Romantic comedies are nothing new for Reese Witherspoon, but her role in James L. Brooks’ new film, How Do You Know, presented some interesting challenges.
“This character is a woman who has a hard time conveying her emotions — and doesn’t even really want to talk about things,” Witherspoon says of professional softball player, Lisa.
“The biggest challenge for me was she’s not verbal, and I’m used to playing really talkative characters and women who speak about their relationships and talk about love and dynamics and boys with their girlfriends,” the actress explains.
“And she doesn’t really have that Greek chorus of women around her,” she adds. “So that was a new character for me, and really interesting. And I had to meet a lot of women like that.”
The film follows Lisa as her affections pinball between a commitment-phobic baseball player (Owen Wilson) and an honest-to-a-fault businessman (Paul Rudd).
“It’s a tough job, ladies, but someone’s got to do it,” she says of working with Wilson and Rudd. “How lucky am I to work with two of the most talented, funny, attractive, hysterical men?”
On set, Witherspoon found her own feelings mirroring that of her character, making it hard to choose between the two co-stars.
This week’s The Hollywood Reporter looks at the James L. Brooks dramedy featuring Reese Witherspoon ($15 million) and Jack Nicholson ($12 million).
Oscar-winning filmmaker James L. Brooks doesn’t work often, and he doesn’t work fast. And when he does work, he commands a budget as jaw-dropping as his history of brilliant work (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News). When many studios are shying away from star-driven adult dramedies, Sony lavished a budget on Brooks’ How Do You Know that even has talent reps with clients in the movie marveling.
THR has learned that the film, which centers on a love triangle, cost $120 million to make, though the studio drove that down to about $100 million thanks to tax rebates from Pennsylvania and D.C. One reason for the price tag is old-fashioned salaries for the pic’s talent: Reese Witherspoon ($15 million), Jack Nicholson ($12 million), Owen Wilson ($10 million) and Paul Rudd ($3 million) received their quotes, and Brooks will earn about $10 million plus backend for writing, producing and directing. That’s about $50 million for the major talent alone.
The cost also was high because of the time Brooks devoted to production and postproduction and his decision to reshoot the beginning and end of the movie. “He’s slow and meticulous,” a person familiar with the production says.
Another challenge: How Do You Know opens Dec. 17 against Tron: Legacy, Gulliver’s Travels and Yogi Bear. “That’s a big weekend,” sighs a talent rep with a star in the film, which could have the slow-but-steady adult space to itself. Brooks’ 1997 holiday release As Good as It Gets rode Oscar buzz to $314.2 million worldwide, but his most recent December effort, 2004’s Spanglish, fizzled. “They thought it would do a couple hundred million worldwide,” a source says. “It did $55 million all-in.”
But Sony hopes How Do You Know will perform like It’s Complicated, an $85 million-budgeted Universal pic from Nancy Meyers.That film pulled in nearly $220 million worldwide last winter.
It’s too bad Paul Rudd is married (for multiple reason) because if he had needed a best man in his wedding it sounds like President Barack Obama would be more than happy to step in!
While Paul was filming How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon in Washington D.C., the co-stars were able to get a private tour of the White House.
As part of Entertainment Weekly’s cover story, Reese recalls what happened while they were on their tour.
“While we were getting a tour, we got a message from the Oval Office that Obama wanted to say hi to us,” she begins the story.
“We went to the Oval Office, and there was Hillary Clinton having a meeting with Joe Biden. It was insane,” she says. “Then Obama came out and he turned to Paul and said, ‘I loved you in I Love You, Man.’ ”
“I grabbed Paul and I was like, ‘Are you freaking out right now?’ ” she remembers. “He’s like, ‘I’m freaking out!’ We were so tongue-tied it was ridiculous.”
“Obama was like, ‘What are you guys doing in town?’ I started talking about the movie and I was like, ‘We’re doing a movie and… uh, I’m playing a character, who, uh…I’m working with Owen, uh…Owen…’ I could not remember Owen’s last name,” Reese explains.
“And Paul goes, ‘Wilson!’ Like it was a party game.”
Reese Witherspoon has revealed that she took a break from acting for close to two years because she was unsatisfied with her career path.
Speaking to EW, Witherspoon insisted that for a time she was disinterested in the projects that she was being offered.
“I just didn’t read anything I liked,” she said.
The BAFTA winner also explained that there are now fewer quality roles offered to women of her age.
She noted: “There are a lot of really, really, really big movies about robots and things – and there’s not a part for a 34-year-old woman in a robot movie.”
Witherspoon returns to the big screen with How Do You Know, which is released on December 17 in US cinemas and January 28 in the UK.
Reese Witherspoon broke down in tears on the set of upcoming movie “This Means War” when she was shown playback footage of her performance, because she found her acting “horrifying.”
The “Legally Blonde” star admits she struggles to watch herself onscreen and rarely ever revisits her projects once filming wraps – but she made a fool of herself in front of director McG after he called her over in between takes to review certain scenes.
