REESE ‘I’ve Been Through A Lot’

She might have had a tough time but noth­ing, ab­so­lutely noth­ing, gets Reese Wither­spoon down

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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

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