the action, including Witherspoon (Madeline), Kidman (Perry’s widow Celeste), Laura Dern (Renata), Kravitz and Shailene Woodley (Jane Chapman), with tensions high after their involvement in the murder that rocked the town.
Their menfolk and children — plus the many secondary characters — all get sucked in to the mystery and gossip.
The season finale ended on a major cliffhanger, when the Monterey Five fought back against Perry, knocking him down a flight of stairs and killing him.
And it finished with an ominous scene, with the ladies looking fearful as their kids played on the beach as detective Adrienne Quinlan (Merrin Dungey), who had been investigating Perry’s death, watched them from a distance.
The question is — what happens next?
THE MONTEREY FIVE: A CHARACTER GUIDE
Played by Reese Witherspoon
Madeline is a type-A stay-at-home mum who harbours jealousy towards her ex’s new, younger wife Bonnie.
Played by Nicole Kidman
Celeste is a former corporate lawyer with a seemingly perfect marriage to a younger man.
Played by Shailene Woodley
Jane is a single mum with a dark past, whom Madeline and Celeste take under their wing.
Played by Zoe Kravitz
Bonnie is a yoga instructor with a Zen attitude.
Played by Laura Dern
Renata is a tech-exec career mum, Madeline’s main nemesis.
MARY LOUISE WRIGHT
Played by Meryl Streep
Mary Louise is a grieving mother, who is searching for answers after her son’s death.
Big Little Lies Season 2, episode 1 airs on Foxtel on Monday, June 10, 11am AEST and again at 8:30pm.
You can catch up on Season 1 there as well.