Which 'Big Little Lies' Character Is Named After Meryl Streep?

Regarded as one of the best actors of all time, Meryl Streep has the resume to end all resumes. Known for her incredible range and versatility, the actress has lent her incredible acting abilities to a variety of compelling roles. In doing so, she has racked up a tremendous amount of accolades and awards. She has been nominated for a whopping 21 Academy Awards, having won three of them, and trails the late Katharine Hepburn by just one award. Though Streep clearly excels in films, currently one of her most anticipated roles in on the HBO series Big Little Lies.


Joining a star-studded cast including Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Streep joined Big Little Lies right in time for season two. The series, which is based on a bestselling book by Liane Moriarty, follows three mothers Madeline, Celeste, and Jane as they try to cope with marriage, parenting, relationships, friendships, and the ever-present gossip that plagues their small community in Monterey, California. Things get even juicier when murder finds its way into their idyllic town, and the characters struggle to make peace with it.

The series was immediately met with incredible reception, garnering high critical praise and the attention of several big players in Hollywood. One of those players was Streep herself. She actually loved the show so much that she made the decision to join the cast without ever having read a script for her character.

Season 2

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the 69-year-old opened up on how she got involved with the dramatic series. “{My agent] said, ‘There’s a part that they wrote with you in mind because they called her Mary Louise’ — Mary Louise is my actual legal name. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it’. He said, ‘Don’t you want to read it?’ I said, ‘No’. It was the greatest thing on TV. It really was, that first season.” The actress admitted.

That is certainly high praise coming from such an acting legend. But, the second season of Big Little Lies almost never saw the light of day. Moriarty (author and executive producer of the show) was unsure about writing a second season. In fact, the only thing that convinced her to go through with the project was writing a character with Streep in mind.

“When I was sort of agonizing over whether or not I should do it, it was actually my sister who said to me, ‘Only do it if it would be fun, and why not create a role for your favorite actor?’ And that’s when I came up with this role for Meryl Streep, to be Perry’s mother. And it was really from there that it all came together because you bring this new character in and the storylines just emerge. I don’t know how she feels about the character being named Mary Louise, but it was wonderful getting Meryl. I would have been sad to have had someone else play her.” The author explained.


Big Little Lies returns to HBO this Sunday, June 9. We can’t wait to watch the drama unfold and see what magic Streep brings to the already brilliant show.

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