25 “Little Fires Everywhere” Behind-The-Scenes Facts That Prove It’s One Of The Best New Shows Of 2020
🚨Warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead!🚨
First, as soon as Reese Witherspoon read Little Fires Everywhere, she immediately knew it would make a great series and that she wanted to work with Kerry Washington.
One of Celeste Ng’s dreams after writing the book was that Reese would want to produce and star in the adaptation.
In fact, before Little Fires Everywhere was even published, Celeste sent an advanced copy to Reese’s newly formed production company, Hello Sunshine, in hopes that she would like it.
Celeste even makes an appearance in the TV show — she is one of the moms in Elena’s book club.
To prepare for the role of Mia, Kerry studied photography at the School of Light in Los Angeles and shadowed other artists.
Also, one of the photographers Kerry worked with and studied, Connie Martin, created all of Mia’s photography for the series.
Reese and Joshua Jackson took Jade Pettyjohn, Megan Stott, Gavin Lewis, and Jordan Elsass out for “family dinners” so they could bond.
Everything inside the Richardsons’ house had to be custom-made by the set designers in order to get the perfect “clean, controlled look.”
Meanwhile, Mia and Pearl’s apartment was made up of antiques and thrift store purchases so it looked like it was filled with found items.
Director and producer Lynn Shelton’s inspiration for the lighting for Little Fires Everywhere was Call Me By Your Name.
Tiffany Boone, who played young Mia, would watch Kerry film scenes and “paid close attention to the way her body moved — the way her head tilted, the way she listened, all of that.”
Reese was the one who suggested that AnnaSophia Robb play the younger version of Elena — she knew how much AnnaSophia looked like her.
The writers room actually consisted of some people who grew up near the real Shaker Heights.
During production, Kerry would run around set, thanking crew members and asking them to give a “#NotSoHumbleBrag” about their work on the series.
Executive producer Liz Tigelaar also created the series Life Unexpected, so you can spot several alumni — like Britt Robertson and Kristoffer Polaha — in Little Fires Everywhere.
Also, originally there was going to be a mini Dawson’s Creek reunion between Kerr Smith, who played Jack, and Joshua Jackson.
Little Fires was originally going to film parts of the show in the real Shaker Heights, but the idea was scrapped partially because of the “Heartbeat Bill,” which banned abortions after a month and a half in Ohio.
Lexi Underwood explained that while filming some of the intense scenes between Mia and Pearl, Kerry would often stay in character in-between takes.
One of Reese’s favorite scenes with Kerry was when Mia told Elena that she didn’t make good choices, she had good choices. She said working with Kerry was a “highlight of her career.”
One of the most difficult aspects of filming was creating the snow — fake snow is actually super expensive and they had to use different types for outside the school and the houses.
Megan Stott kept Izzy’s collage that she made for Mia — it’s currently hanging on her wall.
And Lexi Underwood got to keep the Statue of Liberty that was hanging on the rearview mirror of Mia and Pearl’s car — it’s now hanging in Lexi’s mom’s car.
The writers and producers, including Reese, knew very early on in the production process that they wanted to change the ending of the original book — although it took them a while to actually write the final moments.
Reese said they had a lot of discussions about Elena’s massive screaming match with Lexie in the finale — they had to create the perfect moment so you understood why the kids set the fires.
And finally, in terms of if a Season 2 is possible, Liz Tigelaar feels that this is the end of the story, saying, “I don’t know how Mia and Elena ever are in each other’s orbit again in an organic way.”