“Big Little Lies” stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz cover the June 2019 issue of InStyle magazine photographed by Pamela Hanson.
“[Late-night on set] I like to make people laugh. Zoë tells jokes too. Nicole carries around a bag of snacks with rock-hard old-lady candies, giving out peppermints and butterscotches. Shai is just chill. And Laura gets delirious and starts making up musicals … It’s truly one of the greatest experiences of my career. I feel like a door opened, and I’ll never go back the other way. When I watch the episodes, I’m always texting them saying, ‘You blew me away.’ I’m in awe of their talent and our collective ability to express on such a deep level, have joy on such a high level, and celebrate each other. It’s the most fulfilling expression of the female experience I’ve ever had on film — particularly when Meryl Streep shows up. That’s when you’re like, ‘Oh, we are doing something right.'”
“[Working with these women has been] astounding because I’ve learned so much. We all come in with our own set of skills. There’s great listening and great contributing and great compromise, but actually, in the end, it’s just a great allegiance. The show itself is its own force. We were all like, ‘No, we’re done,’ and it pulled us back in. Reese and I just look at each other and go, ‘How did we get here?’ What a lovely thing to play the women we play and have people feel like they know them. I’ve never had that. I’m not used to that. It feels so good. Makes me feel very close to people.
“I want to cry when I think about Reese, because that woman holds the weight of so many worlds on her shoulders yet manages to show up day in and day out with more ambition than anyone I’ve ever met. More drive, more care, more passion. Even if she disagrees with you, she will take the time to understand. Sometimes I get a mothering comfort from Reese, and other times I get a cool-big-sister vibe. I admire how she’s able to use humor to create the change she wishes to see. That is her superpower. She’s also a ninja. When I’m watching B’ig Little Lies,’ I feel as if I’m as much an audience member as anyone else. When I do films, I see myself in almost every shot, but with this project, I take up five minutes, so I get to see story lines unfold. I’m properly eating popcorn on the edge of my seat when I watch ‘Big Little Lies.'”
“Our dinners are like 10-day vacations on a deserted island. Every dinner is three and a half hours minimum with food and wine. We break it all down. It’s how I think all of us feel when we get together with a group of women, particularly in the same field, like you’ve been crossing the desert for five days and you see water. ‘Ambition’ was a dirty word for women when I was a little girl. Women who are ambitious are cold, calculating, and unsexy — that was the idea presented to my generation. To be sexy was to be demure, subservient even. … It’s been enough, I think, for Reese, Nicole, and me to be ambitious in our field. I was told growing up that to be an actress of quality you shouldn’t make money because serious actresses didn’t make money. Actors made money.”
“I have amazing people in my life who support me — my friends, my family, my fiancé [actor Karl Glusman], and all the women on ‘Big Little Lies.’ They have my back, and I know if I was doing some weird, crazy shit, someone would set me straight. They help whenever I have a moment of panic and confusion, which happens quite often. … I’ve known Shai for years now, and with all the ups and downs — life stuff, fame, films, love — she’s just constantly herself. So many people change depending on their environment, and Shailene Woodley does not, and I fucking love it. Life is Shailene Woodley’s bitch. And Laura has the best sense of humor. She makes me laugh so hard because she finds humor in really bizarre places. You see it in her acting too: What she does with her characters is always this weird tone of funny. Nicole can access her emotions in a crazy way, which is why she’s so wonderful at her job. She’s sensitive, and she’s open to feeling things no matter where she is or who she’s with, and I think that’s very brave, because I tend to protect myself.”
Reese Witherspoon: Christian Dior Top | Chloé Shorts
Nicole Kidman: Gucci Blouse | Victoria Beckham Skirt | Delfina Delettrez Earrings
Shailene Woodley: Dorothee Schumacher Blouse | Araks Bralette | Emilio Pucci Shorts Shailene’s Own Earrings | Mizuki Bracelet | Roger Vivier Heels
Laura Dern: Rosamosario Lace Body | Dior Skirt | Irene Neuwirth Earrings
Zoë Kravitz: Erdem Dress | Turner & Tatler Earrings
[Photo Credit: Pamela Hanson/InStyle Magazine]