Reese earned another important accolade today – she was named on Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women list. Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list is a ranking that is put out every year looking at the 50 most powerful women in business. Four criteria are considered: the size and importance of the business, the direction of the business, the social and cultural relevance, and the trajectory of the woman’s career. Reese was not eligible for the main 50, but was featured as their special ‘number 51’ – read more below, and see the full list here:
Fortune’s Most Powerful Women
It’s MPW day. It’s a big day for us here at Fortune MPW HQ: The 2017 list of the Most Powerful Women in Business is out!
Racing into the top spot—for the third year in a row—is General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Rounding out the top 5: PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi (more on her later), Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
In all, the list includes seven newbies, one return, and 26 CEOs who, together, control a total market cap of $1.1 trillion. We have all the juicy details—including who’s off, who’s on, and who’s on our radar—below.
But before we get to that, it’s worth pointing out that this year marks Fortune’s 20th list, a testament to the importance we place on charting and celebrating these women’s careers. For more, I encourage you to read this editor’s letter, in which our fearless leader, Cliff Leaf, reflects on the history—and continuing necessity—of the ranking. As my co-editor on the list, Beth Kowitt, tells Cliff, covering the ever-evolving story of women in business is “complicated—and critically important, surprising, fascinating, and inspiring too.”
MORE FROM THE MPW ISSUE
• New women on the block. While the MPW list always includes women from a diverse range of businesses, this year’s newcomers have raised the bar: all seven hail from different industries. From energy (PG&E CEO Geisha Williams) to toys (Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis) to retail (Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillion), they provide a peek into the diversity of global business today.
• MPWs in waiting. While these 10 women didn’t make the official list, they did catch our eye. We wouldn’t be surprised to see many of them grace the top 50 ranking in years to come…
• She’s No. 51, y’all. We have a tradition of naming a “bonus” MPW—No. 51—a distinction that goes to a woman who doesn’t technically fit our parameters when it comes to P&L and market cap, but who nevertheless captures the list’s powerful, business-savvy spirit. This year that spot goes to Hollywood multihyphenate Reese Witherspoon. For those keeping score at home, Witherspoon has launched a lifestyle startup as well as a multi-platform content company; and produced hits including Gone Girl, Wild, and Emmy fav Big Little Lies—all while still landing big, juicy acting roles for herself.
Wow, massive congratulations to the entire cast and crew of Big Little Lies who cleaned up at The Emmys last night!! They won a total of 8 awards, including Best Limited Series – which was a personal win for Reese as an executive producer – acting awards for Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard and Laura Dern, and directing for Jean-Marc Vallee. Find their full list of wins further down this post. On behalf of all Reese fans I think I can say how proud we are of her for the wonderful work she did both in front of and behind the scenes of Big Little Lies – this was clearly a passionate project for her and we’re so happy for her and the success and impact it’s having! And the same goes for the entire cast and crew who put together this fantastic show.
Reese was accompanied to the event by her husband, Mum and daughter, and posed on the red carpet with Nicole. Reese looked smart in a blue satin jacket dress by Stella McCartney (Reese wanted to wear a female designer), with a Tyler Ellis purse, shoes from Christian Louboutin, and David Webb jewellry.
This post will be updated with coverage from the night over the next day or so. To start with, we have a ton of videos from the red carpet. Photos are coming very soon….
Reese appeared on CBS’s This Morning earlier today – she chatted more about Big Little Lies, how she changed the course of her career in recent years, her upcoming project with Jennifer Aniston, and Draper James. Watch the video below and find HD screencaptures in our gallery:
Reese and her Home Again co-stars Candice Bergen, Jon Rudnitsky and Pico Alexander continued their promotional tour with an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen last night. As well as their movie, Reese chatted about her upcoming TV show with Jennifer Aniston and Big Little Lies. The show had various games involving Reese and Candice’s movies, including Four Christmases, This Means War, Fear, Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde, The Man In The Moon and Just Like Heaven – it was pretty funny seeing Reese’s reactions to these movies! She also re-created the Bend & Snap and explained how and when to use it. It was a really fun and lively interview, and nice to see Reese alongside Candice. She wore a dress by Bottega Veneta with Alaia shoes. Below are a few clips including their ‘after-show’ Q&A, and in our Gallery you can find photos of Reese arriving at the show studios, backstage, stills from the show, and HD screencaptures from the full interview:
Reese made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night to promote Home Again. She chatted about American football and her history of cheerleading for that and wrestling, her mum’s excitement for the Emmys, Big Little Lies, and Home Again – Reese was very perky and gave a great interview! She then played a new game of Cooler Heads that involved goggles and mystery substances! Watch a few clips from the show below, and find stills and HD screencaptures in our Gallery:
The Real Story Behind Reese Witherspoon’s Return to Romantic Comedies
When the trailer dropped for Home Again, Reese Witherspoon’s newest movie, there was a palpable buzz around Hollywood and among her loyal cadre of fans. Timing was part of it—it’s the first project since the actress’ beloved turn in Big Little Lies. The sneak peek into the flick dropped just weeks before the Emmy nominations made official what everyone was expecting: That Lies was a critical darling in addition to taking over pop culture for much of 2017.
But Home Again also marks a ground-breaking transition for Witherspoon: It’s her return to romantic comedies after a five year hiatus.
She has become a staple in more serious awards material, what with her turns in films like Wild, and her slight retreat into behind-the-camera work (she produced Gone Girl and Big Little Lies), that her start in the industry begs reminding. When Witherspoon broke out onto the scene it was her quirkiness and affability that won over fans and critics (and studio executives). Romantic comedies were here bread and butter, their one-liners her legacy. Quotes like “You have a baby…in a bar” and “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands” were synonymous with Reese.
One wonders what it would take to get Reese back to her old stomping ground after all this time. (And all that success). It’s easy to imagine that the A-lister is pitched movies endlessly, that she’s turned down countless roles that instead went to other actresses. Was it that she simply missed romantic comedies after all this time, and wanted to return to her roots? Not really.
Was it that she wanted to take a little mental break, to tear herself away from the crumbling marriages and murders of Monterrey? Sort of. As Witherspoon told E! News, there is something desirable about heading to the movies to feel good.
“There’s a lot of hard stuff to process out in the world right now,” said the actress. “I think it’s nice when a movie just makes you feel great, when it’s about family, love, togetherness and romance.”
But really, her motivation was more altruistic and, frankly, straightforward.
Reese graces the cover of the new October issue of US Glamour magazine, and inside she writes an article for the magazine about empowering women in Hollywood and promoting women’s rights. She touches on some of her female-driven projects including Wild and Big Little Lies, as well as A Wrinkle In Time, her children’s response to her producing work, and her goals with Hello Sunshine. It’s a really good read, and you can find the full article here. The article is accompanied by a fun and fantastic new photoshoot – find that, in HQ, in our Gallery!
To celebrate our 16 years online, here we are spotlighting 16 of our favourite Reese things from the past 16 years. You will see a new one upon refreshing or changing the page.
"It took me years to be the woman my mother raised. It took me 4 years, 7 months and 3 days to do it, without her. After I lost myself in the wilderness of my grief, I found my own way out of the woods."
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