She tells Entertainment Weekly, “I can’t even watch playback of myself on a movie. McG was showing me some footage of ‘This Means War,’ and I just went apoplectic. I couldn’t talk, I started to cry.
“I don’t watch any movie I’m in. What’s enjoyable about that? It’s horrifying! I’ll see it in a dark room one time with my managers, who I’ve been with for 18 years, and we’ll talk about it for 10 minutes afterwards – and that’s it…”
And Witherspoon blames her insecurities for her refusal to watch her own takes: “I’ll just focus on something stupid, like, ‘I hate my laugh. Why did I smile?’ Sometimes I look at myself and think, ‘Dude, I have the biggest, goofiest smile on earth.’”
Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon is not keen to star in science fiction movies as the genre does not offer substantial roles to female leads.
“The movies that are being made feel different. There are a lot of really, really big movies about robots and things – and there”s not a part for a 34-year-old woman in a robot movie,” said Witherspoon.
The ”Legally Blonde” star feels the futuristic films are limited to ”superhero” roles and therefore, does not interest her, Contactmusic reported.
“I”ve never done the superhero movie. That doesn”t interest me too much.”
Drastic change in the film industry has made the actress selective about her work, and when she is not doing a film her daughter Ava and son Deacon keep her busy.
“I also have kids, so when I”m not working, it”s not like I”m sitting around doing nothing. I”m taking care of two kids who are rapidly growing up in some bizarre time warp. I mean, somehow I now have an 11 year old!” said Witherspoon.
Reese Witherspoon says “chasing boys” is good fun, especially when you’re young.
The 34-year-old actress has previously romanced film star Jake Gyllenhaal and was married to actor Ryan Phillippe with whom she has two children; Ava, 11, and Deacon, seven.
Reese is currently dating Hollywood agent Jim Toth, and admits she has become wiser about romance as she has grown older. The beauty thinks flirting and pursuing potential suitors can be really enjoyable, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously during a person’s young, free and single days.
“Because boy is it fun, chasing boys – especially when you’re young,” she laughed.
Reese recalled a moment when one of her pals explained to her how essential it is to realise when a man is attracted to you. The friend warned Reese it’s far more important to consider men who are chasing you, rather than wasting efforts on those who aren’t interested.
“You know, don’t follow the guy you’re chasing, look at the guy who’s chasing you. I think that takes time, and sort of life experience to notice,” explained Reese.
Female athletes aren’t typically the subject of American movies. In a culture where sex, action, and 3-D sells tickets and wins big at the box office, it’s hard to imagine an athletic heroine winning over an American audience. But in the new romantic comedy, “How Do You Know,” Academy Award-winning writer and director, James L. Brooks, takes a risk and places a professional woman softball player at the center of his plot.
In the film, Reese Witherspoon plays the protagonist, Lisa, who is consumed with her sport and at 31-years-old has no plans to get married and have a family. When she is cut from the national team because she is deemed too old to play, Lisa finds solace in a casual relationship with Matty (Owen Wilson), a major league pitcher who is so much of a womanizer that he keeps an assortment of new women’s clothing in his closet as emergency morning-after attire for his conquests.
At the same time, Lisa goes on a blind date with George (Paul Rudd), a businessman who runs a company started by his father, Charles, (Jack Nicholson). George is recently the subject of a federal investigation and now a nervous wreck. Unemployed and emotional, Lisa soon finds herself in the midst of a love triangle with two equally handsome and complicated male suitors and she wonders if she’s even the marrying type.
Sunday afternoon in the basement of the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Kathryn Hahn and James L. Brooks gathered for a press conference to promote their new non-traditional romantic comedy, in an intimate and ornate room with chandeliers and impressionist paintings on the wall.
Witherspoon, a petite blonde, sat sandwiched between Wilson and Rudd, and instantly broke the ice, admitting, “I’m really not that athletic. [Brooks] wanted … [me] to work with coaches and train so I did that for four months [and] three hours a day. … I’m still not any good at softball but I learned a lot.”
Reese Witherspoon’s two children were left horrified when they saw their mother knocked to the ground in a freak softball accident, which left her with a black eye and a bloody nose.
The Hollywood actress was practicing for her role in new movie “How Do You Know” last year by playing a game of softball at home with her family and friends.
But the game ended in agony for Witherspoon after she was hit in the face with the ball.
The “Legally Blonde” star fell to the ground and was left covered in blood, much to the horror of her daughter, Ava, and son, Deacon, who both witnessed the shocking injury.
Witherspoon tells Access Hollywood, “I got popped in the eye. I got a black eye. Oh, I got a bloody nose… I was just practicing at home with friends and stuff and I just, you know, throw to keep my arm in shape and stuff…
“They (my kids) were there when I got it and I hit the ground – that freaked them out a little bit.”
But Witherspoon admits her kids later felt proud of their mom’s wounds, adding: “They thought it was cool. It’s like I’m the only mom at school with a black eye!”