By ELIZABETH WAGMEISTER
HBO's A-list ensembler Big Little Lies is now complete with the additions of Alexander Skarsgard and James Tupper, Variety has learned.
The two actors join Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in the David E. Kelley limited series, along with previously announced stars Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz and Kathryn Newton.
Based on Liane Moriarty's 2014 novel of the same name, Big Little Lies is a darkly comic drama centering on three mothers (Witherspoon, Kidman, Dern) of first graders whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.
Skarsgard will play Kidman's husband, Perry, a successful businessman, loving father and devoted husband. Tupper will play Witherspoon's ex-husband, who's now married to a young yoga instructor (Kravitz) and faces the challenges of co-parenting a teenage daughter (Newton) with his ex-wife.
Kidman is playing Celeste, who's the envy of her peers as she seems to have it all. Witherspoon is playing Madeline, who's married to Ed (played by Scott) and is described as a whirlwind of energy with good intentions and compulsion to set things right, which has unintended consequences.
Dern will portray Renata, a powerful career woman and anti-bullying crusader who's at the centre of schoolyard politics. Woodley will play Jane, a single mum of modest means and a mysterious past.
Also announced recently were additional cast including Jeffrey Nordling as Gordon Klein, a high-powered executive and Renata's (Dern) husband, Santiago Cabrera as Joseph Bachman who runs the local Monterey theatre company and has an extramarital affair with Madeline (Witherspoon), P.J. Byrne as Principal Warren Nippal, who runs the school in Monterey where the children attend first grade, Virginia Kull as the first grade teacher, and Kelen Coleman, Sarah Burns, Sarah Baker, Larry Bate, Hong Chau, Gia Carides and Kathreen Khavari as Monterey parents and neighbors of the leading characters.
The young cast playing the children of the main characters includes Darby Camp as Madeline's seven-year old daughter; Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti as the seven-year old twin sons of Celeste and Perry; Ivy George as Renata and Gordon's seven-year old daughter; and Chloe Coleman as Nathan and Bonnie's daughter.
In addition to starring in the limited series, Witherspoon and Kidman will also serve as executive producers. They both optioned the book rights through their respective production shingles, Pacific Standard Films and Blossom Films.
Pacific Standard's Bruna Papandrea, Blossom Films' Per Saari, Nathan Ross and Gregg Fienberg will also executive produce, along with Kelley, who's writing and producing through his David E. Kelley Productions. Director Jean-Marc Vallee will also pull double duty as an executive producer. – Reuters