Hollywood stars, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon began filming the new HBO miniseries, “Big Little Lies” in late January 2016 with scenes taking place in nearby locations including Carmel Highlands, Pacific Grove, Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Monterey.
According to Karen Nordstrand, the director of marketing and film production for the Monterey County Film Commission, the film is based off the book of the same name by Australian author Liane Moriarty, which was a New York Times bestseller after publication in 2014. Screenwriter David E. Kelley adapted the story for the series.
The show is about three mothers whose so called perfect lives begin to fall apart. Single mother Jane (Shailene Woodley) and her son Ziggy move into a new neighborhood where Jane becomes friends with two other mothers, Celeste (Kidman) and Madeline (Witherspoon), whose children are the same age as Jane’s. The three pour out the flaws in their lives as murder soon follows.
Nordstrand says while Moriarty’s novel takes place in a small coastal city in Australia, the series will be set in Monterey. Australian executive producer Bruna Papandrea had already been affiliated with the Monterey Peninsula and believed the show should take place in California.
In an interview with local news source KSBW, executive producer Gregg Fienberg explained that the Monterey Peninsula offers a unique setting that it is not always shot in television.
“What we love is that it’s not shot all the time” Fienberg said. “We don’t know why it’s not shot more because everybody on our crew couldn’t wait to be here.”
The production will leave a major impact on the local economy. As the production crew included 150 people who stayed about a week, a lot of money was spent at hotels and restaurants, as well as to hire security and extras.
“It is not uncommon for productions this size to leave economic impact,” Nordstrand says, “averaging from $75,000 to $100,000 a day, according to the Association of Film Commissioners International estimates.”
Other stars taking part in the series include Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz and Kathryn Newton, according to Variety magazine.
According to Nordstrand, the series will air in 2017 following a possible two-week filming session this spring.