Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, co-executive producers and costars of the HBO limited series Big Little Lies, are hoping to inspire change for women in Hollywood. They seek to open the entertainment industry’s eyes with their show which portrays a group of complicated female characters and deals with the topic of women supporting one another.

Big Little Lies is based on the 2014 novel of the same title by Liane Moriarty which features several kindergarten moms whose “seemingly perfect lives unravel to a murder mystery that takes place during a disastrous parents’ night at an elementary school fundraiser.” It’s described as a dark comic drama told from the perspective of three mothers played by Shailene Woodley, Witherspoon, and Kidman.

Witherspoon has been outspoken about women being underestimated in the industry like when they are limited to portraying only girlfriends or wives on screen. Indeed, she owns her own production company, Pacific Standard, and has attempted to paint a more varied picture of females in film by producing Gone Girl and Wild. Reese has spoken about her convictions to produce female-centric storylines, saying:

“I’m passionate because things have to change. We have to start seeing women as they really are on film. We have to. And not just in movie theaters on a tiny budget. We need to see real women’s experience, whether it involves domestic violence, whether it involves sexual assault, whether it involved motherhood or romance or infidelity or divorce. We need to see these things because we as human beings, we learn from art and what can you do if you never see it reflected?”

Reese also told the press that she’s tired of seeing the Smurfette Syndrome in Hollywood–that is, the pattern of productions casting all male characters who define the group, its story and its code of values with the exception of adding just one female character. Examples of the syndrome include the George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy, The Big Bang Theory, the 2009 Star Trek reboot by JJ Abrams, most seasons of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, as well as children’s programs like Winnie the Pooh and, of course, The Smurfs. “Who gave birth to all these Smurfs?” Reese jokingly asks. Similarly, the research project conducted by USC Annenberg’s Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative revealed that women played less than a third of the speaking roles in the top movies from 2007 to 2014.

It was Tina Fey’s book Bossypants that first inspired Reese to get into production and create opportunities for other women to tell their stories. “[Fey] said, ‘If I can help one other woman create something in Hollywood, I’ve done my job,'” Witherspoon said, adding that she likewise shares the same goal.

Kidman expressed that she deeply related to Moriarty’s book, and especially to the female characters. She felt the screenplay was unique as it followed five different and in-depth roles for women–something she considers extremely rare in Hollywood.

The two Oscar-winning actresses, Witherspoon and Kidman, believe Big Little Lies represents a more worthwhile representation of women, and hope the show serves as an important step for more complex roles for actresses in the future. They hope Hollywood is paying attention.

Little Big Lies premieres on HBO on February 19th.