Nicole Kidman Opened up About ‘Big Little Lies’ Iconic Slap Scene and the Impact of Her Character
Big Little Lies has become the hit television show viewers never knew they needed after a star-studded cast delivered for two seasons in a row. While Season 1 focused on domestic abuse and a secret between five women, the second season explored the aftermath and Celeste Wright’s response to the loss of her husband and father of her kids, who also abused her.
While Celeste’s specific story of abuse is relatable, her overall storyline of pushing past heartbreak to get through another day can resonate with almost anyone, prompting viewers to share their own experiences online.
Nicole Kidman, who portrays Celeste and produces the show, talked to Deadline about the impact of her character, “the slap heard around the world,” and if there will be a third season.
Nicole Kidman on the impact of her ‘Big Little Lies’ character
In Big Littles Lies, Nicole Kidman portrayed a recently widowed mother of twins, Celeste Wright. Her late husband abused her, and Celeste clearly struggled with her emotions regarding him after his death. Many women viewers resonated with her character’s raw and emotional response to the abuse and reacted online.
In a Deadline interview, Kidman said she “continues to receive direct contact” and long letters from women. She noted there’s an “insidious quality to abuse” and that her character is not healed, and to depict her as such would be “ridiculous.” Even though Celeste has a long path to recovery ahead of her, Kidman says she’s coping and still manages to take care of her children.
Nicole Kidman on her iconic Meryl Streep slap scene
When Celeste slapped her mother-in-law, Mary Louise Wright (played by Meryl Streep) in Season 2 Episode 4, Twitter defined it as “the slap heard around the world” and shared the gif endlessly. Kidman talked about the slap and explained they did it “several times” to make sure it was coming from a real place.
According to Kidman, her relationship with Streep “overlapped” in the scene because she was “scared,” but so was Celeste. The actress acknowledged it was a great moment because of the complications, although she didn’t think the “audience would react so strongly to it.”
Nicole Kidman on ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 3 potential
The first season of Big Little Lies was supposed only to be one mini-series, inspired by the novel by author Liane Moriarty. Because there is no sequel to the book, it was only intended for one season. However, the unexpected success that came from the show left the writers and Kidman’s production company, Blossom Films, no choice but to greenlight a second season.
Additionally, David E. Kelley and Moriarty felt like they could “continue the women’s narrative.” Season 2 turned out to be a hit, of course, and even though Kelley said they wrote it “as if this were the end,” he also said, “never say never.” Kidman seemed to echo his sentiments because when asked about a possible revival, she replied, “We’ll see if they’re ignited into building a life for these women and which way they would go next.”
Kidman ended by stating that even though she has “no idea” where the writers would take the story, she’s confident it would be “amazing” because the same team would be behind it.