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Little Fires Everywhere premiered on Hulu on March 18, 2020. The miniseries stars Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Lexi Underwood, Megan Stott, Gavin Lewis, and Jordan Elsass. While Little Fires Everywhere is not part of the same time period as Big Little Lies, the two TV shows are connected in a way.

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon | Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Hulu

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ has been compared to ‘Big Little Lies’

Little Fires Everywhere is frequently compared to Big Little Lies. While Big Little Lies went on to have a second season, it originally started out as a miniseries based on a novel like Little Fires Everywhere, and the two shows take on a similar tone.

For CNN, Brian Lowry wrote, “‘Little Fires Everywhere’ feels like the second season of ‘Big Little Lies’ that viewers wanted (or at least deserved)… A juicy adaptation of Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel, the Hulu limited series dishes out an enticing mystery against a soapy backdrop of class and racial divides.”

Another reason the two shows are compared often is because Witherspoon starred in and produced both Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere. Witherspoon optioned the film rights to Big Little Lies with Nicole Kidman and served as a producer on the show.

In 2017, Witherspoon selected Ng’s book Little Fires Everywhere as her book club pick and showed the book to Washington. The two then pushed for the book to be adapted into a TV series, and Witherspoon also produced the adaption of Little Fires Everywhere.

Fans found similarities between Reese Witherspoon’s characters

Ever since the show premiered, viewers have found lots of similarities between Witherspoon’s characters in Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere.

“Reese Witherspoon always slays this type of character. Elena reminds me of Madeline on Big Little Lies,” one fan tweeted.

“Reese Witherspoon’s character is the SAME EXACT one she played in Big Little Lies. She plays this archetype very well,” wrote a Twitter user.

“If you watch Big Little Lies, Reese Witherspoon is lowkey playing the same character in Little Fires Everywhere,” wrote another Twitter user.

“ughhh reese witherspoon does an outstanding job playing as the rich, perfect family, white mom. like in the shows ‘big little lies’ and ‘little fires everywhere’ *chefs kiss*,” a fan tweeted.

Celeste Ng pictured Reese Witherspoon for the role in ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

It turns out the similarities between Witherspoon’s characters in Big Little Lies and Little Fires Everywhere aren’t exactly an accident. In fact, Ng pictured Witherspoon for the role in Little Fires Everywhere after watching the actress in Big Little Lies.

“Halfway through the series I turned to [my husband] and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if somehow, in some crazy universe, Reese Witherspoon read my book, optioned it, and then starred in it?'” Ng told EW.

From watching Big Little Lies, Ng realized the similarities between Madeline Mackenzie and her book’s character, Elena Richardson. Now, Witherspoon is starring in and producing Little Fires Everywhere, just like Ng hoped for years ago.