Big Little Lies' Laura Dern says it's "fun" to fight with Reese Witherspoon.

For those invested in Big Little Lies – whether that be the TV series or the Liane Moriarity original paperback – they will know there are few characters who resent one another more than Renata and Madeline.

The two wealthy mothers of Monterey, who inadvertently shine a light on the cattiness of schoolyard politics, seem to fight and argue and dislike one another through the entire narrative.

But in real life, Reese Witherspoon (Madeline) and Laura Dern (Renata) refer to each other as “family”. They’re as close as close friends can be, and it’s for this reason Dern says it makes their arguments on screen that much more amusing to act out.

“As beautiful as the experience is working with fellow women and doing that whole scene,” Dern said of the ‘boardroom scene’ in episode four (where Celeste, Madeline and Renata come to logger-heads over a controversial local production of Avenue Q) Dern acknowledges it’s a hard role to play when you all get along so well.

“Reese and I have become like family … so to look across from each other, all I can say is we’re filled with such contempt with every look, and after every take we would be grateful for them to cut so that we could howl out loud.

Happy Birthday to my friend, my sister, and my partner in crime @lauradern! ❤️???? Shine bright today lady! ???????? #HBD

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on


“You just can’t believe how fun it is to hate someone you love so much. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m hating you this much!’” she added.

It’s not the first time the two have publicly declared their love and respect for one another. After appearing in Wild together back in 2014 as mother and daughter – despite their nine year age gap –  the duo struck up a firm friendship.

“Nobody makes me laugh harder than Laura. She can put me on the floor with a text message,” Witherspoon recently said in an interview with the New York Times.

“We were together all over the world for five months [on the press tour for Wild]. She taught me to love Red Vines. She taught me about brown lipstick.”

Why we need more Big Little Lies on our screens. Post continues…

In that same interview with The Times, Dern said the transition from playing mother and daughter to playing arch-enemies was an odd one.

“After playing out, you know, a true love story between this mother and daughter, to hate each other [in “Big Little Lies”] is just hysterical.

“When I met Reese, I knew she would be my family for the rest of my life. And I don’t say that lightly.”

Love TV? We have a whole podcast dedicated to it.

00:00 / ???