Reese and her Big Little Lies co-stars covers Elle‘s February issue throwing in a blockbuster novel about a group of upper-middle-class mothers of kindergartners roiled by sexual violence, class issues, ageism, and…murder! The result is an HBO miniseries that, even in this big-budget, high-minded small-screen era, we’ve never seen before: a seven-part thriller that looks like a movie, feels like a movie—and packs enough woman power to populate the Oscars’ front row—but grips like only episodic TV can.
On the importance of telling female-centric stories: “As an artist, I feel more strongly than ever that my job on earth is to tell the stories of the invisibles, and women have been invisible on film for a long time. Women are wives and mothers and girlfriends, but not the center of our own stories. No one’s the good guy; no one’s the bad guy. We all do deplorable things and very honorable things.”
On celebrating diverse beauty standards: “Costumes, fashion, it’s all an expression of self, and the more you push the boundaries — the more that people work at creating alternative ideas — the more it changes people’s ideas of beauty. I love that people are going, Yeah, I love a hundred different kinds of beauty; it’s not all the tall, skinny supermodel. Around the world, we have to find the beauty. Now more than ever, we’re looking.”
For more on ELLE’s Women in TV honorees, pick up the February issue on newsstands nationwide January 17.