Not even stars as famous as Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon thought they'd be able to convince Meryl Streep to join their show.

When casting for the second season of HBO drama Big Little Lies, best-selling Australian author Liane Moriarty was adamant she wanted Streep to play the newly created role of Mary Louise Wright — which also happens to be the Oscar winning actor's real name.

"We didn't know Mary Louise was Meryl's real name, but Liane knew and she wrote it and then said, 'I want Meryl Streep'," Kidman told Foxtel magazine.

"Reese (Witherspoon) and I said, 'We can't get you Meryl!'"

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It's a good thing the Australian actor had Streep in her phone contacts, flicking her a quick text message asking if she'd be interested in playing the part.

Kidman and Witherspoon couldn't believe the response.

"I sent Meryl a text, and when she responded … Reese and I were literally screaming on the phone with each other," Kidman recalled.

Big Little Lies was the breakout series of 2017, receiving 16 Emmy Award nominations and winning eight.

It is also credited as rewriting the rule book for women on television.

From left: Big Little Lies season 2 stars Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Nicole Kidman. Photo / Getty Images
From left: Big Little Lies season 2 stars Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Nicole Kidman. Photo / Getty Images

The hugely anticipated second season will premiere in New Zealand on Neon on June 10, with the core cast returning including Kidman, Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz.

Streep will play Perry's mum who is demanding answers about the death of her son (Alexander Skarsgard). Fans will remember how that went down.

"We are the recipients of an enormous amount of opportunity in terms of being able to change the landscape with something like Big Little Lies, but at the time when we started four years ago, it was totally unusual," Kidman said of how the series has inspired women in Hollywood.

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"People thought it was just going to be a small drama about some mothers that have kids in kindergarten, and they were like, 'Well, that will find its way in its own little niche world, but it won't break out into something that men want to watch'. And then it did."

Big Little Lies will be available in New Zealand weekly on Neon from June 10.