One of Hulu’s Emmy hopefuls this year is the limited series adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 novel Little Fires Everywhere, which tells the story of a seemingly perfect white suburban family in the ’90s whose lives change dramatically when a mysterious African American mother and her teenage daughter come into the picture.
Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington have the two key mother roles and the series was produced by both of them along with their respective production partners Lauren Neustadter and Pilar Savone.
The latter two joined showrunner/executive producer/writer Liz Tigelaar to discuss the show at Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event, where they revealed that not only was this a female-oriented production in front of the cameras, it also was behind them with most of the producers, writers and department heads women (it also marked one of the final projects for late director Lynn Shelton, who helmed four of the episodes including the finale).
“It was intentional. I hope the show was not only important, but also the process making it was also important,” said Tigelaar, who said the themes of race, class, motherhood and daughterhood resonated strongly with all of them. “It felt like a dare, and I like a dare,” said Neustadter, who said she and Witherspoon connected to the book instantly on a visceral level.
Pilar talked about the fact that in the book Washington’s character was not black, and in fact the novel was really colorblind, but that Ng was supportive in the casting and adding the layer of racial conflict to the complex story.
Neustadter added that people have been asking if there will be a sequel just as there was with Witherspoon’s Big Little Lies, but don’t wait up for it. “It feels hopeful, satisfying, and complete,” she said.
Check out the panel video above.
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