REESE ‘I’ve Been Through A Lot’
She might have had a tough time but nothing, absolutely nothing, gets Reese Witherspoon down
Is there anyone who didn’t shed a tear when Reese Witherspoon stepped up to the mic at last month’s Emmys to say: ‘Bring women to the front of their own stories and make them the hero of their own stories.’ Preach.
The star was collecting the gong for Outstanding Limited Series after starring in and producing hit drama Big Little Lies alongside Nicole Kidman.
It has rounded off an impressive year for our woman crush. Not only has the 41 year old had TV success but her new flick Home Again – out now – has already received amazing reviews (ours included).
It’s a return for the Reese we know and love. The Hollywood actress plays newly separated, single mum Alice Kinney, who allows three younger guys to move in with her, only to discover that they bring some serious lols to her life.
On top of acting, producing and red carpet waltzing, Reese is also on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund and has her own fashion line Draper James. She’s basically queen of everything, then, yeah? In the words of arguably Reese’s best character to date, Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods: ‘What, like it’s hard?!’
Hi Reese, so why should we watch your new film Home Again? Because a lot of people can relate to the same problems: Should I leave this relationship? Should I start a new relationship? Or do I want to have a different job, or can I enter the workforce again? Do I want to move back home and be closer to my family, and do I want to be closer to my family? What did you love about the role? Well, the movie is about the small decisions that you make that become the big life choices and direct the course of your life. But I think in this story, it’s not about the big scope of things or the Wild, Wild West and World War II, it’s about the life decisions that you make every single day. Sometimes that’s nice to see on film, to watch people’s internal struggle – and that it’s the little decisions that change your life. It’s all about starting over, which you have had to do a lot... Anybody who is in their midlife and deciding to start over – whether they’re going through a divorce or a relationship break-up or starting a new job – I think people live these long lives and have many chapters. I’ve certainly been many different people before I turned 40. You must have related to it? I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced, I’ve been a single mum and I’ve been dating. I’ve been married again and I’ve been a mum again. Now, I have toddlers and teenagers. I don’t know – you’re a lot of different people. This film talks about the human experience of being at a crossroads in your life, and the kind of life you want to live. When you’re in your twenties you think you know everything. And then you get a little older and realise that you know nothing. I don’t know what happens after that. Now I’m old enough to know that I know nothing. You’re involved with directing and
producing, how did that happen? About five years ago, I got a script that was probably the worst script that I’ve ever read. I called my agent and I said: ‘This is just terrible, I don’t want to do this movie.’ He said: ‘Every actress in Hollywood wants this part.’ That lit a fire under me and I still said: ‘This isn’t good enough. This isn’t good enough for those actresses who have worked all their lives, they are the industry leaders and they are also who we look at to emulate.’ I believe if you see women on film, who you respect and admire, acting stupid and doing bad parts, that’s just not inspiring. So I set out with a goal to create better roles for women, more opportunities for female directors and female screenwriters, and it’s been a great thing. It’s hard. In fact, I self-funded a company for five years, but it feels like the next chapter of my life, and what I’m supposed to be doing. Congrats on your award for Big Little Lies... You know, I think the reaction to Big Little Lies was unexpected and it was definitely an extraordinary reaction. I don’t think we ever thought that this many people would watch it or enjoy it. What surprised you about it? I have seen a lot of people on the internet redo the opening sequence and they’ll dress like me and Nicole, and it’s bizarre, like internet memes and things. So it’s really nice that it touched an audience in a way. I think they enjoyed seeing a deeper look into a woman’s life and how she feels about all the aspects of being a woman, instead of, maybe, just one part of it. How do you spend your time when you’re not working? I try to go out with my girlfriends, I read a lot, and I talk to my mum on the phone a lot. She’s very funny.
I set out with a goal to create better roles for women
The star with husband Jim Toth (above) and daughter Ava (right)
A scene from Reese’s latest film Home Again
Reese giving her acceptance speech at the Emmys