She’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and has the Oscar to prove it, but soon Reese Witherspoon will be making waves in an entirely different medium, with HBO’s Big Little Lies.
The actor and producer recently opened up to Variety about her trip to television, brilliantly noting that in the future, film and TV won’t be so disconnected. “What is film? What is TV? What is digital?. I think probably within four years we’re not going to be talking about that anymore. It’s just content. Content is content. Because as an artist, the most important thing is you want to have work that reaches people. I don’t care how it gets to them. I don’t care if it’s in their living room, their laptop, their mobile phone — I just want them to see it.”
It’s encouraging to know that top talent like Witherspoon sees the benefits of television, which has successfully fought its way into a second golden age of television in the last 10 years. It really wasn’t that long ago that ‘movie stars’ wouldn’t dream of touching television, but it’s power is now undeniable, particularly with the emergence of online streaming services. With shows like American Crime Story, House of Cards and True Detective attracting big talent in front and behind the camera, television in all its forms will become the hub for Hollywood’s greatest content.
Television has become a beacon of hope for women of different ages, people of colour, and fresh writers just waiting for a chance to show the world what they’re made of; and with the amount of remakes and poor content being thrown into cinemas, it’s a no brainer as to where audiences want to go. Big Little Lies is certainly doing its part, offering five juicy roles for females (Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz join Witherspoon in the series).
That’s not to say Witherspoon and co-producer and star Nicole Kidman didn’t consider Big Little Lies for the big screen, but ultimately television and its many pluses won out. “For a minute we looked it as a film. But it needs the time to do justice to the five women. We wanted the storylines to be evocative. We wanted them to be properly dealt with, and to squeeze it into two hours would have been tough,” Kidman said.
The hype is bigger than ever for the Jean-Marc Vallée-directed series, and audiences should be marking their calendars for its premiere on February 19.