For all the debate about “Big Little Lies” Season 2, there’s an association from Season 1 that still needs to be addressed: Alexander Skarsgård is not his character, Perry Wright.
“I’m surprised I was invited today,” Skarsgård said during a panel on “Big Little Lies” Tuesday night, which also included Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and director Jean-Marc Vallée. “People did not like me.”
Skarsgård, who played the abusive husband to Kidman’s Celeste Wright, said he was out of the country when the episodes initially aired, and he was not greeted warmly upon his return.
“I was isolated up in Alberta, Canada, so I missed the whole show and everything around it,” he said. “I got back about a month after the series finale, and it was tough. I flew into JFK, got off the plane, and people were like, ‘Oh…'”
“I’m going to die a very lonely man,” he said.
His facetious asides earned a big laugh from the crowd gathered at the Directors Guild of America Theater to listen to the “Big Little Lies” cast and director discuss their work. Talk of a second season, however, faced a more lukewarm reception.
The cast and creators have been hounded about making more episodes of the limited series since it ended, and, though no one has given a definitive answer either way (hence the continued questioning), Witherspoon seemed to be leaning against Season 2.
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“I feel like we had such a great experience. We talked about it with Liane Moriarty, and it’s sort of up to [her]. These are her characters. They were born from her.”
“As of right now, I think it’s pretty whole. I feel really good about where it is, and if this is all it ever was, it’s a beautiful thing we all accomplished together,” she said.
“I love these people and where we left them. They’ll always have a connection and they’ll always be together — except for you,” Witherspoon said to Skarsgård, with a smile.
“I’m actually working on a sequel,” he said, jokingly. “You have not seen the last of Perry Wright. Spoiler alert: Did he really die? I don’t know. Did we go to the funeral?”
“Yes,” someone said.
“But did we see him in the casket?” he replied.
Though the spinoff idea was just a joke, the crowd clapped and cheered when the panel was first asked about making a second season. They quickly quieted once Witherspoon wasn’t willing to commit, but they came back around quickly.
The warm reception for Skarsgård indicated those in the room didn’t need to reminded of his personal distance from the character. If fans on the street are giving him second looks for his resemblance to a bad guy on TV, voters aren’t holding it against him. He’s still considered a strong contender to win in his category.
HBO got out in front of final Emmys voting, holding the FYC event led by Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond and featuring four of the nominees: Skarsgård has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie; Jean-Marc Vallee is up for directing; Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are both competing for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series.
The show itself earned eight total nominations. Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and David E. Kelly — all of whom are nominated — weren’t able to attend the event because they’re working on various other productions.