7 Things You Didn’t Know About Little Fires Everywhere
Reese Witherspoon is not only beloved for her command of acting roles on the big screen—she has also established herself as someone with a fine eye for turning a brilliant book into an equally excellent on-screen adaptation.
In recent years Witherspoon has been involved in producing a handful of book-to-screen adaptations telling female-driven stories, from the likes of Wild by Cheryl Strayed to Gone Girl and the highly acclaimed Big Little Lies. Her latest project is the new Hulu series, Little Fires Everywhere, based on a book of the same name by author Celeste Ng.
Witherspoon discovered the novel prior to its publication, and was enamoured with Ng's beautiful prose, choosing to highlight it in her book club back in 2017. She then worked with fellow actor Kerry Washington to option it for TV, and the pair now star in the series together.
If you’ve been glued to your screen watching Little Fires Everywhere, here are 7 things you didn’t know about this binge-worthy TV show.
1. Little Fires Everywhere is Witherspoon’s first book club pick to be made into a TV series.
Since first launching Witherspoon’s Book Club back in June 2017, Witherspoon has shone the spotlight on an impressive 36 books by women, including the much-loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Daisy Jones and the Six. However, as much as Witherspoon has waxed lyrical about each and every tome she’s chosen, Celeste Ng’s novel is the first book that’s been optioned for a TV series.
2. Prior to Little Fires Everywhere being published, Ng sent an advanced copy to Witherspoon.
Ng admitted to Witherspoon that prior to the actress choosing Little Fires Everywhere for her book club and consequently turning it into a TV show, that she said to her husband, 'Wouldn't it be amazing if in some magical universe Reese Witherspoon read my book, wanted to produce it, and wanted to be [lead character] Elena?'.
3. Ng makes an appearance in the TV show.
If you look closely, you’ll see a star appearance from the book’s author, who plays one of the mums in Elena’s book club.
4. Kerry Washington took inspiration from her own mum to play Mia.
Having grown up in the Bronx as the daughter of a real estate broker and an academic, there aren’t obvious similarities between Washington’s own mother and the role she plays of single-mother Pearl in Little Fires Everywhere.
However, she later said in an interview that she drew inspiration from her own mother in order to play the role of Mia, citing, “I think there's so much of my mom in Mia... One of the things I witnessed growing up was that my mom was very aware — as a black woman, as an academic, as the daughter of immigrants — she was aware of the assumptions that people would make about her, and she would play with those assumptions. Not in an aggressive way, but she liked to watch people try to figure her out and she liked to not fit into a box.”
5. The series was filmed in Los Angeles.
While Shaker Heights, Ohio is the real-life location where Little Fires Everywhere is set, the filming actually took place in LA, near to where both Washington and Witherspoon reside. This is down to the production designer Jessica Kender, who took a trip to Ohio for research, and then came back to the west coast to recreate it.
6. The ending of the TV series is different from the book.
Spoiler alert! It was reported that from the early stages of adapting the book for TV that both the writers and producers knew they wanted a different ending than that of the original book. While they didn’t know from the get-go how the series was going to end, the writers and producers knew they wanted to add a sense of extra mystery to the story.
7. A second season is unlikely.
Despite the legion of loyal fans the miniseries has generated around the world, a second series looks unlikely. It’s been reported that there's some hesitancy about how to continue the story while staying true to the source material.
Executive producer Liz Tigelaar explained that only doing one season feels like the best way to honour the original novel, saying, "Of course I would love to keep it going, but I think at the end of the day it's honoring the story that Celeste told, and I think that also means honouring that the story did have an end."
Looking for more viewing recommendations? Here are some binge-worthy TV shows to watch now.