Hollywood is feeling the effects of the coronavirus.
The premiere for Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington’s new Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere” has been canceled, but the stars did sit down with “Extra’s” Renee Bargh Thursday for the junket.
Weighing in on the health crisis, Kerry talked about how the virus is affecting her everyday life. “I think there's a lot less hugging and kissing and handshaking,” she said, adding, “Maybe we will just all be forced to be staring into each other's eyes and be present in other ways, but I do think, I mean, we're both mothers of young children and we both have aging parents and so we are in that generation where we have a lot to protect.”
Renee asked about special precautions they are taking. Reese said, “We're doing everything that, you know, that is recommended by people. I trust the science. I... listen to a lot of scientists and I follow a lot of people I really trust… I'm trying not to listen to opinions. I’m listening to facts.”
Kerry added, “I think it's important to strike that balance of getting as much information, factual information, as you can to be able to take care of yourself and the people you love. But I also think, you know, stress impacts the immune system. So also cultivate your calm and figure out how to decompress and stay calm so that your immune system can be strong.”
The two also weighed in on Harvey Weinstein in the wake of his 23-year prison sentence.
Reese called it a “win for our justice system,” saying, “I think due process and believing women and the idea that justice can be served, I think it’s very emotional for me because we have done a lot of work with Time's Up.”
Kerry explained, “So many people took so many courageous acts in terms of the journalism and coming forward, the Silence Breakers, so many of us still felt that these stories would not be heard or not believed. A lot of us still believed there was a chance there would be no punishment, so it’s very moving to feel these women and men were heard.”
Now they are focused on launching their new series, “Little Fires Everywhere,” based on the best-selling book, which follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
Renee, a fan of the book, told the women she couldn’t stop watching the series. Kerry said, “I’m so glad to hear, especially from someone who loves the book. That means so much to us. We wanted to expand on it and grow it, but honor it while we deepen it.”
Reese commented on bringing the book to life, “When I read the book, it just felt very like the kind of conversations I was having at home and with my friends about race and class and what value systems do we honor in our society, and looking through [the] lens of being the '90s… the ability to go back in time and look at ourselves from a different perspective.”
The two loved working together. Reese said, “Getting to work with Kerry was just a dream.”
"Little Fires Everywhere" marked the first time they worked together, too! Kerry pointed out they had teamed up before, but “not professionally, only in the movement and Time's Up.” Reese added, “Not on a narrative.”
Their characters go head-to-head on the show, and Reese called it “really fun.”
Kerry said, “It is so fun to step into the ring with somebody who you know you can trust, elevate your game. Like, I just knew that Reese was going to be brilliant, creative, and brave, so I had to bring all of my courage to the table, and it was great.”
So everyone wants to know... who started the little fires in title? Kerry said, “Well, you've got to watch.” Reese teased, “And it's not what you think it is, actually. We changed the book slightly… maybe.”
“Little Fires Everywhere” premieres March 18, 2020, on Hulu.