Big Little Lies star Reese Witherspoon talks to Michele Manelis about secrets, lies and fighting with Nicole Kidman.
How good are you at keeping secrets?
I don't have a lot of secrets. I think it's fascinating what we do and don't tell people, even our closest friends. What's fascinating about Big Little Lies is that they all seem very intimate and seem to know each other so well, but then you'll start to see my character challenging Celeste (Nicole Kidman) a little bit, like, "Why don't you tell me anything?" Because is that a real friendship if you're not sharing the parts of you that are most vulnerable?
Meryl Streep's character makes fun of your height. Has that been an issue for you?
Well, I was always really short; I'm still really short but when I was growing up in school, I was the shortest girl in the class and my mother always taught me to say, "Better things come in smaller packages."
Adults can behave badly towards each other as they do on the show, but that also reflects real life. How do you deal with bad behaviour?
It feels like the older you get, the filter becomes less and less. I think it's an interesting phenomenon. I don't know; I really don't deal with it. But then again, I work in Hollywood. I've watched a lot of really bad behaviour happen. How I deal with it is that I try not to get involved. When you see crazy you should just walk away from it. Keep your head down, keep working, do the right thing, stay out of the crazy person's way.
How would you describe the way in which your friendship with Nicole Kidman has evolved?
It's been so fantastic. She and I were just talking today about how fortunate we are to have each other through this process of producing Big Little Lies. For both of us, it's our biggest success with another woman ever, in our entire careers. So, to have that experience with her, to be in the trenches with her, it's been everything. We've had every experience imaginable. We've got along, we've had fights, we've got over it, we've been on vacation together, we've worked together, we've disagreed about things. But I think that's the beauty of having a real partnership with someone.
When you've had a disagreement, who is the one that usually makes up?
We both want to resolve things and we both know not expressing things is not healthy, so I think we've been shocked at times when we've got to that place where we are really upset with each other, but there's always a spirit of, "We're going to get through this." Even if we have to walk away and think it over, we always find a way back to each other.
You seem like an extremely competent person.
Well, I've never been helpless. If you need help with something, I can help you. I don't know many women that are helpless, who would turn to somebody else and say, "Can you fix this for me?" Even though you see that in the movies all the time. It doesn't happen in real life.
To many people you're an intimidating force. How do you put people at ease?
I'm pretty relatable. If people are intimidated, I usually say, "If you're nervous about meeting me, in five minutes it wears off, I promise." Because I'm a friendly, goofy person, to be totally honest, so most of my friends forget I'm famous. We'll go somewhere and the paparazzi will show up and they'll be like, "Oh my God, I forgot you were famous." I consider that a big compliment.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Apparently you have a new addition to the family?
Oh, Lou. My puppy. He's adorable. He's on Instagram; I think he'll start his own page soon. My husband brought him home one day. We recently lost one of our dogs and we are such dog people. The children helped us name him. He's an English bulldog and he has blue eyes, just like me.
What's it like with mostly grown-up kids now?
Well, I have a 6-year-old who's about to go into first grade, my daughter is 19 and in college and my older son is 15 and in high school. So, my house is filled with teenagers all the time, which is so fun. It's nice being the mum of a teenager, I'm really enjoying it.
What can you reveal about the ending of Big Little Lies?
Ohhh, it's so good. Oh sorry, good's probably not a good enough adjective. A better word might be controversial.
I know you can't say much, but are you happy with the ending?
I am thrilled. Mainly because I think it lets the audience have their own opinions.
The final of Big Little Lies screens on SoHo on Monday, July 22