Meryl Streep Says ‘Big Little Lies’ Domestic Abuse Storyline Fed a ‘Hunger’ in a ‘Ready Audience’

HBO drama returns for Season 2 on June 9

Big Little Lies Season 2

Meryl Streep, who is joining the cast of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” in its second season, attributes part of the show’s appeal to its honest examination of abuse through the storyline between Nicole Kidman’s character and her physically abusive husband, played in Season 1 by Alexander Skarsgard.

“This exploration of abuse and its provenance, where it comes from, how it continues, how people survive it, all those questions were in the air, and this piece fed something … a hunger,” Streep told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday. “A ready audience, I would say.”

Streep – who is taking on her first major TV role in more than 15 years — signed on to Season 2 last year as Kidman’s mother-in-law who comes to stay with her family following the death of her son.

“Dave really understood,” Streep said, referring to writer and executive producer David E. Kelley, calling his writing “real, honestly investigated.”

The role came about, basically, because she was such a fan of the series, which also stars Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz.

“I loved this show. I was addicted to it,” Streep said. “I think it was an amazing exercise of what we know and what we don’t know about people.”

“Big Little Lies” airs Sunday 9/8c on HBO.