Another accolade for Reese was announced today – she is the Wall Street Journal’s ‘Entertainment Innovator of the Year’! Reese features on the front cover of their November issue, with a gorgeous new photoshoot and a fantastic, inspiring new interview. The interview focuses on Reese’s recent foray into producing, and features quotes on Reese from her husband Jim, and Nicole Kidman. Find the interview below – it’s a great read – and see photos in our Gallery. The magazine hits news-stands on November 4th so be sure to pick up a copy. Congratulations on this new honour, Reese
How Reese Witherspoon is Changing Hollywood for Women
With projects ranging from her HBO series ‘Big Little Lies’ to her production franchise to her growing lifestyle brand, Witherspoon has become a force in female storytelling
THIS PAST MAY, Reese Witherspoon experienced the closest thing she’ll get to a college homecoming when she returned to Stanford University, where she studied English literature for a few semesters in the mid-1990s but never graduated. Students invited her to be the featured guest at the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s View From the Top speaker series and asked her about her multifaceted career as an Academy Award–winning actress, producer and entrepreneur. Afterward, she popped over to the dorms with her 18-year-old daughter, Ava, to surprise whomever lived in her old room. “I knocked on the door, and a girl was in there,” Witherspoon recalls. “She opens it and screams, ‘Oh, my God! My mom is going to freak out; she just loves you!’ ”
The trip down memory lane prompts Witherspoon, 41, to ponder what might have happened if she hadn’t left the university for Hollywood after freshman year. (She took a leave of absence in 1996 to star in Pleasantville and Election.) After a critically acclaimed debut at age 14 in 1991’s The Man in the Moon, why would an aspiring actress enroll at Stanford and move to Northern California in the first place? “I was never going to be an actor who lives in their car because their dream was so big. [If acting didn’t work] I would have gone from Stanford to medical school and become a surgeon. Right now, I’d probably be the premier surgeon and pediatric cardiologist at Vanderbilt University,” she says, pausing. “What? I’m just being honest. I’m ambitious, and I’m over hiding that.”
“Of all the nasty words I’ve heard that are used to describe women, the one that has the ugliest connotations is ambition,” says Laura Dern, Witherspoon’s friend and co-star in the 2014 film Wild and this year’s seven-part HBO series Big Little Lies. “I don’t know why that’s declared conniving for women, because I’m constantly inspired by Reese’s ambition. You have a dream? She makes it happen.”
In the past decade, Witherspoon, mother of three, top-earning actress, powerful producer and, most recently, fashion designer, has become a new face of feminist filmmaking. Last year, the New Orleans–born, Nashville-raised entrepreneur founded Hello Sunshine, dedicated to realizing stories about women. She had created her own production companies in the past, including Type A Films, founded in 2003 and later dissolved, and then Pacific Standard in 2012. But Hello Sunshine (which absorbed Pacific Standard) is poised to become a Hollywood juggernaut, spanning feature films, TV series and digital content. The Oscar-nominated movies Wild and Gone Girl , as well as Big Little Lies, which won eight Emmy Awards (including one for outstanding limited series), were all projects produced by Witherspoon from books she discovered and optioned. She’s the 21st-century version of silent film star Mary Pickford, known as the first America’s Sweetheart, who co-founded United Artists in 1919, at the age of 27, so she could distribute her own films, or Lucille Ball, the I Love Lucy star who became the first female head of a major studio when she bought out ex-husband Desi Arnaz from their Desilu Productions in 1962. However, whereas those pioneering women were looking for a seat at the table, Witherspoon is seeking a larger piece of the pie.
Reese attended Elle Magazine’s Women In Hollywood Celebration last night, to honour the most influential women in Hollywood. She introduced her friend and Wild & Big Little Lies co-star Laura Dern, who was one of the honourees of the night. In her introduction speech though, Reese spoke about the topical issue of the moment, and revealed that she experienced sexual assault at the hands of a director when she was just 16 years old. You can read Reese’s impassioned speech within this post. There is a short clip from her speech available online, and this post will be updated when a full one becomes available.
Reese wore a black dress from Calvin Klein Collection, with Louboutin shoes and Irene Neuwirth earrings. The first photos have been added to our Gallery, and we’ll have more for you soon
Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Women In Hollywood Celebration speech
“I didn’t sleep at all last night. This is going to be a real emotional rollercoaster because, before we get started honoring one of my very favorite people in the whole world, I just want to say, this has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, for men in a lot of situations and a lot of industries that are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths.
I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate. A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action. True disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment. And I wish I could tell you that that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault, and I don’t speak about them very often, but after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight, the things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.
And I’ve just spoken to so many actresses and writers, and particularly women who’ve had similar experiences, and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories. And that truth is very encouraging to me and to everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth. Very smart, wise women have told me that in the past three days, and I feel very encouraged by this group of people tonight who have created a community of people who are champions now of a new attitude toward harassment in our industry and every industry that’s going to address the abuse of power in this business and every business and I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal.
