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.