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To promote the November premiere of The Morning Show, Reese can be seen on the cover of the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine! The magazine features a brand new photoshoot themed around ‘facing your fears’, and Natalie Portman interviews Reese about The Morning Show and some of her other upcoming producing work. In the behind the scenes video, Reese talks about her favourite books, including Wild. Find all the content within this post!

Harper’s Bazaar (US) – November 2019 x2
2019 – Session #008 x6
Harper’s Bazaar (2019) (BTS Video Screencaptures) x273





Reese Witherspoon Faces Her Fears

From boldly addressing the nuances of #MeToo on her new Apple TV+ drama, The Morning Show, to canoodling with a five-foot python for BAZAAR, the 43-year-old actress and producer takes risks without even wobbling in her stilettos. Friend Natalie Portman talked to the star about how she makes it all look so easy.

NATALIE PORTMAN: Hi! I’m so happy to talk to you for Harper’s BAZAAR’s Daring issue. Was it scary to be shot with a spider on your face?

REESE WITHERSPOON: The spider didn’t scare me, but there was a snake at the photo shoot that did. This is going to sound weird, but I like insects and spiders. I was kind of a tomboy growing up. It grosses everybody out, but I like to pick up bugs.

NP: What, if anything, are you actually afraid of?

RW: I get scared of being on really tall buildings and looking down.

NP: And you did that too for your Bazaar shoot! I’m impressed. Speaking of impressed, I watched the first three episodes of The Morning Show last night. It’s wonderful!

RW: Of course you did all your homework like that. You’re the cutest. I can’t handle it.

NP: You and Jen [Aniston] were friends before the show, right?

RW: We met on the set of Friends; I played her sister. I was 23 years old and had just had a baby. I was nursing Ava on set, and Jen just kept going, “You have a baby?” I was like, “I know, it’s weird.” And I remember her being like, “Where are you going?” And I was like, “I’m pumping!”

NP: Oh, my God.

RW: She was so sweet to me. I was really nervous, and she was like, “Oh, my gosh—don’t worry about it!” I marveled at her ability to perform in front of a live audience like that with no nerves. They would change all the lines and she was just so effortlessly affable, bubbly, and sunny. We’ve been friends ever since.

NP: How involved were you in developing The Morning Show?

RW: When we started, the show was just a book, and nothing had happened with Harvey Weinstein or Les Moonves yet. The Roger Ailes scandal had happened the year before. Then, in October 2017, all those stories started to break about the way women in media were treated. We decided we needed to start from square one and redevelop everything with more of a slant about the truth coming out in media and people being held accountable for their behavior.

NP: Did you have any fear about depicting a nuanced portrayal of how the man feels in this type of a situation, having been so involved in the #MeToo movement?

RW: As artists, we try to find the shreds of humanity in any crisis and open people’s minds to see all sides of things. What does it mean to be a person who loses their entire life? Their family. Their career. The #MeToo movement has been so emotional on all sides. I remember talking to women and holding them while they cried. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be the spouse or the child of one of these people who was exposed. With the men, we ask, Where is the contrition? How are they supposed to behave? We deal with all of these questions as the season goes on.

NP: I love that you and Jen have this perfect tone on the show. You’re competing, but it’s not catty.

RW: Our characters are two people with very similar goals but different ideologies because of their backgrounds. Jen’s character existed in a world that was dominated by men. Just the fact that she existed was all that mattered. My character is like, “Hold on, no, no, no. If you’re not bringing other women with you, what are you doing?” It’s not antagonistic or competitive. It’s second-wave feminism meets fourth-wave feminism.

NP: What can you say about your other new show?

RW: I’m working with Kerry Washington, which is really fun. We’re doing an adaption of a novel called Little Fires Everywhere in the form of an eight-part miniseries for Hulu. We’re coproducing and costarring, and sharing all the responsibilities.

NP: Along with acting, you do so many things. You’ve got your media brand, Hello Sunshine; your clothing line, Draper James; your book club; your work with Elizabeth Arden; and you have kids. How do you balance it all?

RW: Let’s be real. Every working mother is still figuring these things out. But, honestly, I think women who are incredibly busy are the most productive people in the world. If I ever needed something done, I would ask the busiest woman I know.

NP: I want all your secrets.

RW: In terms of work, Hello Sunshine is the majority of my world. It’s about storytelling for women, by women, and about getting more women behind the camera. I do meetings in the morning while I’m getting my hair and makeup done. After that, the people who run my companies take over, and I focus on acting. Acting is still my core competency. It fills my tank. But my biggest priority is to take care of my kids. They’re getting older now—my daughter is in college, my older son is in high school, and my youngest is in first grade—so I have more free time than I used to. I try to get home for dinner at least four nights a week.

NP: Wow!

