Reese graces the cover of the new February issue of US Vogue! The magazine features a story on her as the “moral compass of Hollywood” (which is a great title for her!), and features an extensive new interview and a new photoshoot – including a photo with Betty and Ava. It’s a fantastic article exploring how Reese’s career has developed, and focuses mostly on her recent move into production and business; there are also some great quotes from Cheryl Strayed, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. I also liked reading about where her Oscar is, and that she has hardbound copies of scripts from her movies!
Read the full article below, and find high quality photos from the cover and the shoot in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you soon. Make sure you pick up a copy when you can!
Reese Witherspoon: Activist, Advocate, Hollywood’s Moral Compass
The first time Reese Witherspoon found herself suspended from school was in third grade, when she was caught running a custom-barrette business from her desk. (She painted store-bought barrettes and sold them at a profit; when her paint pens leaked onto her desk, she was apprehended.) Another time was during her junior year, at a private girls’ high school in Nashville, when she complained to her English teacher that the work they were doing wasn’t challenging enough. Witherspoon was in many ways a model student—good grades, popular, a soccer player and cheerleader—but she also had a reputation for telling teachers what they were doing was wrong.
“I always tended to be outspoken with my opinions,” she says. “Whether they were appropriate or not.”
More than two decades later, Witherspoon is still fighting the status quo. Insofar as Hollywood is an extreme version of high school, a fishbowl of fragile egos, insecurity, and often-misdirected sexual energy, she has taken it upon herself to be a champion of the overlooked and the underestimated. She may still bear the imprint of the perky-blonde roles that kept her in American-sweetheart mode for the better part of two decades, but something’s changed beneath the surface. Witherspoon has become a formidable businesswoman, launching a company that has a hand in just about every imaginable sector of contemporary media, and she’s become a formidable activist as well, fighting for greater representation in Hollywood of people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and—most of all—women.
“The idea is to put women at the center of the story,” Witherspoon says, sitting barefoot and in jeans in the kitchen of her sunny, sprawling Los Angeles home as her three dogs—a German shepherd named Nash (short for Nashville), a French bulldog named Pepper, and a lab named Hank—amble and snort among the rooms. “I was sick of making movies where I was the only female lead on the set. I was sick of seeing scripts where there was one female role, badly written, and yet every actress in town wanted the part because there was nothing else.”
There is perhaps no greater example in the history of television of putting women at the center than Big Little Lies, the HBO sensation that picked up eight Emmys in 2017. Witherspoon executive-produced the series with Nicole Kidman, with whom she also stars alongside Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley. In the second season, which airs in late spring, Meryl Streep will bring the show’s number of female leads to six.
December 11, 2018 • Category: News & Gossip, Times Up •
Comments Off on Time’s Up Auctions Off Star-Studded Experiences, Memorabilia to Support Legal Defense Fund
Time’s Up Auctions Off Star-Studded Experiences, Memorabilia to Support Legal Defense Fund
Time’s Up has launched a fundraising auction in collaboration with eBay to benefit their legal defense fund, which connects victims of sexual abuse and harassment to legal resources. Among the stars who donated items to the auction are Ava DuVernay, Geena Davis, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.
Experiences include spending a day with DuVernay at her creative campus in Los Angeles, a coffee date with Davis, a meet and greet with Witherspoon at the Big Little Lies season two premiere; and a meet and greet with Washington at her Broadway show, American Son.
Other experiences in the auction include Tribeca Film Festival passes, tickets to Broadway productions, the chance to attend red carpet premieres, concerts, a Will and Grace taping, a VIP tour of the Capitol Records Building and a night out in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, to name a few.
Signed memorabilia will also be featured. Among the items up for auction are an autographed photo, tour booklet and t-shirt from Ed Sheeran, an original dress designed by Zac Posen and a Stranger Things season two poster signed by the series creators.
All of the proceeds will support the Time’s Up legal fund.
Time’s Up was established in early 2018 by a group of Hollywood professionals in response to the #MeToo movement. The organization is dedicated to shifting the paradigm of workplace culture.
Its legal defense fund, administered by the National Women’s Law Center, connects those who’ve experienced sexual misconduct and retaliation in the workplace with legal and PR assistance.
August 18, 2018 • Category: Charity, News & Gossip •
Comments Off on Reese Witherspoon, Keith Urban on board for cancer telethon
Reese Witherspoon, Keith Urban on board for cancer telethon
Reese Witherspoon, Mahershala Ali and Keith Urban are among the stars joining the sixth Stand Up To Cancer telethon.
