Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are set to rank among the best paid actresses in television history, thanks to their impressive salary raise ahead of the anticipated second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Reese and Nicole will earn $1 million per episode of the series, marking a major leap from their initial salaries in the region of $250,000 to $350,000 for season one. This amount doesn’t include what the pair will eventually earn for their executive producer duties on the show, meaning that their final paycheque will be bigger still.
Reese and Nicole’s co-stars have also negotiated higher rates for the second season of the show, which was initially conceived as a limited series but was extended thanks to critical acclaim and popular success (giving its stars major negotiating power when it came to their pay). With Reese set to earn around $1.25 million per episode for her forthcoming Apple TV project, a drama set around a morning news show co-starring Jennifer Aniston, the actress was in a strong position to leverage a higher rate for BLL 2.0.
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Per THR, Zoe Kravitz’s full salary for season two stands at $ million, a major jump up from her initial $380,000. Shailene Woodley will also receive a significant pay rise, up from $1.7 million for season one.
The second season of Big Little Lies is set to air in 2019, with production beginning this spring. American Honey’s Andrea Arnold is set to take on directing duties from the departing Jean Marc-Vallé (who has another prestige TV project, an adaptation of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams, in the wings).
Based on a story by Liane Moriarty, season two will focus on the ‘malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode… the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.’ All in a day’s work for Reese, Nicole, Laura et al, then.