On Hol­ly­wood, heir­looms, and fam­ily tra­di­tions

Solitaire (Singapore) - - Content - REESE WITHER­SPOON by Aniko Navai

With her South­ern charms and ir­re­sistible smile, Reese Wither­spoon is one of Hol­ly­wood’s orig­i­nal sweet­hearts. Raised by her mother and grand­mother to ap­pre­ci­ate cro­chet and vin­tage porce­lain, Wither­spoon started out as a child ac­tress be­fore waltz­ing her way into our hearts in her film de­but, Man In The Moon.

More than just a pretty face, the Legally Blonde star was ac­cepted in Stan­ford, but quit early to pur­sue an act­ing ca­reer. She got mar­ried at age 21 and had her first baby a year later. Now at 41, Wither­spoon has an es­tab­lished ca­reer, a lovely fam­ily, an Os­car to her name, and a pro­duc­tion com­pany with more than 40 projects in the works. She also launched a suc­cess­ful cloth­ing com­pany, and is more bub­bly and in­spir­ing than ever.

When did you de­cide to be an ac­tress?

When I was prob­a­bly five years old, I wanted to be Dolly Par­ton. I was skip­ping around the black­top at school by my­self, and my PE teacher said, “Why aren’t you play­ing the game with the other kids?” I said, “Well, Ms Wright, I’m not go­ing to play the game be­cause I’m go­ing to be Dolly Par­ton when I grow up”.

“When I was prob­a­bly five years old, I wanted to be Dolly Par­ton”

THIS PAGE Wither­spoon at this year’s Met Gala, wear­ing a Thierry Mu­gler one-sleeve gown and Tif­fany & Co. high jew­ellery pieces Image by Getty Im­ages, cour­tesy of Tif­fany & Co.

OP­PO­SITE PAGE Wither­spoon at the pre­miere of the 2016 Tif­fany & Co. Blue Book col­lec­tion in New York, wear­ing jew­els from the 2016 Blue Book col­lec­tion Image by Getty Im­ages, cour­tesy of Tif­fany & Co.

What was it like grow­ing up in Hol­ly­wood for you?

In my 20s, I was scared of ev­ery­thing. I didn’t know what my ca­reer was. I didn’t know why peo­ple liked my movies. I was wary of in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple. I was 25 when Legally Blonde came out, 26 for Sweet Home Alabama, and 29 for Walk the Line. And I was scared, re­ally scared.

“There’s noth­ing more spe­cial than be­ing able to pass on jew­ellery to your daugh­ter. It’s a beau­ti­ful tra­di­tion”

Do you feel more com­fort­able now in your 40s?

I love be­ing in my 40s. When I saw the first cut of the show, The Big Lit­tle Lies, I saw I have wrin­kles. I was like, ‘I love that I have wrin­kles and I love that I’ve earned th­ese wrin­kles’. I worked re­ally hard for th­ese wrin­kles. I think it’s an in­cred­i­ble thing to be on film for 25 years of your life be­cause peo­ple grow up with you, and they age with you. As you get older, you know what you like and what you don’t like, and you’re not apolo­getic about it. I used to judge my­self so harshly — I think women in their 20s do. But you start to re­alise that none of it is re­ally all that im­por­tant. As long as you’re com­fort­able, the best parts of your­self come through no mat­ter what.

You’re al­ways so well dressed, with bags and shoes co­or­di­nated. How do you do it?

First of all, I have a rule that if my teenage daugh­ter is wear­ing it, I’m not sup­posed to be wear­ing it. I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to have one dress that you know you look good in. Make sure you ask your girl­friends about your fash­ion choices. I usu­ally ask my 17-year-old daugh­ter, and she’ll be hon­est with me. It all de­pends on her bru­tal hon­esty.

Where do you get your de­sign in­spi­ra­tions for your cloth­ing line?

I think South­ern peo­ple have an in­her­ent style. Every­body loves to get dressed up for a din­ner party. It’s fun to be able to help de­sign th­ese dresses that I think are great party looks. I also de­sign jew­ellery that I think peo­ple will re­ally love to pass on to their daugh­ters. It’s a very emo­tional thing, re­ly­ing on South­ern tra­di­tions and try­ing to carry those tra­di­tions over through the line. My grand­par­ents, Dorothea Draper and James Wither­spoon, are the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind my cloth­ing line, Draper James. They were just in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous and gra­cious peo­ple, but quintessen­tially South­ern. They were al­ways very friendly, they had a very open house, and they loved to en­ter­tain. It’s a new chap­ter for me start­ing a busi­ness, go­ing around pass­ing the hat, and pro­mot­ing it all over the place. It’s a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence, but I’m en­joy­ing learn­ing some­thing new. I’ve been act­ing for about 25 years, and I still love it. But I like the chal­lenge of try­ing some­thing else, too.

How im­por­tant is jew­ellery to you?

It’s very im­por­tant. The minute you put on the shoes, the dress, the jew­ellery, they can change the way you walk and the way you hold your body. My grand­mother bought me a Tif­fany lock neck­lace with my ini­tials on it, so that’s al­ways a spe­cial mem­ory. I wore that in Legally Blonde. I started work­ing with Tif­fany be­cause they hired their first fe­male cre­ative de­sign di­rec­tor. Tif­fany just knows what women love, which is gor­geous jew­ellery, state­ment jew­ellery, but also ev­ery­day jew­ellery.

Which is your favourite piece from Tif­fany?

I love the neck­lace that I wore to the MET Gala. It was in­spired by the 20s, but also had a con­tem­po­rary sen­si­bil­ity. It was kind of sexy.

If we could peek into your jew­ellery box what would we find that you’re proud of?

I have a few pieces from my grand­mother, a few bracelets and rings. There’s noth­ing more spe­cial than be­ing able to pass on jew­ellery to your daugh­ter. It’s a beau­ti­ful tra­di­tion. My mother gave me her jew­ellery, my grand­mother gave me hers, and I’ll give mine to my daugh­ter.

OP­PO­SITE PAGE Di­a­mond high jew­ellery neck­lace from the Tif­fany Master­pieces col­lec­tion, which Reese Wither­spoon wore to the 2015 Met Gala, TIF­FANY & CO. THIS PAGE Wither­spoon at the Golden Globe Awards 2017, wear­ing a yel­low Ver­sace gown which she...

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