When Meryl Streep was announced as the latest big name to join the already star-studded Big Little Lies cast, fans were overjoyed with anticipation for the second season.
But as Nicole Kidman hinted last week that filming has wrapped, insiders have revealed it hasn't been smooth sailing on set, with a war of egos causing tension to erupt between the two Hollywood heavyweights.
"Everyone was so excited to work with Meryl, but in reality it caused some big drama on set," one Big Little Lies insider dishes to Woman's Day.
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"Meryl is an absolute acting legend and the star of any project she gets involved in. She's not going to blend into the background just to soothe someone else's ego."
"Meryl is always the centre of attention, and that's something Nicole has had to get used to. The first series was all about her and she was the toast of the awards season afterwards. It was very much her show and Nicole was loving every second of it.
"But now, Meryl is stealing every scene."
Big Little Lies premiered in 2017 and quickly became one of the biggest shows of the year. Based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name and originally set in Australia, it follows a group of women in the affluent US neighbourhood of Monterey and the mystery surrounding a shocking murder.
Nicole, 51, won a best actress Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award for her portrayal of domestic violence victim Celeste Wright, while Alexander Skarsgard was lauded for playing her husband.
It was originally set to be a miniseries, but was renewed for a second season with 69-year-old Meryl joining as the mother-in-law of Nicole's character. Now, sources behind the scenes say despite initially being thrilled to have Meryl on board, Nicole feels she's been overshadowed – and she's not impressed.
"They respect each other as actresses and have always had a good relationship, but these are two women who want to be top of the call sheet every time," our source says. "Meryl never would've agreed to join the show if she wasn't going to be a leading cast-member.
"That's not to say Nicole isn't grateful to have the chance to work with Meryl again."
"She knows what a great actress she is and that she's bringing even more attention and excitement to the next season. But it's very different to how things were last season."
"Nicole is not the kind of person who would ever publicly let on that she's frustrated about Meryl stealing her spotlight. But behind the scenes tensions were running high on the set, and it was as if it wasn't big enough for the both of them."
There's no word yet on whether the hit series will continue after season two – which isn't slated to hit our screens until early 2019.
But sources say the two stars, who worked together on the 2002 film The Hours – for which Nicole beat Meryl to the Golden Globe – need to make peace if they both plan to return.
"Now filming is over, everyone can relax. Whether they'll come back for a third season is still up in the air, but at this point it's looking like it could be difficult to continue this story with both Nicole and Meryl involved, unless they can find a way to work together without stepping on each other's toes," our insider explains.
"Everyone is hoping Big Little Lies will have the same kind of success this time around," the source adds. "But if Meryl scoops the Emmy and Golden Globe from Nicole, it's not going to go down well!"
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Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 11:49am