‘From Book To Script To Screen,’ Reese Witherspoon Is Making Roles For Women
Actor Reese Witherspoon became famous in her 20s after starring in films like Election and Legally Blonde, but by the time she entered her 30s, the film landscape had shifted. DVD sales had shrunk and smaller, female-centered movies were in short supply. It was nearly impossible to find good leading roles for women.
Witherspoon began asking different movie studios what projects they were developing for women. “With the exclusion of one studio, everybody said ‘Nothing. Nothing with a female lead,’ ” she says.
So Witherspoon decided to start a production company and began adapting books with complex female characters into films and TV shows. The idea was to create better parts for women — and to help female authors get their stories sold.
Witherspoon’s company spearheaded the adaptation of Gone Girl, Wild and Big Little Lies, among other titles. Looking back, Witherspoon describes her shift into producing as “betting on myself.”
With the awards season coming up, Reese and Nicole Kidman have been doing some more promotion for Big Little Lies! They took part in a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversation together on Monday, and you can watch the interview below – it’s a treat!
Reese appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier in the week, as part of her promotion for The Morning Show. She chatted about Big Little Lies, why she started producing, TikTok and The Morning Show. She also took part in a game of ‘Can You Feel It’, which was hilarious! She wore a black dress by Andrew Gn, with Wolford tights and YSL heels. Reese was at her most charming and funny, and it’s a must watch appearance!!
Find stills and screencaptures in our Gallery, and videos below:
Reese and Jennifer Aniston appeared on CBS’s This Morning show yesterday morning – watch the segment below:
Two of Hollywood’s biggest names, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, are teaming up for “The Morning Show” as the leading ladies and executive producers of the new Apple TV+ series. From the Me Too movement’s impact on the series to how they drew from their own experiences, “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King spoke to Aniston and Witherspoon about the project.
October 12, 2019 • Category: Career, Times Up •
Comments Off on Meaningful Change at Last? Women Gain Ground in Hollywood
Meaningful Change at Last? Women Gain Ground in Hollywood
Women in Hollywood are finally starting to exhale. Two years after sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein first broke, turbocharging the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, there’s a growing sense among women in showbiz that meaningful change is underway — though much remains to be done before true parity is reached.
“There have been some good inroads,” says Donna Langley, chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, whose studio was the first major to sign on to USC Annenberg Inclusion Institute and Time’s Up’s 4% Challenge for female directors in January. “It’s never going to feel like it’s enough. It’s never going to be enough — this is work that is going to be ongoing.”
Langley’s views were echoed by other women surveyed by Variety for its annual Women’s Impact Report. They reported increased opportunity behind and in front of the camera.
“I think we’ve made an incredible amount of progress just by opening up the conversation,” says Reese Witherspoon. She was so frustrated about the lack of substantial roles for women that she founded Hello Sunshine, a media company dedicated to female storytelling, three years ago. She is now producing and starring in some of the projects in its pipeline, including Apple TV Plus’ “The Morning Show” opposite Jennifer Aniston.
“Female directors are working so much, and it’s enormously encouraging,” she says. What’s more, their authority is better respected on set and elsewhere. “I used to work with female directors and people would just talk over them,” but now “there’s a real consciousness to listening to women that was never here before.”
Reese Witherspoon to Receive Sherry Lansing Award at Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Event
Reese Witherspoon will receive the prestigious Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment gala, set to take place Dec. 11 in Los Angeles.
The Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy winner will be joined by best-selling author, entrepreneur and political activist Stacey Abrams, who will deliver the keynote speech at the breakfast, which is attended by 600 of the leading women in the entertainment industry.
Also speaking will be Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress and producer Charlize Theron, who’ll help present $1 million in university scholarships to high-school seniors from underserved communities across Los Angeles, all of whom have taken part in THR’s acclaimed Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program.
The gala coincides with the release of THR’s much-anticipated annual Women in Entertainment issue of the magazine (on newsstands Dec. 11), which highlights the Power 100, the leading female executives in entertainment. This year, the issue is guest-edited by actress, director, producer and activist Olivia Wilde, who will also attend the star-studded event.
