Megan Stott (‘Little Fires Everywhere’) on how Izzy ‘just wants to be loved’ by Reese Witherspoon [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Megan Stott greatly related to Izzy’s struggles with bullying on “Little Fires Everywhere,” the Hulu limited series in which Reese Witherspoon plays her preppy mother, Elena. Izzy deals with unacceptance both at school and at home and while Stott may not have dealt with exactly what Izzy has, the bullying did resonate. “I have experienced that and being able to have that connection and being able to connect to that part of Izzy was something that was incredibly helpful,” Stott says in an exclusive new interview with Gold Derby, “which I’m so glad the writers included that because it’s something that happens in teenage years.” Watch the full video interview with Stott above.

For the 16-year-old actress, learning about how a girl like Izzy, who was facing homophobia in the ’90s, would have conducted herself was very important. She had multiple discussions with showrunner Liz Tigelaar about capturing that specific experience. “I had to learn a lot about the LGBT community and I had to learn more about what it was like at that time,” Stott explains. “I was grateful and happy enough to have Liz and she guided me through what happened in her teenage years and how she dealt with those emotions.” As Izzy gradually gained confidence in herself, so too did Stott, on her very first series regular role.

Izzy’s primary conflict through the season is with her mother, who cannot seem to grasp why her daughter is so resistant to the perfect little world she’s tried to create for her. As Stott notes, even after a nice exchange between the two of them, Elena can’t help herself but try and fix Izzy, causing major derision between the two. “[Izzy’s] entire goal in life, from my point of view, is that she just wants to be loved,” Stott observes. “She just wants somebody who will hug her in a moment when she’s crying, someone who will say ‘I love you’ every single day because that’s what she needs.”

It was important for both Stott and Witherspoon to authentically have that friction but to not let it affect their relationship off-set. “We just turned it on in the middle of the scene and then we’d get all angry at each other as Izzy and Elena and then off-set, we would give each other a break and not really talk to each other but then afterward, we always had a kind, loving understanding for each other.”

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