Relationships Rumble and Tumble in Season 2 of HBO's BIG LITTLE LIES, says James Tupper

— June 7, 2019


Special to The Lede

James Tupper knows this is a bold thing to say about HBO’s BIG LITTLE LIES, but he’s going to say it anyway.

“I don’t talk nicely about my own work or whatever, but I feel like this show got better somehow,” Tupper said. “It won all these awards for Season 1, and yet it got better.

“Obviously it wasn’t me doing that, but the people who produced it, the new director that we had, the editing for it, the music, it’s right where it left off and has even gone farther. It feels like it got more intense. This season the lies got bigger, and (Meryl Streep) added this depth to it.”

Season 2 of HBO’s BIG LITTLE LIES, which debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, only on Crave, brings back the stellar main cast from Season 1 - including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, and Tupper - and also adds Streep to the mix, whose character, Mary Louise Wright, has a vested interest in trying to figure out the massive secret being kept by the so-called Monterey 5.

As for Tupper, his character, Nathan Carlson, also is being kept in the dark. His wife Bonnie (Kravitz) has shut down emotionally, as she struggles internally with what has transpired. Bonnie obviously doesn’t feel as if she can talk to Nathan about it, but Nathan understandably is puzzled and grasping at straws.

“Nathan’s challenge this season is that he’s up against a wall that a lot of men in relationships find themselves in, particularly longer relationships, with your wife, where they withhold, they withhold love, they withhold their joy, they withhold their connection, in order to punish you, or to keep a lie, in this case,” Tupper said.

“So my character Nathan is really struggling with that, trying to reconnect with his wife and figure out what’s going on.”

Tupper said he understands how these types of things can happen in real-life relationships, where one side gets kind of trapped in a secret, or a lie, walls build up, and honest communication breaks down, even though both parties still love each other very much. He has developed a really good philosophy, though, to try to deal with such matters.

“I’ve been going around saying this thing, I don’t know anything about relationships, I’m no expert, I’m no doctor, certainly,” Tupper said. “But I think my general rule of thumb with it is, listen, don’t talk, don’t try to fix it, just listen to her, and then when she’s done talking, take two more minutes and keep listening. When you think your listening is over, listen two more minutes. Because that’s when the good stuff comes out.”