Reese Witherspoon Documentary by Amanda Marsalis: Taking on Hollywood
This year, for the 25th anniversary of Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards, we decided to have eight award-winning filmmakers trail our honorees and create short films that answer the question: What makes this woman a Woman of the Year? Here is what they had to say, in their own words.
Amanda Marsalis: Reese is taking on male-run/dominated Hollywood and giving the world what it wants: More films told from a woman’s point of view. I think she is leading the way and am so excited to see what she comes up with next.
Amanda Marsalis is a photographer and director who lives in Los Angeles with her dog Queso. Her work as appeared in Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. Her debut feature film Echo Park premiere at the LAFF this year and is scheduled for release in 2016.
Reese recently made a surprise appearance at the Australian In Film Gala in Los Angeles to present her producing partner Bruna Papandrea with one of the night’s big awards. Reese wore a simple white dress to the event, and posed with Bruna backstage. Read more in this post, and find HQ photos in our Gallery…
Reese Witherspoon Honors Bruna Papandrea at Australians in Film Awards Gala
Bruna Papandrea, Elizabeth Debicki, Bill Mechanic and Dion Beebe were honored at the 4th annual Australians in Film awards benefit dinner and gala Sunday at the Hotel InterContinental in Century City. Carrie Bickmore hosted the reception that recognizes the contributions of actors and filmmakers to the Australian film industry.
Reese Witherspoon, who originally thought she would be unavailable Sunday, made a guest appearance to introduce her production partner and recipient of the Virgin Australia Orry-Kelly International Award, Papandrea. Witherspoon joked about Papandrea, rousing laughter from the crowd, but emphasized the producer‘s work ethic and perseverance. “I have definitely learned through this process where there is a will and a really loud, opinionated Australian lady, there is a way,” Witherspoon said.
Papandrea and Witherspoon, who launched the production company Pacific Standard together in 2012, strive to create movies that focus on a strong female lead. The pair released two high-profile films within two weeks of each other last year — “Gone Girl” and “Wild” — both of which are based on best-selling books.
Papandrea was raised by a single mother in Australia. “My point in telling you where I came from is to remind young people, at a time when they are told so often that they can’t accomplish their dreams, that all things are possible regardless of where you come from,” Papandrea said. “Always be who you are, speak your truth, [and] don’t be afraid to express your opinions even if they differ from other people’s, which they will.”
Last weekend Reese received her American Cinematheque Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Reese walked the red carpet with two of her kids – Ava & Deacon – and her husband Jim was in the audience with them. During the night, tributes were paid to her by friends and colleagues including Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner, Alexander Payne, and Matthew McConaughey, who presented her with the award. Reese chose a simple yet chic block gown by Dolce & Gabbana for the event.
The first photos have been added to our Gallery now, with many more to come. Within this post are several really great articles about the night and Reese’s contribution to cinema – be sure to give them a read!!
And of course, congratulations to Reese on this exciting and well-deserved honour!
Reese Witherspoon Praised as ‘Modern Day Feminist’ at American Cinematheque Fete
The American Cinematheque honored Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and DreamWorks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg at the organization’s annual fundraising gala Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
Witherspoon received the American Cinematheque Award, reserved for an extraordinary artist currently making a significant contribution to the art of the Moving Picture. Specifically not a lifetime achievement prize, it is meant for mid-career recognition. Recent honorees have included Matthew McConaughey, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon and Samuel L. Jackson.
“This whole experience is just overwhelming and unbelievable because I’m really just a girl from Nashville who had a dream,” Witherspoon said. “I grew up on backlots and on locations. I had my entire childhood on film. I went through puberty on film, which is something I don’t feel totally great about, but I don’t regret it at all. It’s preserved forever.”
Reese covers the December issue of US Glamour magazine, as one of their Women Of The Year. The cover, photoshoot and interview are now available for us all – read the interview below, and see the photos in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you asap.
Reese and the other honorees (Caitlyn Jenner, Victoria Beckham, Misty Copeland, Elizabeth Holmes, Cecile Richards, the women of Charleston, and the U.S. women’s national soccer team (TheWrap.com)) will be honoured at an awards ceremony in New York City on November 9th.
