Big Little Lies is filled with stars, and not just the kind you find in Hollywood. The cast of the hit HBO series, which has just returned for a Season 2, is a venerable who's who of award-winning, top-notch actors. Top-notch actors always have super-specific ways of getting into character, and that's definitely the case with Big Little Lies. Shailene Woodley used astrology to understand her Big Little Lies character, and it'll make your understanding of the character so much stronger.
Woodley believes in astrology to help provide guidance in her own life, according to Vulture. So, she also builds an entire star chart for each character she plays. She spoke at an event at the 92 Street Y in New York on June 10 and said, "It really helps me understand their psychology. I’m like, 'Oh, that’s why she’s so shy.'" When she took a look at what's in the stars for Jane Chapman, her Big Little Lies character, Woodley saw Taurus with a little bit of Aquarius and Sagittarius mixed in. Woodley explained:
I really see her sun sign as a Taurus, but then having some Sag in there somewhere. I think she can be really funny. I think she’s got some Aquarius in there as well because I think the way she sees the world and its possibilities is a little different.
Woodley explained that astrology can be useful for opening up new insights into a personality, whether that personality belongs to a real person or a fictional one. She said, "Astrology just gives you permission to be yourself without judgment. That’s what I’ve been able to help build my characters from."
Astrology is still just one aspect of what makes up a person, and Woodley pointed out that other experiences also influence who her character Jane is. She said:
The biggest thing for her that is interesting in building a chart is that she — because of the trauma that she had and the trauma that she still has, it changes the way that those things are fired off.
That trauma is explored in Season 1 of Big Little Lies to deeply emotional effect. In the first season, Jane moves to Monterey, CA with her young son Ziggy in search of a better life for both of them. Over the course of several episodes, the audience learns that Jane was sexually assaulted. In the final moments of the Season 1 finale, Jane realizes that her attacker is also her friend's abusive husband. When he is poised to attack Jane and her friends defend themselves by pushing him down a flight of stairs to his death. It's a life-changing moment for Jane, and so when the cast and crew returned to work on Season 2, Woodley suggested that Jane get bangs to commemorate that big shift.
After what happens in Season 1, I sort of felt like Jane had this cataclysmic release,” says Woodley. “I feel like for myself when something extreme happens, I’ll get a piercing or I’ll cut my hair or I’ll do some weird body-morphing thing. It’s a way to mark my new territory of self within my own psyche. I felt like for her, it was a way to redefine her identity as her own identity separate from the event that occurred in season one.
Big Little Lies Season 2 continues on Sunday, June 16 at 9 P.M. ET on HBO.