Why Reese Witherspoon Was Drawn to ‘Little Fires Everywhere’

The Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere is consistently gaining popularity since its release on March 18, 2020. Reese Witherspoon discovered the book that went on to become the television drama about two mothers from vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds. Let’s look at why the Big Little Lies star turned the novel, Little Fires Everywhere, into a miniseries.

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon | Hulu

How did Reese Witherspoon discover ‘Little Fires Everywhere’?

“Every month, Reese picks one book she loves with a woman at the center of the story and shares it with her book club,” according to Reese’s Book Club website.

Witherspoon chose Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng for her September 2017 book club pick. She came across the novel before it went to publication. It became an instant bestseller, which she took to Kerry Washington right away. Witherspoon felt it was perfect for a miniseries because it has a “very closed ending.”

“At Hello Sunshine, we strive to shine a light on female-driven stories that are rooted in inspiration, emotion, and truth — all of which form the bedrock of Celeste Ng’s ingenious work,” Witherspoon told Deadline.

Witherspoon produces projects that are full of women as the main characters. When she was 36, her husband — Jim Toth — told her to create the roles she wants. That’s when her production company, Hello Sunshine, was born, according to an interview with Vanity Fair.

How did Witherspoon choose to partner with Kerry Washington for ‘Little Fires Everywhere’?

“The person on the top of my list I would want to work with was Kerry Washington,” Witherspoon told Entertainment Tonight. “She’s so smart and insightful, and a fabulous actress. [She’s] also a great partner to really bring this to the screen in a way that I thought would be different.”

The pair teamed together for the Time’s Up Initiative in 2017. Together they promoted workplace equality along with various other female celebrities. They got to know each other through their dedication to the movement. 

“It was really so exciting to get that email from Reese that she had found something she thought might be right for us,” Washington says about the opportunity to work on Little Fires Everywhere. “She sent it over, and I read it, and I fell in love with Celeste’s novel. I just thought it was beautiful. The idea of working together on it, and partnering, and birthing this baby of ours that we are very proud of today.”

Washington began her own production company — Simpson Street — similarly to Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine. The two were ecstatic to partner together to create this miniseries.

Reese Witherspoon found Elena Richardson’s character very challenging

After pulling in Washington and Liz Tigelaar, the production was part of a bidding war. It resulted in a straight-to-series eight-episode-order for Hulu. Witherspoon found her character, Elena, somewhat challenging to tackle. 

“Creating that character was a new challenge for me,” Witherspoon told Vanity Fair. “Despite her intelligence and social grooming, she has a deeply embedded lack of awareness of her privilege. She’s constructed a life that’s impervious to the world she lives in. She’s so comfortable in her social standing and her wealth that she feels entitled to analyze anyone outside her sphere but never takes a hard look at her shortcomings.”

Seven of the eight episodes of Little Fires Everywhere are currently available for streaming on Hulu. The finale episode will drop to the streaming giant on April 22, 2020.

Read more: Here’s Why Reese Witherspoon’s 2nd Marriage Is so Much More Romantic Than Her First to Ryan Phillippe