Reese Witherspoon on How She’s Shaking Up Hollywood, and Why She Feels Like Gloria Steinem Told Her to Do Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon is a Woman of the Year because… “She’s making movies, telling stories, giving women opportunities—all because she wants her daughter to have an example of what it’s like to be a responsible human.”
—comedian and 2011 Woman of the Year Chelsea Handler
Just a few years ago, Reese Witherspoon was pitching a new movie to seven studio heads and requested an extra 30 minutes with each executive to ask one question: What do you have in the works for women? “Only one studio was developing something for a woman in the lead,” Witherspoon, 39, recalls. “They said, ‘We’re happy if you bring us something, but it’s not a part of our development.’ ” Stunned, Witherspoon started obsessing over the deficit—bringing it up at dinner parties and business meetings, to a chorus of women saying, “We know!” Yeah, I’ll bring you something, she decided.
So in 2012, Witherspoon cofounded a production company, Pacific Standard, with producer Bruna Papandrea; the duo began buying up books and scripts with female protagonists to turn into films and TV series. And by 2015, Witherspoon found out just how winning her company’s by-and-about-women formula could be. Wild and Gone Girl, its first two films, featured women not as sidekicks or arm candy but as leading ladies who go through unique personal journeys. Stars Rosamund Pike, Laura Dern, and, yes, Witherspoon herself were all nominated for Oscars—and the films banked more than $400 million worldwide at the box office. With her producing and acting credits, Witherspoon landed on Forbes’ list of highest-paid actresses and on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. Now she’s breaking into a full-on sprint toward equality: Pacific Standard has 32 projects in the works that put women front and center. “Reese gave me the opportunity with Hot Pursuit where I was producing, where I was a main character, where I got to play a strong, Latina woman,” says Sofía Vergara. “It’s amazing, Reese is such a tiny little thing, but she’s such a strong woman—she knows what she wants, and she gets what she wants.”
With her producing business booming, Witherspoon felt she could take on another new challenge this year: a fashion brand. She launched Draper James, a Southern-inspired clothing and home line, with a flagship store in Nashville. Lest you think she’s superhuman, though, she hasn’t taken an acting gig in over a year, so she could spend time with her husband, Jim Toth, and three kids, Ava, 16, Deacon, 12, and Tennessee, 3. (And yes, they are the cutest.)
Reese Witherspoon on Her Production Company: “We Support New Female Voices in Film”
With such hits as ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Wild,’ the actress and partner Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard is breaking down the boys’ club barrier.
This story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Reese Witherspoon is known for her lovable comedic characters in Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama and her critically acclaimed work in last year’s Wild and 2005’s Walk the Line, which earned her a best actress Oscar. But it’s her work behind the scenes as a producer through her Pacific Standard banner, which she and Bruna Papandrea founded in 2012, that has made her a true industry force. “One of the best parts of our job is we’re buying books and helping authors navigate the process of getting a book all the way to the screen,” says Witherspoon, 39, who will receive the 29th American Cinematheque Award on Oct. 30.
After the successes of Gone Girl and Wild, are publishers flocking to you at Pacific Standard?
When we bought Gone Girl, we could barely get anyone to read it. But there’s been such an incredible response to our company and what we’re trying to accomplish. Cheryl Strayed went from selling 1.5 million [copies of Wild] before the film was announced to selling 6 million books in two years. That’s huge for an author.
Did you and Bruna know you would work well together right away?
I really wanted a partner, not an employee. It’s a self-funded company, and we purposely chose not to be at one studio because we wanted to be able to take material everywhere. I met with her, and I’m sure she didn’t have any idea if I wanted to just develop material for myself or if I had real perspective about other stories or business acumen. Then I sent her Wild, and she said it was amazing and wanted to start this company. The next project we got within a month was Gone Girl.