RW: Once I started producing more, I had more of a say in the logistics and was able to shift my work hours. I’m lucky to have incredible partners like Kerry Washington, who is also balancing a lot. We try to take care of each other. If I come in early, she works late, and vice versa.

NP: How would you describe yourself as a mom? Are you strict?

RW: As a mom, I’m kind of goofy. I like to dance around and tell jokes. But I’m pretty strict about bedtimes and making sure everybody brushes their teeth twice a day and that kind of stuff. When you have kids, it’s like a whole other list of things you have in your mind that you have to get done once you’ve left your job. When they’re little, it’s like, “Are their bodies taken care of?” But as they get older, you’re like, “What are your dreams and goals?” My son is very into music. So now we’re trying to figure out what kind of a job he wants. Does he want to be on the business side? Or the creative side? Of course it’s ultimately up to them to make the right decision. But I try to give them the best advice. I’m like their manager.

NP: One of my friends said to me, “When your kids become teenagers, they’re like emotional toddlers. You’re still chasing them around, trying to prevent a fall.” Growing up, what was your relationship like with your mom? Did you ever rebel?

RW: I was pretty mean to my mom. I remember wanting to stay out till three at prom. We got in each other’s face. She’s like, “You’re coming home at midnight!” I was like, “You don’t understand. I’m almost 18.” She and I still remember it as our biggest fight.

NP: You’ve been married to talent agent Jim Toth for eight years. What do you think is the key to a happy marriage?

RW: Oh, boy, I don’t have the answer to that question! I will say, I think my friend Eve Rodsky [who wrote the new book Fair Play] is onto something. In a true partnership, people need to be appreciated for everything they bring to the table. I have a husband who supports my dreams and my ideas. He helps me with everything. I’m very lucky.

This article originally appears in the November 2019 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, available on newsstands October 22.

(Harper’s Bazaar)

Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Her Book Club and Adapting Novels into Screenplays

Reese Witherspoon is many things: an Academy Award-winning actress, an Emmy Award-winning producer, a production company founder, a mother, and Harper’s BAZAAR’s November 2019 cover star. But did you know she’s also a huge bibliophile?

Through her production company, Hello Sunshine, Witherspoon produces not only award-winning films but also the Hello Sunshine Book Club, in which she promotes a new read every month.

Speaking exclusively to Harper’s BAZAAR, Witherspoon explains the origins of her online book club. “The Hello Sunshine Book Club was sort of born out of me just posting books that I liked on Instagram,” she says. “I started a production company seven or eight years ago that was trying to create more projects that had roles for women in them. I’ve always really gravitated towards female authors and women at the center of novels, so I started optioning some of them and turning them into movies. Then, I just started sharing all the books that I read, ’cause I read a lot.”

Witherspoon name-drops some of the current books that are exciting her, namely the next few novels that Hello Sunshine plans to adapt into screenplays, including Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six.

“It’s just one of those really exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that … it’s very fulfilling,” Witherspoon says.

The actress also talks about Wild, the first book adaptation she optioned that she also starred in. Her performance in the role earned her an Oscar nomination in 2015.

“I think the book that had the biggest impact on my life was Wild by Cheryl Strayed,” she says. “It’s the first book that I optioned to turn into a movie that I was producing and starring in. I was really nervous and I asked Cheryl if it would be okay to option her book, but I didn’t really have a track record as a producer, but she took that leap of faith with me and I’ll be forever grateful.”

She adds that the book’s themes illuminated female characters in ways that women aren’t usually represented. “I love the themes of woman versus nature,” she says, “and the idea that, at the end of it, she ends up with no man, no money, no job, no parents, and it’s a happy ending.”

“I think the book that had the biggest impact on my life was Wild by Cheryl Strayed,” she says. “It’s the first book that I optioned to turn into a movie that I was producing and starring in. I was really nervous and I asked Cheryl if it would be okay to option her book, but I didn’t really have a track record as a producer, but she took that leap of faith with me and I’ll be forever grateful.”

She adds that the book’s themes illuminated female characters in ways that women aren’t usually represented. “I love the themes of woman versus nature,” she says, “and the idea that, at the end of it, she ends up with no man, no money, no job, no parents, and it’s a happy ending.”

(Harper’s Bazaar)



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Current Projects
Big Little Lies (2019)
Season 2 available now on HBO
Role: Madeline
Genre: HBO TV Series - Drama
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The Morning Show (2019)
Season 1 airing on AppleTV+ now
Role: Bradley Jackson
Genre: Apple TV+ Series - Drama
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Legally Blonde 3 (2020)
Filming in 2019, to be released on May 8th 2020?
Role: Elle Woods
Genre: Comedy
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Little Fires Everywhere (2020)
Season 1 airing 2020
Role: Elena Richardson
Genre: Hulu TV Series - Drama
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Sing 2 (2020)
To be released December 25th 2020
Role: Rosita
Genre: Animation, comedy, musical
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