For the young women sitting in this room, life is going to be different for you because we have you, we have your back. And that makes me feel better because, gosh, it’s about time. I just also want to say as a course of action because sometimes people, they talk about things but I was really thinking last night, what can we do, what can do we do? And I just want to say, there’s a lot of people here who negotiate quite frequently with different companies and heads of companies, and I think maybe during your next negotiation, this is a really prudent time to ask important questions like, who are your top female executives? Do those women have green-light power? How many women are on the board of your company? How many women are in a key position of decision-making at your company? Asking questions like that, I found, it seems so obvious, but people don’t ask those questions.
If we can raise consciousness and really help create change, that’s what’s going to change this industry and change society. So I’m so sad that I have to talk about these issues, but it would be, I would be remiss not to.”
Big Little Lies is featured in the latest issue of Emmy magazine, which is a commemorative issue celebrating the recent Emmy Awards night. The magazine features fantastic photo spreads of several of the winners backstage at the awards, and includes a full 2-page spread of the Big Little Lies cast. Reese & Nicole Kidman grace the cover of the magazine, which also has an article celebrating the success of roles for women in TV in the past year, which obviously mentioned Big Little Lies a few times. Find the photoshoot and scans from the magazine in our Gallery, and make sure you pick up a copy of the issue if you can!
Yes, Reese Witherspoon Has Visited Oprah’s Vegetable Garden
Sometimes I just wake up in the morning and wish I were Reese Witherspoon. (Obviously, I should get some more realistic goals.) The actress and producer is ultra-talented, always impeccably dressed, and utterly charming. The characters she plays—whether it’s the determined Elle Woods in classic rom-com Legally Blonde or the nosy, passionate Madeline Mackenzie in Emmy-sweeping HBO series Big Little Lies—radiate with a fierce energy and warm wit, which no doubt stem from the woman herself.
You might also know that Witherspoon is an entertaining aficionado, and the creator of lifestyle brand Draper James, so it’s no surprise that Crate & Barrel tapped her to be their newest ambassador. ELLE.com sat down with Witherspoon to talk holiday entertaining tips, whiskey cocktails, and what Oprah’s garden is really like. (Yes, Witherspoon has been there—and yes, she might have sneaked something out.)
Draper James is doing a collaboration with Crate & Barrel in the new year. What can we expect to see from that?
Well, three years ago, I started Draper James, just to give people a window into what it means to be a Southern woman, and into Southern entertaining. I grew up with my grandma entertaining every Sunday night, she would cook this big dinner, and sometimes it was just family and sometimes it was a big party. So I wanted to show people what that’s like: It’s a lot of friendliness, grace, and charm. This collaboration with Crate and Barrel will involve their beautiful products, which have such timeless style. They’re beautifully made and high quality. So we’ll just be infusing that with some Southern charm.
There’s a lot of that Southern warmth in Draper James items—some of the items have the cutest slogans or sayings printed on them.
Oh, then you’re going to be really excited. You just hold on, sister!
Is there one in the range that will be particularly you?
Crate and Barrel Announces Partnership with Reese Witherspoon
Global home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel has announced it is working with entrepreneur, Academy Award-winning actress and critically acclaimed producer Reese Witherspoon as the brand’s newest ambassador. The ongoing partnership, which will also incorporate Witherspoon’s own lifestyle and fashion brand Draper James, kicks off today with the launch of Crate and Barrel’s holiday advertising campaign.
As someone who has expressed a longtime love of design and entertaining personally and, most recently, via the creation of Draper James in 2015, Reese Witherspoon was a natural partner for the brand. Both Reese and Crate and Barrel exude timelessness infused with modernity through everything they do and create, resulting in the perfect synergy for a collaboration.
“We are honored to work with Reese, who expresses so many of the best qualities of our brand—style, warmth, and optimism,” said Crate and Barrel President Steve Woodward. “Reese has shown the world she has an eye for design, and we’re thrilled for her to showcase that as an ambassador for the company. Reese truly brings the unique Crate and Barrel experience and spirit to life.”
The holiday campaign, “Make This Season Merry and Just Right,” features Reese entertaining friends and family at home, accompanied by her favorite products from Crate and Barrel. The campaign – created by Crate and Barrel’s Agency of Record Preacher – includes several national TV spots and placements across multiple digital and social platforms that will air through the end of the year.
This holiday season, Crate and Barrel will also highlight select gifts from Draper James, both in stores and online at crateandbarrel.com. As a part of their longer-term relationship, Crate and Barrel and Draper James will release co-designed collections for Spring and Summer 2018 and beyond.
Reese appeared on UK chat show The Graham Norton Show last night, alongside Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. During the interview, they spoke briefly about Big Little Lies and The Emmys, Home Again, Reese’s producing work and how she has developed this over the years (she admitted that Legally Blonde 2 was not as good as the first!), her Mum’s short but to the point film reviews, and the US president plagiarising Elle Wood’s graduation speech. It was unfortunately a really awkward interview that re-hashed old subjects and offered nothing new, however, it was fun to see her with these 3 other stars! Reese wore a little black dress by Altuzarra for the show. Find HD screencaptures in our Gallery, and a few clips further down this post:
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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