Jennifer Garner, Trevor Noah, Marlee Matlin, Matthew McConaughey and organization co-founder Katie Couric also will take part in the Sept. 7 fundraiser.
Stand Up To Cancer said Thursday that this year’s live, hour-long telecast commemorates 10 years of raising awareness and more than $480 million to fund innovative research.
Bradley Cooper is returning as co-executive producer of the event, which will be carried commercial-free by major broadcast networks and cable channels in the U.S. and Canada and on streaming platforms.
In a statement, Cooper noted that his family has been touched by cancer and called it a privilege to be back with the telethon. His father, Charles J. Cooper, had lung cancer and died in 2011.
The telecast “showcases the significant progress being made in the fight against cancer, instilling hope in those facing the disease,” Bradley Cooper said.
Others participating in the Stand Up to Cancer broadcast include Kathy Bates, Tony Hale, Marg Helgenberger, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Maria Menounos, Jillian Michaels, Dak Prescott, Italia Ricci, Rob Riggle, Karla Souza and David Spade.
Stand Up To Cancer, a division of the philanthropic Entertainment Industry Foundation, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders to accelerate research and get new therapies to patients quickly.
Among other achievements, it’s funded research that has contributed to federal approval of five new cancer treatments, including for breast, ovarian, pancreatic and some difficult-to-treat leukemias, the group said.
Reese appears on the cover of the June issue of Fast Company, a US business magazine. She is named one of their ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ (#11 to be exact), and the magazine features an extensive new interview and a new photoshoot. See some behind the scenes videos on the magazine’s website, and find scans and photos from the shoot in our Gallery. It’s fantastic to see Reese recognised for her work like this!
How Reese Witherspoon is flipping the script on Hollywood The Hello Sunshine founder is channeling women’s voices into top-tier entertainment–and altering the dynamics of the entire industry along the way.
When Reese Witherspoon was 17, she had already appeared in four films. Still, she took an unlikely part-time job, as an intern in Disney’s post-production department. “I wanted to learn about editing, visual correction, and sound mixing,” she tells me 25 years later. Not long after, she worked as a production assistant on the 1995 Denzel Washington film Devil in a Blue Dress, helping with casting, among other things. Also: “I parked Denzel’s Porsche!”
That inquisitiveness, as well as nearly three decades in front of the camera, has made Witherspoon one of Hollywood’s most astute producers. She turned Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl into a $369 million worldwide hit in 2014 (that earned Rosamund Pike an Oscar nomination) and did it again, that same year, transforming Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild, into a breakout success ($52 million plus Oscar nods for Witherspoon and costar Laura Dern). Then came HBO’s Big Little Lies, executive produced with costar Nicole Kidman; the cultural bellwether about female relationships and domestic abuse, based on a novel by Liane Moriarty, swept nearly every category for which it was nominated at the 2017 Emmys. After years of hearing from studio executives that there was no market for female-driven films, Witherspoon had succeeded to a degree that proved a hunger was there.
Her instinct for what women want is now being tested on multiple platforms through her 18-month-old storytelling company, Hello Sunshine. She and her team currently have shows in development at Hulu, NBC, and Apple TV (which has partnered on three projects, one rumored to be the biggest deal in history for a straight-to-series show), as well as a film at TriStar/Sony Pictures. But Witherspoon is also laying the foundation for a direct-to-consumer brand, one that is already beginning to speak to women through a website, social media, YouTube and Facebook videos, audiobooks, podcasts, and newsletters—whichever platform she and Hello Sunshine execs think best honors the story being told.
May 22, 2018 • Category: Charity, News & Gossip •
Comments Off on Celebrity influencers to world leaders: ‘We put you on notice’
Celebrity influencers to world leaders: ‘We put you on notice’
Oprah Winfrey, Madeleine Albright and Reese Witherspoon are among 140 activists, actors, business leaders and philanthropists to sign an open letter to world leaders demanding that they take action to close the gender gap and combat poverty.
“We’re putting you on notice,” the letter reads. “For 130 million girls without an education. For one billion women without access to a bank account. For 39,000 girls who became child brides today. For women everywhere paid less than a man for the same work.”
The letter is part of the “Poverty is Sexist” campaign spearheaded by ONE, an advocacy group co-founded by U2 singer Bono.
“There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty,” the letter says.
Valerie Amos, Chelsea Clinton, Arianna Huffington and Sheryl Sandberg are among the scores of influential signatories on the letter, ONE says.
The convener of Nigeria’s “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, Oby Ezekwesili, also signed, as did actors and comedians including Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer and Juliette Binoche.
