×

Alexander Skarsgard and James Tupper Join HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’

HBO’s A-list ensembler “Big Little Lies” is now complete with the additions of Alexander Skarsgård and James Tupper, Variety has learned.

The two actors join Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in the David E. Kelley limited series, along with previously announced stars Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Zoë Kravitz and Kathryn Newton.

Based on Liane Moriarty’s 2014 novel of the same name, “Big Little Lies” is a darkly comic drama centering on three mothers (Witherspoon, Kidman, Dern) of first graders whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.

Skarsgård will play Kidman’s husband, Perry, a successful businessman, loving father and devoted husband. Tupper will play Witherspoon’s ex-husband, who’s now married to a young yoga instructor (Kravitz) and faces the challenges of co-parenting a teenage daughter (Newton) with his ex-wife.

Kidman is playing Celeste, who’s the envy of her peers as she seems to have it all. Witherspoon is playing Madeline, who’s married to Ed (played by Scott) and is described as a whirlwind of energy with good intentions and compulsion to set things right, which has unintended consequences. Dern will portray Renata, a powerful career woman and anti-bullying crusader who’s at the center of schoolyard politics. Woodley will play Jane, a single mom of modest means and a mysterious past.

Also announced on Tuesday were additional cast including Jeffrey Nordling as Gordon Klein, a high-powered executive and Renata’s (Dern) husband; Santiago Cabrera as Joseph Bachman who runs the local Monterey theatre company and has an extramarital affair with Madeline (Witherspoon); P.J. Byrne as Principal Warren Nippal, who runs the school in Monterey where the children attend first grade; Virginia Kull as the first grade teacher; and Kelen Coleman, Sarah BurnsSarah Baker, Larry Bate, Hong Chau, Gia Carides and Kathreen Khavari as Monterey parents and neighbors of the leading characters.

The young cast playing the children of the main characters includes Darby Camp as Madeline’s 7-year old daughter; Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti as the 7-year old twin sons of Celeste and Perry; Ivy George as Renata and Gordon’s 7-year old daughter; and Chloe Coleman as Nathan and Bonnie’s daughter.

In addition to starring in the limited series, Witherspoon and Kidman will also serve as exec producers. They both optioned the book rights through their respective production shingles, Pacific Standard Films and Blossom Films.

Pacific Standard’s Bruna Papandrea, Blossom Films’ Per Saari, Nathan Ross and Gregg Fienberg will also exec produce, along with Kelley, who’s writing and producing through his David E. Kelley Prods. Director Jean-Marc Vallée will also pull double duty as an exec producer.

Skarsgård is repped by CAA. Tupper is repped by Untitled Entertainment, United Talent Agency and Jackoway Tyerman.

More TV

  • Sky takeover. Undated file photo of

    Katie Keenan to Head Sky Cinema Acquisitions

    Katie Keenan is joining Sky as head of acquisitions at Sky Cinema, and will oversee film deals for the pay-TV giant’s channels. Keenan is a seasoned buyer. Most recently she was at Viacom’s international division and acquiring programming for its free-TV Channel 5 operation in the U.K., as well as for cable channels including Comedy [...]

  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE, 24:

    LGBTQ Stars Honored at Variety’s Power of Pride Celebration

    New York City felt the full power of pride on Monday, as Variety celebrated its inaugural issue devoted to the annual recognition of LGBTQ people worldwide. At an intimate gathering at lower east side Manhattan hotel The Orchid, rooftop bar Mr. Purple hosted Variety’s cover stars and luminaries for cocktails and the unveiling of the [...]

  • WWE

    WWE and PP Sports Extend China Partnership

    WWE and PP Sports have signed a new multi-year agreement that will keep WWE programming airing live in Mandarin in China. In the past three years of the partnership, PP Sports has delivered more than 300 episodes of WWE programming. PP Sports will offer “Raw,” “Smackdown” and the WWE Network as a subscription VOD service [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • HIGHWIRE LIVE IN TIMES SQUARE WITH

    TV News Roundup: 'Highwire Live in Times Square' Tops Sunday Night Ratings

    In today’s TV news roundup, ABC’s “Highwire Live in Times Square” tops Sunday night ratings, and “Total Bellas” has been renewed for a fifth season. DATES FX will air the special event “Peabody Presents: Stories of the Year” on July 7. The program will showcase the issues honored at the 78th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Scream' Series Moves From MTV to VH1 for July Debut

    The long-gestating third season of the “Scream” series is finally debuting–but not on its original network. Variety has confirmed that the series will air on VH1 instead of MTV as originally planned. “Scream” will debut on VH1 on July 8 and air two one-hour episodes back-to-back for three straight nights. The third season of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content