November 1, 2015 • Category: "Wild", Pacific Standard, Role Rumors •
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Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern To Produce Drama Project For HBO Based On Book By ‘Wild’ Author Cheryl Strayed
Wild stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern have reteamed for another screen adaptation of a book by Wild author Cheryl Strayed, this time for TV. HBO has put in development Tiny Beautiful Things, a drama series based on Strayed’s bestselling 2012 book of the same name, a collection of essays compiled from Strayed’s Dear Sugar advice column. Strayed and her husband, filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, will write the TV adaptation, set to explore love, loss, lust and life through the eyes of a Portland family who live by the mantra that the truth will never kill you.
Witherspoon, Dern, Strayed and Lindstrom will executive produce with Witherspoon’s producing partner at Pacific Standard, Bruna Papandrea, as well as Jayme Lecheryl. Wild was a passion project for Witherspoon and Papandrea who optioned Strayed’s memoir months before it was published. In the 2014 Fox Searchlight film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, Witherspoon portrayed Strayed and Dern played her mother. The movie was well received, with both Witherspoon and Dern earning Oscar nominations earlier this year.
HBO already is hosting a Wild mini-reunion with the limited series Big Little Lies, in which Witherspoon is starring alongside Nicole Kidman, with Witherspoon and Papandrea executive producing and Vallée in negotiations to direct.
October 24, 2015 • Category: "Big Little Lies", Pacific Standard •
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Jean-Marc Vallee In Talks To Helm HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’ With Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon
In what would be his television debut, Jean-Marc Vallee is in talks to direct the first episode and maybe more on Big Little Lies, HBO’s limited series adaptation of the Liane Moriarty novel that will star Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. The scripts were written by Emmy winner David E. Kelley, and the pending deal with Vallee continues its track as one of the highest-profile limited series packages to come together for HBO since True Detective and it got the same straight-to-series commitment.
As Deadline revealed back in summer, 2014, the book was optioned by Kidman and her Blossom Films production banner partner Per Saari, along with Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea and their Pacific Standard banner. They intended to fashion it as a smart screen vehicle for themselves and that has certainly turned out well.
Nathan Ross, who is Vallee’s producing partner, is joining the project as a producer. The novel is a subversive comedy that tells the tale of three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.
Vallee continues to establish himself for getting high-water-mark performances out of actors. After Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Oscars for Dallas Buyers Club, he followed that up with the Witherspoon-starrer Wild (both Witherspoon and Laura Dern got Oscar nominations) and he most recently wrapped and premiered in Toronto the drama Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper. Fox Searchlight will release that next spring. He is also attached to direct Amy Adams in the Janis Joplin pic Get It While You Can, but I’m hearing that he will do this early next year, first. Ross is Vallee’s manager and David Weber his attorney.
October 16, 2015 • Category: Pacific Standard, Role Rumors •
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Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis Series in Development at ABC
Reese Witherspoon and Mila Kunis are getting behind the camera for two potential ABC series. The network is developing dramas with both women attached as exec producers, Variety has learned.
Kunis will serve as an EP on the television adaptation of “Black Stiletto,” based on the novels of the same name, while Witherspoon will work on an untitled romantic mystery from “Cheers” alum Rob Long.
“Black Stiletto,” inspired by Raymond Benson’s book series, follows a young woman’s evolution into a modern day hero when a family secret from the past is revealed and puts the only family she’s ever known in imminent danger.
Kunis will exec produce by way of her Orchard Farm Productions banner with her partners Cami Curtis, Susan Curtis, and Lisa Sterbakov, plus Tony Eldridge and Nancy Moonves. Kunis inked a first-look deal with ABC Studios, which will produce “Black Stiletto,” in late 2014 when she launched her production company. Scribe Javier Grillo Marxuach (“Lost,” “The 100”) sold the script to ABC.
For Kunis, “Black Stiletto” marks her television producing debut. The “Black Swan” and “That ’70s Show” alum was a producer on the 2014 flick “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.”
Legally Blonde 3
Untitled TV Project with Jennifer Aniston
Little Fires Everywhere
Untitled Producing Project with Kristin Wiig
Are You Sleeping
Luckiest Girl Alive
Tiny Beautiful Things
Barbie origins project
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