After only two episodes of Big Little Lies, we’re hooked. Co-produced by and starring acting powerhouses Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, with a scandalous whodunnit plot and explosive relationships - it has it all. And then, of course, there’s the incredible real estate where the drama plays out.
Set in Monterey, California, it’s impossible to watch Big Little Lies without wanting to book a flight to the West Coast, asap. Though the mammoth mansions with their stunning seaside porch views aren’t your average homes, nor are they actually in the Monterey Peninsula area. Most of the filming for the show was done on location in LA, with only one of the houses used in Monterey.
Location manager Gregory Alpert and director Jean-Marc Vallée spoke to Vulture about how the houses were chosen, alongside a team of eight scouts, and in the process, revealed how much the main characters’ dreamy abodes cost in real life...
Madeline and Ed Mackenzie’s House (Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott)
Despite the fact that Madeline is meant to be one of the less wealthy mothers in Monterey, her home (unsurprisingly, judging by the size of that kitchen island) has the highest price tag of $14.8 million (£11.8 million) – mostly due to the incredible beach front view. It’s based in Malibu as there are so few houses in the real Monterey with views to rival this one.
Celeste and Perry Wright’s House (Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård)
Alpert tells Vulture that this is the most “magical” of the all the houses. It was chosen after another home fell through. It’s worth a relatively modest $6 million (£4.8 million), compared to Madeline’s home.
However the house’s wow-factor is all in the ground floor, so a set was used for Celeste’s bedroom, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe, and a green screen to emulate the views.
Renata and Gordon Klein’s House (Laura Dern and Jeffrey Nordling)
Renata’s house – also in Malibu - with panoramic views is the second most expensive at $12.4 million (£9.9 million).
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Jane Chapman’s House (Shailene Woodley)
The most humble of all the homes is of course Jane’s, which is a $560,000 (£447,500) bungalow in Pasadena. Only the exterior was actually used to shoot for the series – the interior was recreated on a set.