Reese Witherspoon Talks ‘Weak’ Female Characters And One Thing Women Should Focus On In 2014
What does it take to get to the top — without losing your center? Our “Making It Work” series profiles successful, dynamic women who are standouts in their fields, peeling back the “hows” of their work and their life, taking away lessons we can all apply to our own.
Reese Witherspoon attended a young women’s conference at her teenaged-daughter’s school in Los Angeles, Calif. last month and was in good company: she brought along her own mother, her good friend Mindy Kaling and joined notable women like Maria Shriver and Lisa Leslie for a day of events and discussions.
Witherspoon said of her 14-year-old daughter Ava, “I don’t need to teach her much. She has a lot of self-confidence. I came from a very long line of very strong, hard-working women. So I think she gets a lot of inspiration from her grandmothers on both sides.”
But Witherspoon’s children must certainly garner a healthy dose of inspiration from their own mother, too. Witherspoon won an Academy Award for her performance as June Carter (another fierce woman) in 2005′s “Walk The Line” and currently has four films in post-production, including the smash bestsellers “Gone Girl” and “Wild.” Witherspoon has two children with actor Ryan Phillippe and a toddler with new husband and agent Jim Toth. She might have won Hollywood’s heart in “Legally Blonde,” but she has since proven herself as an extremely talented actor, singer and producer.
The Huffington Post spoke with Witherspoon, 37, about accomplishing everything you want, taking on the challenging role of Cheryl Strayed in “Wild” and what the most important thing women can do in 2014 is.
How do you define success and do you consider yourself successful by that measure?
I think more and more for me, it’s about finding balance between work and family and finding time for myself. I think it’s sort of 30/30/30 — or trying to be at least. Right now it’s sort of like 50/20/5 [laughs]. I think it takes time. You just learn, as you get older, to carve out time for yourself and still accomplish everything that you want. And I’m still in the process of having huge goals and things that I want to accomplish. But I’m trying to do those things while still maintaining a little balance.
Reese Witherspoon & Mindy Kaling Prove They Have The Best Friendship
Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling had a heart-to-heart conversation on Saturday; it just happened in a gymnasium full of teen girls and parents at Brentwood School in Los Angeles. For the school’s second Young Women’s Conference, the two actresses interviewed each other, and spoke bluntly about being underestimated, what their lives were like as teenagers and how one of them (read below!) is a “freeloader.”
Reese Witherspoon: I asked Mindy to do this with me because I’m terrible at speeches. I thought it would be interesting because we have been good friends for a while and when we talk, we run the gamut of conversations that women have about business and life. I just find her so inspirational, so we have prepared some questions for each other.
Mindy Kaling: We’re kind of the same age but you’ve been working for such a long time and you’re so accomplished. You act, produce and you’re a busy mom and wife. If you were a man, no one would ask you how you balance it all. They would just assume you can handle it. So I’m not going to ask you how you balance it all. But I will ask you what one thing is that you do just for you and for fun? My answer would be nail art. Like a 14-year-old girl.
RW: Few people know this about me, but I like to take hip-hop dance classes. I’m not saying I’m good at hip-hop dance classes, I just enjoy taking them.
MK: What level are you at?
RW: I’d say a one or a two. That’s the bottom. I liked taking dance classes when I was in high school and I was never any good at it. But they would bring three girls to the front and they’d say, “Okay, watch Sarah for her arms. And watch Lily for her legs. And watch Reese for her personality.”
Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara Comedy Gets Director
Anne Fletcher is in negotations to direct Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara in MGM’s comedy “Don’t Mess With Texas”.
Universal Pictures won the rights to the project last June with Witherspoon and Vergara already set to star. MGM picked up “Don’t Mess” when it went into turnaroud and is fully financing.
David Feeney and John Quaintance wrote the script about a cop and a prisoner on the run in Texas, with crooked cops in hot pursuit. Witherspoon will play the officer and Vergara will portray the prisoner.
Producers are Dana Fox along with Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea for their Pacific Standard production company.
Production is expected to take place during Vergara’s hiatus from the ABC’s “Modern Family” in the spring. Fletcher’s directing credits include “27 Dresses,” “The Proposal” and “The Guilt Trip.”
Fletcher is repped by UTA.
Reese Witherspoon, Lionsgate Teaming on Fantasy Trilogy ‘The Outliers’
Lionsgate has acquired feature film rights to Kimberly McCreight’s upcoming trilogy “The Outliers” with Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman, Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea producing.
Lionsgate touted the deal as marking another move into becoming a dominant player the young-adult genre following the successes of “The Twilight Saga” and “The Hunger Games.”
Story centers on a young woman who’s best friend goes missing and turns up in a remote spot in the woods with a group called the Outliers, who claim to be able to harness “intuition” and turn it into a powerful psychological weapon. She joins the Outliers but soon finds herself running for her life.
HarperCollins acquired North American publishing rights to McCreight’s upcoming trilogy earlier this year. The first book in the series will be published in late 2015. McCreight’s debut novel “Reconstructing Amelia” appeared on the New York Times hardbound bestseller list the first week after publication.