Congratulations to Reese for her inclusion on eminent business magazine Fortune’s World’s Top 50 Greatest Leaders list:
The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders Our annual list of the thinkers, speakers, and doers who are stepping up to meet today’s challenges.
Though it seems unlikely, Tim Cook and Indira Jaising have something in common besides membership in Fortune’s 2018 ranking of the World’s Greatest Leaders. Cook (No. 14) is the wealthy CEO of Apple, the most valuable publicly traded company on earth; Jaising (No. 20) is an Indian lawyer who cofounded an NGO called Lawyers Collective, which promotes human rights issues. Yet they share this trait: Both have multiplied their organizations’ effectiveness by harnessing the power of unbundling. Following their example is a new imperative for the best leaders.
April 10, 2018 • Category: "Big Little Lies", Times Up •
Comments Off on HBO Boss on ‘Big Little Lies’ Impact, “Earned” Raises and Addressing Pay Parity
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys gave a really interesting interview to The Hollywood Reporter, talking about the very impressive influence of Big Little Lies and Reese’s role within this:
HBO Boss on ‘Big Little Lies’ Impact, “Earned” Raises and Addressing Pay Parity
When Casey Bloys got his first of two major promotions in early 2016, the HBO executive took a good hard look at the suite of dramas he had inherited and wondered just one thing: Where were all the women?
On the comedy side, where Bloys had been in charge since 2013, he and his team had championed such female-fronted series as Enlightened, Veep, Getting On, Insecure and, of course, Girls. But now the drama lineup that he was suddenly responsible for skewed heavily male, with a mix of series that included True Detective, Game of Thrones and, then, the forthcoming Westworld. “The fact was we hadn’t really had a female-skewing drama since Big Love,” he says, referencing the polygamy hour that ran from 2006-11. “And so we became very interested in diversifying the slate.”
Two years later, much has already changed. In fact, Bloys, who was upped to president of programming later that spring, is coming off a months-long awards season in which his first big female drama, Big Little Lies, swept nearly every category it was in. The accolades followed record ratings and an enviable spot at the center of the cultural conversation — and proceeded significant raises for a cast led by producer-stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, who are said to be earning in the $1 million per episode range for season two. “A show like that is a gift to a network,” says Bloys, who credits Witherspoon and Kidman for identifying its potential and bringing it to the network. His boss, chairman and CEO Richard Plepler, lavishes similar praise: “Reese and Nicole had the vision to know what this could become,” he says. “They brought us a jewel and their enthusiasm became infectious, not only with the Big Little Lies team but throughout all of HBO.”
And when the limited-turned-ongoing series returns in 2019, with the original cast plus Oscar winner Meryl Streep, it’ll join a lineup that’s lighter on testosterone — or at least heavier on estrogen. In July, HBO will introduce Sharp Objects, centered on an even more complicated woman played by Amy Adams; and after that, My Brilliant Friend, about a lifelong female friendship. There are others, too, including projects from Misha Green (Underground) and Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley) as well as a second collaboration between Kidman and Big Little Lies’ writer/producer David E. Kelley. Bloys has been similarly focused on moving more women behind the camera, too, with his ratio of female to male writers and directors working its way to 50 percent.
With Big Little Lies back in production, Bloys sat down at the company’s corporate headquarters in New York and talked about those hefty raises, the impact of the Time’s Up movement and how he intends to remain competitive without writing nine-figure producer checks.
One of your execs found herself in hot water last month when she sat on stage at a conference in Israel and said, “From a budget standpoint, going into season two of Big Little Lies without any options in place we’ve been … short of raped.” I’m hoping you can clarify the point that she was trying to make, since it got lost in the drama of her word choice.
Here’s what I will say: obviously it was a really unfortunate statement, not just the choice of words but also the statement because it’s not reflective of how we feel as a network. Let me just say this about Big Little Lies season two. Whatever anybody was paid was 100 percent earned and well worth it. This show was a giant hit for us and for the industry. I know there’s fascination with the negotiations but, listen, they earned it. So, [the comment] was not reflective of how we feel, or how [Francesca Orsi, HBO’s drama chief] feels. And she feels terrible. I know she’s reached out to all the players on the show, and I will say while they were not happy about it they have been incredibly gracious and it actually has led to larger conversations about the choice of the word [raped] and why it’s used.
Will it change the way you go about making deals going forward? As in, will you move away from the one-season contracts?
Not really. Look, Big Little Lies is a unique case. But our business affairs group has been doing this a long time and we tend to do fair deals that people feel good about on both ends and that was absolutely the case here.
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