There’s a chance you might know Sky/HBO’s new comedy-drama Big Little Lies is based on the dark novel of the same name. And perhaps you've already heard it’s about three mothers who soon become embroiled in murder. However, you’ve almost definitely heard that the cast list boasts several Hollywood names.


So, which film stars feature in the seven-part comedy of bitter housewives? Here’s all you need to know…

Reese Witherspoon plays Madeline MacKenzie

Who is Madeline?

She’s the cheery-and-spiky alpha mum on her second marriage. She’s funny, biting, and hot-headed ­– she remembers everything and forgives no one.

Where have I seen Reese Witherspoon before?

She’s a Hollywood star with a long list of films under her belt, but you probably know her best as Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde movies or June Carter in Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line (a performance that earned her a Best Actress Oscar).

You might also know her as Rachel’s sister Jill in Friends.

Nicole Kidman plays Celeste Wright

Who is Celeste?

She’s an ex-lawyer with a toyboy husband. She’s well-liked by the other mothers, but her well-maintained facade of wealth and happiness can’t last forever…

Where have I seen Nicole Kidman before?

Moulin Rouge, Batman Forever, Days of Thunder, Australia: Kidman has done a lot of movies over a career spanning four decades. Like Witherspoon, she’s garnered the Oscar for Best Actress, winning for her performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

Shailene Woodley plays Jane Chapman

Who is Jane?

She’s the young newbie in the crowd of mums, struggling to make ends meet and dealing with a son, Ziggy, who’s become an outcast at school.

Where have I seen Shailene Woodley before?

She made her film debut in The Descendants (2011) with George Clooney and has gone on to star in movies such as The Spectacular Now, Snowden, The Fault in Our Stars and the Divergent series.

Alexander Skarsgård plays Perry Wright

Who is Perry?

Perry is Celeste's husband. He's rich. He’s successful. But he has a darker streak unknown to most of the characters…

Where have I seen Alexander Skarsgård before?

Most recently you’ve probably witnessed him swinging into the big screen as the titular character in The Legend of Tarzan. He’s also played Eric Northman in True Blood and Sgt. Brad 'Iceman' Colbert, the main character in HBO series Generation Kill.

Adam Scott as Ed Mackenzie

Who is Ed?

He’s the stable and loving second husband of Madeline (Witherspoon).

Where have I seen Adam Scott before?

Don’t let the beard fool you, that’s Ben Wyatt from Parks and Rec under there. You might also know Scott as evil brother Derek in the film Step Brothers.

James Tupper as Nathan Carlson

Who is Nathan?

He’s Madeline’s first husband. Although he shares a daughter (Abigail) with Madeline, he’s not the most reliable father, seen to be a “hippy parent” by his ex-wife.

Where have I seen James Tupper before?

If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan then you’ll know him as Dr Andrew Perkins. And if you’re not a Grey’s Anatomy fan then you might have seen him in the TV series Revenge, or heard him in the animated penguin-thon Mr Popper’s Penguins.

Zoe Kravitz plays Bonnie Carlson

Who is Bonnie?

She’s the much-younger wife of Madeline's first husband, Nathan (Tupper). And she’s basically her opposite, putting great importance on New Age religions and philanthropy.

Where have I seen Zoe Kravitz before?


She starred as one of the Five Wives in Mad Max: Fury Road and voiced Catwoman in the Lego Batman Movie. However, she’s about to become much more recognisable for her role as Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – a role she’ll reprise for the sequel.

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