Not too long ago, most ‘movie’ actors wouldn’t touch television. The general consensus has been that film is more prestigious than TV, be it for whatever reason– time, audience, money. Over the past couple of years, however, the landscape of television and film has changed. With critically-acclaimed shows airing on networks like HBO and Showtime, and the impeccable quality of shows on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu (many of which feel more like long movies than eight-episode series), it isn’t rare to see a big-name movie star flock to the small screen.
That trend is clearly continuing, as seen by the fact that Meryl Streep is joining the season 2 cast of Big Little Lies. The bombshell announcement was dropped Wednesday and has left many Streep (and BLL) fans speechless.
Read on to find out everything we know about Meryl Streep on Season 2 of Big Little Lies.
*Note: this post will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
1. She Will Play Alexander Skarsgård’s Mother
Streep will play the role of Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s character, Perry Wright.
Following her son’s death, Mary Louise will make her way to Monterey to help take care of her grandchildren.
In the season finale of Big Little Lies, Celeste– who’d long been a victim of domestic abuse– secured herself an apartment and decided to leave Perry. She later confronted him in the car in the parking lot of the Elvis-and-Audrey themed Trivia Night ball, where things got chaotic quickly.
Early on in the night, we cut to Bonnie, spying on Perry who seemed to be pulling Celeste off to the side a bit too rough. Madeline then drunkenly told Jane she’s guilty of an affair, as Renata entered the picture, hoping to apologize to Jane. Celeste then joined the gang, while Bonnie slowly stalked Perry, who was about to get in on the action. In a chaotic tumbling bloody confessional of a mess, Jane realized Perry is the man who raped her. A few seconds later, Perry was dead on the steps below.
Will Skarsgard be returning for season 2? Yes. Sure, he’s dead, but according to TVLine, he’ll be entering the picture via flashbacks.
2. The Last Time Streep Appeared in a TV Series Was 2012
According to her IMDB, Meryl’s last TV credit was the TV series Web Therapy in 2012, which included many guest appearances by a slew of celebrities like Lisa Kudrow, Lily Tomlin, Alan Cumming, Rashida Jones, David Schwimmer, Billy Crystal, Steve Carrell, Rosie O’Donnell, Dax Shepard, and Selma Blair, among others.
The news of Streep’s role in BLL was announced just after it was revealed she’d received an Oscar nomination for her leading role in The Post. The accolade means that Streep has broken her own record for the most Oscar nominations, with 21.
In a recent interview with EW, Streep was asked about her character, Katharine Graham, and whether she came as a “surprise” to the actress. Streep said, “She was. And her autobiography was just suffused with that kind of deep-seated insecurity about her worthiness to be in the position that she found herself in. Partly it was how she got there, the circumstances under which she took control of The Post. Her father owned it and passed it onto her husband, who killed himself, and so she was delivered into this position and had shaky knees. But she never lost that.”
3. Sources Reportedly Tell ‘Variety’ She Will Make About $800,000 per Episode
The specific amount that Streep will make on each episode is unknown at this time, however sources have reportedly told Variety it is in the ballpark of $800,000 per episode.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Streep has an estimated net worth of $90 million. She was born and raised in Summit, New Jersey, and attended Vassar College. After graduating, Streep went on to study at the prestigious Yale School of Drama. Her first notable film role came in 1977 in the film “Julie”. That was followed closely by “The Deer Hunter” in 1978.
In 1982, Streep won her first Oscar for Best Actress for “Sophie’s Choice.” In 2011, she received another for “The Iron Lady”.
4. Her Latest Film ‘Marry Poppins Returns’ Is Currently in Post-Production
Meryl Streep’s role in Marry Poppins Returns has been somewhat of a mystery. According to EW, she will play Topsy, a cousin of Mary Poppins who “receives a visit from the nanny (Emily Blunt) and the Banks children during their adventurous lessons.”
The film marks Streep’s first time reuniting with doctor Rob Marshall since she worked with him on Into The Woods.
Emily Blunt will be taking over Julie Andrews’ original character of Mary Poppins, with Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr., Colin Firth as William Weatherall Wilkins, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, and Julie Walters as Ellen.
5. More New Cast Members Will Be Added to ‘Big Little Lies’ in Coming Weeks
While news of Streep’s casting is particularly exciting, we still have yet to hear the rest of the actors who will be rounding out the season 2 cast.
So far, we know that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman and returning. As season 1 wholly encompassed the plot of the book, season 2 will be based on a fictional story written once again by Liane Moriarty.
This season, Andrea Arnold will be directing all seven episodes of the series. She takes the position of Jean-Marc Valee, who will be staying on as executive producer.
What new characters can we expect, in addition to Streep’s? Four new characters will be added to the season. Vulture obtained casting notices for those four characters, and reports them as being: Michael Perkins, a second-grade teacher at Otter Bay Elementary who “wants to cultivate global and social consciousness in his young students”; a new school administration employee who befriends Jane; and Bonnie’s parents, Elizabeth and Martin Howard.