When you combine Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman with up-and-coming stars Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz, you’re sure to have a hit on your hands — and four covers of Elle magazine’s February issue!
The four ladies will be starring in HBO’s miniseries “Big Little Lies,” based on the 2014 book of the same name written by Liane Moriarty. The story follows upper-middle-class mothers dealing with their family issues of sexual violence, social status, ageism… even murder!
For the movie, Nicole Kidman was required to shoot sex scenes, which became a lot more difficult than you might would imagine. She told Elle, "So many of the bruises you see on me aren’t fake. I had to do a shower scene where you would see a lot of them, and I asked them not to put makeup on me. It needed to be pretty raw and out-there. There’s certain choreography that you need for a scene like that, so that you don’t actually get your cheekbone shattered, but a lot of the time, they’d say, 'Oh, you can put some pads in your back,’ and I would say, ‘No, because you might be able to see them.' I also felt that the nudity was a part of it. It wasn’t about exploitation. It really feeds into their relationship. You really get their sexuality through that."
When talking about her co-star Shailene Woodley, she mentioned, "She’s politically engaged, which is surprising for someone her age and in her career. She’s very, very responsible. She’s good at keeping her boundaries and standing up for herself. If she doesn’t believe in something, she says so. I could probably have learned from that at her age. I don’t think I stood up for myself in the same way she does. Reese and I have both said it: It’s a whole different world now. When we were growing up, we were far more protected, but we weren’t as empowered. We weren’t connected through knowledge, which is what social media gives you.”
Woodley spoke highly of Kidman as well, "When it comes to sexuality, sensuality, self-representation, self-nurturance — America fails in those departments. Women like Nicole [Kidman] trailblaze these paths of self-love and self-recognition. Not from a pretentious place or a greedy place, but from a place of knowing that in order to help those around you, and in order to even be a good actress and a good mother at the same time, you have to know your worth.”
Reese also shared her feeling on knowing your self worth and changing the beauty standards. "Costumes, fashion, it’s all an expression of self, and the more you push the boundaries — the more that people work at creating alternative ideas — the more it changes people’s ideas of beauty. I love that people are going, Yeah, I love a hundred different kinds of beauty; it’s not all the tall, skinny supermodel. Around the world, we have to find the beauty. Now more than ever, we’re looking.”
Growing up with famous mother Lisa Bonet of “The Cosby Show” fame, Zoë said, "She kind of stumbled into that world. It wasn’t a conscious choice (a) to be an actress, (b) to be a famous actress, and (c) to be — she shook things up — a model for so many young women. The beautiful thing about her is that she just thought a certain way and lived her life that way."
For more on Elle’s Women in TV honorees Nicole, Reese, Zoë and Shailene, pick up the February issue of Elle on newsstands nationwide January 17.