Witherspoon and Papandrea are producing through their Pacific Standard shingle. Lieberman and Hoberman are producing through their Mandeville Films banner, under which they produced Summit Entertainment’s “Warm Bodies” along with Papandrea.
“Warm Bodies” took in $117 million worldwide last year.
Erik Feig and Meredith Milton will oversee the project for the studio. Laura Cray will oversee the project on behalf of Mandeville Films. Robert Melnik negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio.
McCreight is represented by Resolution and Marly Rusoff & Associates Inc.
Reese Witherspoon No Longer Attached to Nancy Meyers’ ‘The Intern’
Nancy Meyers’ “The Intern” may have hit a snag, as sources tell Variety that star Reese Witherspoon is no longer involved in the project.
The Warner Bros. comedy was supposed to star Witherspoon and Robert De Niro but insiders tell Variety Witherspoon recently passed on the project, adding that her schedule likely pushed her away from the film.
Sources indicate the studio may approach “Bridesmaids” star Kristen Wiig as a replacement, but no offer has been made.
The news puts Meyers and the studio in a bit of a pickle, given that the movie was originally packaged as a Witherspoon-De Niro property before WB came on board. Witherspoon’s involvement is said to be a key reason the studio acquired “The Intern.”
The film was originally set up at Paramount with Michael Caine and Tina Fey circling the lead roles, but the studio put it in turnaround when a budget couldn’t be settled. Meyers then decided to pre-package before going out to other studios and was able to get negotiations for both stars started before last year’s American Film Market.
The CAA and LBI Entertainment-repped Witherspoon just wrapped the Fox Searchlight pic “Wild.”
Early in December, Reese made her regular appearance at the annual Children’s Defense Fund’s ‘Beat the Odds’ Awards event in Beverley Hills. Reese serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Defense Fund, which is a child advocacy organisation. At the event, she presented an award to a local high school student who ‘beat the odds’ to achieve academic excellence. Reese looked gorgeous in a blue and black Michael Kors dress with Casadei ‘Blade’ heels. And she’s sporting a new hair-do – Reese has cut her hair into a shoulder-length bob, and I think she looks amazing! The whole look here is very chic and pretty. Reese was snapped with Jennifer Garner and Conan O’Brien at the event.
Check out over 80 HQ photos from the celebration in the Gallery, and read on further down this post for a few articles about the awards.
Back in October, Reese attended Elle’s Women In Hollywood Celebration event in Beverley Hills. She was of one of the honourees of the night, and her friend Chelsea Handler presented her with her award. Reese dazzled in a strapless red cocktail dress by Calvin Klein with nude heels by Manolo Blahnik, and was accompanied by her husband who sat with her in the audience.
Over 180 HQ photos from the event have been added to our Gallery!
Reese Witherspoon: “I have an older brother so I saw a lot of things I wasn’t supposed to, but The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and The Sure Thing were really big movies for me. I watched them over and over again.” (Elle.com)
Reese started filming her new movie Wild a couple of months ago, and I’ve now added photos from the set to our Gallery. Reese herself shared the first official still from the movie on her official website. This looks like a really interesting movie, and a completely different role for Reese! Judging by her tweets during the filming for the movie, it sounds like she’s pretty excited about it as well.
HQ set pics and the official still are in the Gallery…
Wild centers on a young woman, who, to absolve herself of the sins of her tragic life and seek a new start, hikes a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. It is based on the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, written by Cheryl Strayed.
Reese was honoured by Elle for their annual Women In Hollywood celebration, and to coincide with that, she appeared on the cover of their November 2013 issue. Reese took up 2 pages in their spread for the honourees, with a new photoshoot and interview. Read a couple of quotes from the interview below, and find the full thing in the Gallery.
The Thai and Finnish editions of Elle have both reprinted this US cover for their recent issues. See those covers in the Gallery as well.
Reese Witherspoon, on what inspired her to begin producing movies: “I started noticing a couple years ago that I wasn’t seeing women as the stars of movies. I’m seeing them as the guys’ girlfriends, or so-and-so’s wife. I just thought: God, if I don’t start buckling down and start producing some movies, what’s my daughter going to see in the movies?”
Reese Witherspoon, on how her children changed her life: “Somebody was saying to me the other day, ‘Oh, people get less interesting when they have kids.’ I just don’t think that’s true. I feel like I was so confused before I had kids, I almost got in my own way. Having kids made me clearer about who I was as a woman. I just wanted to exhibit good qualities for my daughter. I was a little competitive before I had kids—probably really competitive, to be honest. It really made me let go of that.”
Ryan Murphy’s ‘American Horror Story’ Dream Cast Includes Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Pfeiffer
Ryan Murphy has a way of attracting huge stars to “American Horror Story,” and despite the talent he’s already lured, he has a dream cast.
“Well, every year I go to Reese Witherspoon,” Murphy told Entertainment Weekly. “I want her to play something really twisted and f—ed up. But she’s always booked.”
According to EW, Murphy said his dream cast also includes Michelle Pfeiffer and “The Shield” star Michael Chiklis.