Are you sitting down? Who cares; this bit of news will bowl you over no matter your current stance. Meryl Streep is joining the cast of Big Little Lies for the hit HBO series’s second season. HBO announced Wednesday that the three-time Oscar winner is set to play Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s character, Perry. As you might recall, Perry was the abusive husband of Celeste (played by Nicole Kidman) who got killed at the end of Season 1, leaving the story line wide open for someone in his family to come forward and observe the horror he wrought.
Here’s HBO’s description of her character: “Concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son’s death, Mary Louise arrives in Monterey searching for answers.” Can you imagine it now? Mary Louise floating about the lofty California town, preferably in the gold caftan Streep wore in The Post, wine in hand as she and a tearful Celeste wordlessly gaze at the sunset together (as fans of The Hours squeal in delight at this mini-reunion). Perhaps we’ll even get some throwback scenes with her and Perry, as it has previously been reported that Skarsgard will return to the show for flashbacks.
This is a rare TV appearance for Streep, though she has made jaunts to HBO-land before, memorably starring in the 2003 adaptation of Angels in America (and winning an Emmy for her trouble). It was also announced back in 2016 that she would star in a mysterious upcoming J.J. Abrams TV project titled The Nix. While new details still have yet to emerge about that show, it was later reported that Streep was set to earn a staggering $825,000 per episode.
Big Little Lies Season 2 will be released in 2019. HBO has confirmed that it will last seven episodes, with David E. Kelley again writing the series and director Jean-Marc Vallée staying on to executive produce. This time around, however, the series will be directed by the idiosyncratic auteur Andrea Arnold, who recently helmed the experimental series I Love Dick and the runaway film American Honey. Streep is in good hands.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:Meryl Streep’s 2017-2018 Awards-Season StyleYohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.