In the tranquil seaside town of Monterey, California, nothing is quite as it seems. Doting moms, successful husbands, adorable children, beautiful homes: What lies will be told to keep their perfect worlds from unraveling?
Told through the eyes of three mothers — Madeline, Celeste and Jane — this series paints a picture of a town fueled by rumors and divided into the haves and have-nots, exposing the conflicts, secrets and betrayals that compromise relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors.
This subversive, darkly comedic drama weaves a tale of murder and mischief as it explores society's myth of perfection and the contradictions that exist beneath our idealized facade of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship.
The stellar cast includes Reese Witherspoon (Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner for "Walk the Line"; Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for "Wild"; "Inherent Vice"); Nicole Kidman (Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for "Lion"; Oscar winner for "The Hours"; Golden Globe winner for "To Die For," "Moulin Rouge!" and "The Hours"; SAG Award nominee for "Rabbit Hole" and "The Paperboy"; Emmy nominee for "Hemingway & Gellhorn"); Shailene Woodley (Independent Spirit Award winner, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for "The Descendants"; "Divergent"; "The Fault in Our Stars"); Laura Dern (Oscar nominee for "Wild" and "Rambling Rose"; Golden Globe winner for "Enlightened," "Recount" and "Afterburn;" five-time Emmy nominee); Zoë Kravitz ("Mad Max: Fury Road," "Divergent"); Alexander Skarsgård ("The Legend of Tarzan," "True Blood"); Adam Scott ("Parks and Recreation," "Black Mass"); James Tupper ("Men in Trees," "Revenge"); and Jeffrey Nordling ("Sully," "Motive").
The Mothers of Monterey
Madeline Martha Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon) is a whirlwind of energy and good intentions, but her compulsion to set things right has unintended consequences.
Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) is the envy of her peers, a statuesque beauty who appears to have it all: twins, wealth and the perfect husband.
Jane (Shailene Woodley), a single mom of modest means with a mysterious past, is new not only to Monterey but to the complicated social hierarchy of Otter Bay Elementary School, where her son is a student.
Renata Klein (Laura Dern) is a powerful career woman and anti-bullying crusader at the center of schoolyard politics, on and off the playground.
Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz), married to Madeline's ex-husband, is a spiritual yoga instructor and a sensitive soul with a strong moral compass.
Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård), half of the seemingly perfect Monterey couple, is a successful businessman, loving father and devoted husband to Celeste.
Ed Mackenzie (Adam Scott) is Madeline's stable and loving second husband, who copes with feelings of being second-best and, unlike his wife, believes in playing it safe.
Nathan Carlson (James Tupper), ex-husband of Madeline, is re-married to the beautiful and younger yoga instructor, Bonnie. He faces the challenges of co-parenting a teenage daughter with his ex.
Gordon Klein (Jeffrey Nordling) is a high-powered executive who loves and supports his wife, Renata, in her professional endeavors, but doesn't always understand her actions.
The Mackenzies: Madeline, Ed, Abigail (Kathryn Newton) and Chloe (Darby Camp).
The Wrights: Celeste, Perry and twins Max and Josh (Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti).
The Carlsons: Nathan, Bonnie and Skye (Chloe Coleman).
The Kleins: Renata, Gordon and Amabella (Ivy George).
The Chapmans: Jane and Ziggy (Iain Armitage).
Additional cast members include Santiago Cabrera, P.J. Byrne and Virginia Kull.
"Big Little Lies" is a Pacific Standard/Blossom Films/David E. Kelley Productions production for HBO Films. The series is executive produced by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, David E. Kelley, Bruna Papandrea ("Gone Girl"; "Wild"; the Oscar nominee "Milk"), Per Saari ("Rabbit Hole," "The Family Fang," "Monte Carlo"), Jean-Marc Vallée, Nathan Ross ("Dallas Buyers Club," "Wild," "Demolition") and Gregg Fienberg (four-time Emmy-nominee; "True Blood" and "Deadwood"), and produced by Barbara A. Hall ("Ray," "Milk") and Liane Moriarty,
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée ("Dallas Buyers Club," for which he received an editing Oscar nomination; "Wild"; "Demolition"), the series is written for television and created by David E. Kelley (seven-time Emmy winner for "Picket Fences," "LA Law," "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal"; "Goliath").
Reese Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard production banner, along with Nicole Kidman and her Blossom Films production banner, optioned the film and television rights to the novel. The series was filmed in Monterey, Carmel, Malibu, Los Angeles, Culver City, Pasadena and Altadena, California.