When it came to reprising the role of Jane for Big Little Lies Season 2, Shailene Woodley found herself in a bit of uncharted territory. "Season 1, we had a book to base the entire season off of. Season 2, we had a novella," the actor explained to Entertainment Tonight at the HBO drama's premiere in New York City on May 29. "So it was a little bit different, and we were all trying to figure out our characters as we were going."
Indeed, author Liane Moriarty's 2014 best-selling novel of the same name provided a much more thorough roadmap for the returning all-star ensemble cast, which also includes Reese Witherspoon (Madeline), Nicole Kidman (Celeste), Laura Dern (Renata), and Zoë Kravitz (Bonnie). As such, the second season of BLL (premiering Sunday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO) was "a little bit of a wild card," as Woodley described it to ET.
In the wake of the rest of "the Monterey Five" discovering that Celeste's now-deceased husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) had raped Jane and subsequently fathered her son, Ziggy (Iain Armitage), one thing they did know they wanted to do in Season 2, however, was "to pay homage to what healing can look like post-trauma." Woodley also told ET.
So just where will that take Jane in BLL's sophomore season? As the Divergent alum added:
"Not to ever take away the experience that she endured, but how does she move forward in a way that provides more lightness to her own path and her journey? That is what felt a little bit like a magic eight ball. I didn't know exactly how it was going to end. But I'm really so happy and so grateful on how everything has unfolded."
According to an HBO press release, throughout the seven-episode second season of BLL, "relationships will fray, loyalties will erode" and "the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom." Viewers will also see a lot more of Bonnie's backstory, too, per showrunner David E. Kelley
“She was never part of the franchise of friends that you know in year 1. She was kind of off in her own lane and … seen more through the eyes of Madeline than anyone else,” Kelley shared with Entertainment Weekly of Kravitz's free-spirited character. “This season, we obviously go much, much deeper into who she is, where she came from, and exploring the consequences of her actions in year 1 and also maybe unearthing a little bit of who that person was that came to push Perry down the stairs, and why.”
Perry's death will also usher in a new character, Celeste’s mother-in-law, Mary Louise (played by Oscar winner Meryl Streep). While Mary Louise's presence will surely sow discord in Monterey, Woodley couldn't say enough kind words about the iconic actor herself.
"She immediately disarms you with her generosity and her smile and her warmth," Woodley also told ET of the first time she met Streep on set. "You forget that she is the amazing actress that she is, and you just get to know her on a human level. And that really is her super power: being able to just be real in every single moment."
Will Jane and the rest of The Monterey Five successfully cover up Perry's murder? Will even more drama ensure? (Obviously.) Fans will have to tune in to BLL to see how the story kicks off, on June 9.