Women need the courage to ‘fail bet­ter’ in Tin­sel­town

Ac­tress Wither­spoon cham­pi­ons dar­ing, fe­male-fo­cused projects

Ottawa Citizen - - YOU -

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.

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