The women of Monterey are back for a second season, and this time the cast is even starrier, with the addition of Hollywood legend Meryl Streep as Celeste’s (Nicole Kidman) mother-in-law, Mary Louise.
Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of Big Little Lies season two. Including SPOILERS for season one!
- When is Big Little Lies season 2 on Sky Atlantic? Who’s in the cast and what’s it about?
- Big Little Lies fuels British boom in tourism interest for Monterey, California
- Stay up to date with the RadioTimes.com newsletter
Reese Witherspoon plays Madeline MacKenzie
Who is Madeline MacKenzie? Alpha-mum Madeline is married to Ed Mackenzie, her second husband, with whom she has a young daughter named Chloe. She was previously married to Nathan, with whom she had her elder daughter Abigail.
She had an affair a local theatre director, a fact that she’s trying desperately to keep from Ed, while she’s also concealing the real circumstances around Perry Wright’s death at the Elvis and Audrey Hepburn-themed Trivia Night.
- Reese Witherspoon chucked an ice cream at Meryl Streep while filming Big Little Lies and everyone wants to know why
Where have I seen Reese Witherspoon before? The Hollywood actress is perhaps best known for her roles as Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde movies and June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line (a performance that won her a Best Actress Oscar).
Nicole Kidman plays Celeste Wright
Who is Celeste Wright? Former-lawyer and mum-of-twins Celeste was living an seemingly perfect life, but in reality she was in an abusive marriage with her husband, Perry. When his infidelity was exposed at Trivia Night, he lashed out, and in order to prevent him from attacking Celeste, Bonnie Carlson pushed him down a flight of stairs, killing him.
Where have I seen Nicole Kidman before? Like her co-star Witherspoon, Kidman has previously picked up the Oscar for Best Actress, winning for her performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours. She’s also starred in a a long list of blockbusters, including Moulin Rouge and more recently Aquaman.
Shailene Woodley plays Jane Chapman
Who is Jane Chapman? Jane was raped by Perry Wright as a young woman, and she subsequently gave birth to Ziggy, now a second-grader. Having never formally met Perry until Trivia Night, her realisation that it was him who assaulted her all those years ago catalysed the night’s violent events.
Where have I seen Shailene Woodley before? Woodley played Tris in the Divergent films, and starred alongside her Big Little Lies co-star Laura Dern in The Fault in Our Stars (Dern played the mother of Woodley’s character). You may also know her from The Descendants and The Spectacular Now.
Meryl Streep plays Mary Louise Wright
Who is Mary Louise Wright? A new character in the show, Mary Louise is Perry’s mother, and is staying in Monterey while helping Celeste with the twins. She’s determined to discover the truth about her son’s death.
Where have I seen Meryl Streep before? Where have you been? Nominated for 21 Oscars over her long career (winning three), you may know her from The Devil Wears Prada, The Iron Lady, Suffragette, Doubt, Kramer vs Kramer, and Mamma Mia!
Laura Dern plays Renata Klein
Who is Renata Klein? Fabulously rich and powerful, Renata is fiercely protective of her young daughter, Amabella. She is one of the now-notorious ‘Monterey Five’ — the five mothers who were present when Perry Wright died.
Where have I seen Laura Dern? Dern has starred in numerous blockbusters over the years, including Jurassic Park, The Master, The Fault in Our Stars (alongside Shailene Woodley) and more recently Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Zoe Kravitz plays Bonnie Carlson
Who is Bonnie Carlson? A yoga teacher and the much-younger second wife of Nathan Carlson, Bonnie is into New Age religions and philanthropy. She’s responsible for the death of Perry Wright, a fact that the other four ‘Monetery Five’ mothers have conspired to conceal, in order to protect Bonnie.
Where have I seen Zoe Kravitz before? Kravitz co-starred alongside her Big Little Lies co-star Shailene Woodley in the Divergent films, and has starred in X-Men: First Class, Mad Max: Fury Road, and both Fantastic Beats and Where To Find Them films, in which she played Leta Lestrange.
James Tupper plays Nathan Carlson
Who is Nathan Carlson? The Ex-husband of Madeline, Nathan is now married to Bonnie. He has an antagonistic relationship with Ed Mackenzie, Madeline’s second husband.
Where have I seen James Tupper before? Grey’s Anatomy fans will know Tupper as Dr Andrew Perkins. You may also have seen him in the popular series Revenge, or heard him in the animated penguin-thon Mr Popper’s Penguins.
Adam Scott plays Ed Mackenzie
Who is Ed Mackenzie? Ed Mackenzie is Madeline’s devoted second husband, and father of Chloe.
Where have I seen Adam Scott before? Scott is probably best known as Ben Wyatt from Parks and Rec, and also played evil brother Derek in the film Step Brothers.
Kathryn Newton plays Abigail Carlson
Who is Abigail Carlson? Abigail is the rebellious teen daughter of Madeline Mackenzie and Nathan Carlson.
Where have I seen Kathryn Newton before? Rising star Kathryn Newton played Amy in the recent BBC adaptation of Little Women, and plays Allie in the Netflix mystery drama series The Society. She’s also starred in Pokémon Detective Pikachu and Blockers.
Douglas Smith plays Corey Brockfield
Who is Corey Brockfield? Corey is Jane Chapman’s new work colleague.
Where have I seen Douglas Smith? Smith has starred in The Alienist and is also well-known for his role on the HBO series Big Love as Ben Henrickson, the eldest son of polygamist central character Bill Henrickson.
Robin Weigert plays Dr. Amanda Reisman
Who is Dr Amanda Reisman? Dr Reisman is Celeste’s therapist. She supported her when she considered leaving her husband Perry.
Where have I seen Robin Weigert before? Weigert is best known for playing Calamity Jane on the HBO series (and upcoming TV film) Deadwood. She’s also starred in Once Upon a Time and American Horror Story.
Iain Armitage plays Ziggy Chapman
Who is Ziggy Chapman? Ziggy is Jane Chapman’s young son. He’s grown up in a single-parent environment, unaware that his father is Perry Wright, whose twin sons are in Ziggy’s class at Otter Bay School.
Where have I seen Iain Armitage before? Armitage plays the title role in the Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon.
Jeffrey Nordling plays Gordon Klein
Who is Gordon Klein? Gordon is the wealthy husband of the equally-successful Renata. The power-couple have one daughter, the anxious Amabella.
Where have I seen Jeffrey Nordling before? American actor Nordling has starred in Sully, Tron: Legacy, and played Larry Moss in 24, and Nick Bolen in Desperate Housewives.
Crystal Fox plays Elizabeth Howard
Who is Elizabeth Howard? Elizabeth is mother to Bonnie Carlson.
Where have I seen Crystal Fox before? The actress and singer has guest-starred on Law & Order, The Sopranos, and is known for roles on the NBC/CBS series In the Heat of the Night and the Oprah Winfrey Network soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots.
Alexander Skarsgård plays Perry Wright
Who was Perry Wright? Perry was married to Celeste before he died at the end of season one.
Where have I seen Alexander Skarsgård before? Skarsgård played the titular character in The Legend of Tarzan. He’s also played Eric Northman in True Blood and Sgt. Brad ‘Iceman’ Colbert, the central character in HBO series Generation Kill.
The first episode of Big Little Lies season 2 will be simulcast live on Sky Atlantic at 2am on Monday 10th June (as it airs in the US on HBO at 9pm on Sunday 9th) with a more sociable repeat at 9pm.
Some of our articles contain contextual affiliate links. You can support us by clicking on these as we may earn commission if you make a purchase. There is no extra cost to you and we never allow this to bias our content.