Shailene Woodley Says 'Big Little Lies' Season 2 Won't "Shy Away From the Dirty"

Francois G. Durand/WireImage
Shailene Woodley

The actress, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the Deauville Film Festival where she was on hand to receive the Rising Star Award, said she was initially surprised by the show's runaway success.

The little lies are about to get bigger, hinted Big Little Lies star Shailene Woodley, speaking about the upcoming season of HBO's hit series.

“My character has a very different story line which is wonderful, but for many other people it goes deep. It's going to be very emotional but at the same time still be comedic and have those light moments, but it doesn't shy away from the dirty,” she said.

The actress, speaking to THR at the Deauville Film Festival where she was on hand to receive the Rising Star Award, said she was initially surprised by the show's runaway success. But she believes that the show co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Zoe Kravitz, while not part of the #MeToo movement, hit the zeitgeist just when the world was ready for a shift.

“People are just f—ing hungry to understand and to have a cinematic view on female psychology. It's not about replacing men with women or putting women in action hero roles or making the new James Bond Ameila Bond, it's about recognizing there's been such a huge imbalance of the way we explore psychology in our industry, and that for a very long time it's been very heavy -handed with men and masculinity,” she said, adding that the show's demographics are roughly gender-balanced.

The show's touching on taboo topics has also made it compelling. “The drama was rooted in many truths that we shy away from in America. Domestic abuse is not often something that is explored because it's too real and too common and it's easier to keep it quiet than to go too deep into it. And this second season definitely it goes even deeper,” she added. The second season also co-stars Meryl Streep.

An emotional Woodley accepted her prize thanking “an army of mentors and guides in my life who have really shaped who I am.” She also praised film as an art for bringing people together in divided political times. “We come in communion for two hours and we sit in the dark together and we don't point out our differences but simply allow ourselves to feel.”

The HBO star also reflected on the rise of streaming, and cited Amazon and Fox Searchlight as studios that are helping smaller films stay afloat. “It's a difficult time to be a studio in Hollywood,” she said of what has led to the big blockbuster action hero mentality that has taken over. “[But] I think there are a lot of people that are committed to [smaller films] and there's a lot of bravery in their jobs right now.”

As for the tumult that is throwing the industry into unknown territory, she added: “The entire industry is going to change in the next ten years and I don't know that any of us are prepared for it.”

Beyond Hollywood, Woodley says the bigger challenge is getting people to vote in the upcoming midterms and the activist says she'll be working on get out the vote programs in several states.