Nicole Kidman Defends Big Little Lies' Season 2 Return: "We Don't Have to Just Shut Down"

HBO's star-studded limited series Big Little Lies — an adaptation of the novel written by Liane Moriarty — became the breakout hit of TV in 2017, and fans were either devastated by or satisfied with the idea that its seventh episode would be the end. That is, until rumors of a second season began circulating with the stars teasing their return and Moriarty revealing that she'd been approached by producers about another season. The second season was officially confirmed in December 2017, and according to all the details the stars have spilled, the story will continue soon after the dark events of season one.

Despite the scores of praise from fans and critics alike, the decision to bring back the limited series for another season has been met with a bit of trepidation. During a panel at The Wing in NYC, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep chatted with fans about season two, which is set to premiere on June 9.

Kidman noted that even though there are people who wanted the show to remain a stand-alone season, she's happy that they all came back for another round. "Originally, it was that one go-around and I remember Reese and I both going, 'Well, that's that.' Then by popular demand we had to address whether we wanted to do it again," she said. "I had a lot of people say to me, 'You did only one. It was fantastic as one season.' And a friend of mine said, 'Those women deserve their stories to be told beyond what was just that first season.'"

She also revealed that it was actually a friend who encouraged her to make the move for another season. "I was so touched by that and I went, 'Yeah, that's what we've actually got to fight for now.' We don't have to just be shut down and told, 'No, that was good and you did well and off you go.'"

"I think part of the appetite of the second season had to do with the fact that we were seeing people who were not emblematic."

So, that's that on any rumbling about this continuation, kids! As season two is set to pick up right where the first season left off, Kidman revealed that she's excited for viewers to explore the women of Monterey "on a deeper level" and see how their actions lead to some possibly dire consequences. The main Monterey mothers have to deal with their involvement in the death of Celeste's husband, Perry, and how it will affect the lives of their families and community.

During the panel, Streep — a new addition to the cast who will be playing Perry's mother and Kidman's Celeste's mother-in-law, Mary Louise — shared her admiration for the characters' complexity. "This is an ensemble of very complicated, very flawed, hysterically funny, but tragic women," she said. "For a long time in movies and television, women would be singular in a story and they would represent something — a love interest, the complications of individual women — and I think part of the appetite of the second season of this had to do with the fact that we were seeing people who were not emblematic."

Considering how often viewers have to deal with female characters being butchered from even the biggest TV shows, we should definitely be embracing another season of nuanced female players, whether or not it was expected — especially one that deftly handles such complicated and relevant stories like Big Little Lies does. "It will be controversial," Kidman said of the second season. "There hopefully will be discussion and it will create more . . . awareness and discussion and hopefully change."