Shailene Woodley is back as Jane Chapman on Big Little Lies. The actress has not said much about her role in the upcoming season, but based on her previously stellar turn, she will be a big part of the narrative. Read on for spoilers about Jane and the twists and turns her character will undergo.
According to Deadline, Jane will be dealing with the emotional fallout of Perry’s death, while at the same time, trying to “build a new life for herself and [her son] Ziggy.” While she goes back and forth about telling Ziggy (Iain Armitage) about the true identity of her father, Perry, she ultimately decides to do so for his own good. Perry’s wife Celeste (Nicole Kidman) is initially against the idea, given the brutal circumstances through which Ziggy was conceived, but she ultimately chooses to support Jane.
Jane Debates Whether to Tell Her Son About Her Biological Father In Season 2
New York Post reports that one of the season’s most touching scenes involves Celeste bringing her and Perry’s children to visit Jane and Ziggy, so that the half-siblings can get to know each other. That said, it isn’t all smooth sailing for Jane in season two. Perry’s mother, Mary Louise (Meryl Streep), comes into town looking for answers about his death, and immediately pesters Jane about her child. She requests that Ziggy be given a paternity test to determine who his biological father.
Woodley said that Jane’s sexual assault at the hands of Perry was a big hurdle for the character to overcome in season two. She told that she did lots of research into similar real-life cases, and tried to implement the research into her performance. “I read countless accounts of women and men who have endured sexual trauma and who live with that every single day. But to be honest, the real insight that I got was from my own personal experiences and those of my closest friends and family,” she told Vogue.
Jane Also Runs Into Some Trouble With Perry’s Mother Mary Louise
“The thing about domestic violence and sexual assault is that no one’s safe from it. If it’s not happening to you, it happens to somebody that you know very intimately, chances are,” Woodley also said it was important to make Jane feel like a real person and not to veer into “preachy” territory throughout the season. “Nobody wants to be preached at. Nobody wants to feel like they’re wrong, right?,” she explained. “So to me, playing Jane wasn’t about being sociopolitical; it wasn’t about activism at all. It simply was about playing a woman who is f**king hurting, and is emotionally traumatized, and who is psychologically trying to move forward with this heavy load. And what does one do with that?”
Woodley also said it was a thrill playing alongside cast newcomer Meryl Streep. “Meryl’s just so good,” she said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It’s like a master class in acting when you’re working with her because you’re trying to learn and be present at the same time. She’s really, she’s truly next level.”