Women need the courage to ‘fail better’ in Tinseltown
Actress Witherspoon champions daring, female-focused projects
Reese Witherspoon is adamant more women should have the “opportunity to fail” in Hollywood.
The actress is one of the most bankable stars in the entertainment business, having found success with films such as Legally Blonde, Walk the Line and Wild, as well as the HBO series Big Little Lies.
She juggles her busy acting career with running her own production company, Hello Sunshine, and has now explained she doesn’t believe it is important for all femalefocused projects to be big winners at the box office.
“It shouldn’t just be about financial success,” she told Marie Claire magazine, about making movies with women for women. “We should have as many opportunities to fail as we do succeed. Because artistry is not about succeeding always. It’s about having the courage to try and put out into the world new ideas.”
Witherspoon shared that she has received a lot of support from her talent agent husband Jim Toth, and her A Wrinkle in Time costar Oprah Winfrey, when it comes to her various ventures. Though every now and then she will become anxious about breaking new ground with her work.
“I see (fear) as this little creature that lives in my life all the time, and I can either pay it attention and not get anything done or I can march ahead and ignore it,” the 41-yearold said. “Sometimes that’s not a good thing, and sometimes it is, but sometimes I just have to jump two feet into a cold pool and go, OK, I believe in myself enough. I know I work hard. I know I can always bet on myself.”
During her interview, Witherspoon also spoke about the #TimesUp movement, instigated as means of fighting gender inequality and sexual harassment. The star has been open about her own experiences, including being sexually assaulted by a director at the age of 16, and is hopeful in the future, other women won’t have to experience what she went through.
“The female leaders within every industry have to stand up for those who are voiceless and silent, and we have to do better to create more balanced cultures with female leadership and leadership with people of colour.
“It’s just profoundly overdue,” she added.
Reese Witherspoon, star of Big Little Lies, isn’t afraid to invest in herself and her ideas. The series, based on a novel and produced by her production company, was a huge hit for HBO.