Witherspoon is the latest recipient of the Lansing Award, which recognizes trailblazers and philanthropists and was established in honor of the former CEO of Paramount Pictures (the first woman to head a Hollywood studio). Previous recipients include Viola Davis, Jennifer Lawrence, Tina Fey, Barbra Streisand, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Halle Berry, Jodie Foster, Glenn Close and Barbara Walters.
“Reese has transformed herself from acclaimed actress to one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers. She is a perfect fit to carry on the legacy of trailblazing women by receiving the Sherry Lansing Award,” THR editorial director Matthew Belloni said. “I’m delighted that this year we’ll also have Stacey Abrams — one of the most impressive and transformative figures in the country — to deliver our keynote speech. They are fitting company to the multitalented Olivia Wilde, who’s proved how gifted she is not just as the director of this year’s Booksmart, but also as guest editor of our upcoming magazine.”
Reese Witherspoon is proud of her wrinkles as she opens up about loving her 40s
Reese Witherspoon may have been acting in Hollywood since the age of 15, but as she embraces her 40s, the actress revealed that her career has definitely got better with age.
The mother-of-three spoke to Closer about her time working on HBO’s hit drama Big Little Lies and explained how her life experience helped her become a better, more well-rounded actor.
‘One of the things that struck me about Big Little Lies was how I saw my own life reflected in each of the characters,’ the 43-year-old said, ‘because I was a divorced woman, I’d been a single mother, a married mother, and I had another child in a second marriage.’
Having also taken on a producer role in the show, Reese said: ‘When I saw the first version of it in the editing room, I immediately noticed the little lines on my face and said to myself, “I like them, I got them one by one… I worked hard to get these wrinkles.”
‘Now I can play women who have lived more and gone through a lot of changes, not simply because I’m in my 40s but because I’ve gone through that kind of evolution myself.’
However, age hasn’t just brought on physical changes for the actress, but emotional and mental ones that she also sung the praises of, saying: ‘I think the 40s are the best years for women. You have a much clearer idea of who you are and you know exactly what you want.’
One of the many films Reese and Hello Sunshine have been working on producing is Lucy In The Sky, a sci-fi drama directed by Noah Hawley and starring Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm. The two stars of the film talked about Reese’s involvement as producer in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly:
Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm talk Lucy in the Sky, astronaut love, and interstellar f—kboys Fresh from the film’s Toronto International Film Festival debut, the stars talk about their cosmic attraction at the center Noah Hawley’s bonkers drama ‘Lucy in the Sky’
Some romances are written in the stars; others are written because of the stars, as is the case for Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm‘s otherworldly obsession in the upcoming Reese Witherspoon-produced movie Lucy in the Sky.
Inspired by real-life astronaut Lisa Nowak’s mental unraveling after she manned the space shuttle Discovery’s STS-121 mission in July 2006, Legion creator Noah Hawley crafted a sci-fi-tinged psychological journey into the damaging effects of one astronaut’s life-altering voyage that triggered a violent episode of near-fatal attraction. The film follows Portman as Lucy Cola, a star-gazing space-traveler who, after returning to earth from a lengthy mission beyond the atmosphere, has a steamy affair with her mysterious coworker, Mark (Hamm), who thrusts her world into a state of philosophical chaos. Still, as Lucy’s grip on reality loosens, her feelings for Mark intensify, leading to the film’s increasingly trippy exploration of a cosmic alignment of two disparate hearts (that ultimately leads to an epic conclusion too bonkers to spoil here).
Also starring Dan Stevens, Ellen Burstyn, Zazie Beetz, Colman Domingo, Tig Notaro, and Nick Offerman, Lucy in the Sky rockets into theaters on Oct. 4. Ahead of the film’s release, which follows its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, read on for EW’s full conversation with Portman and Hamm, in which they discuss their characters’ zany chemistry and Witherspoon’s impact as a producer.
What were Reese Witherspoon’s contributions like as a producer? PORTMAN: Reese is an amazing person and an amazingly involved producer. She wasn’t on set because she was filming her show at the same time, but our script was the product of her input, ideas, and notes when she was developing it, and also in the post process, she was involved in watching and talking about it with us and Noah. She’s so sharp, smart, and generous. She’s been like a real sister and role model just for that, being able to do everything and be kind and generous while creating work for hundreds of other people.
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