Q&A: Oprah plays life coach to ‘Wrinkle in Time’ co-stars
“A Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay insists she didn’t consciously assemble three of the entertainment industry’s most successful and entrepreneurial women to play the celestial, all-knowing “Mrs.” characters in Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling.
“I guess I’m attracted to that kind of energy: Like-minded take over the world-ness,” DuVernay said.
Winfrey, Witherspoon and Kaling spoke recently with The Associated Press about the film, DuVernay’s achievement, a changing industry and Winfrey’s life advice.
Remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity.
AP: You’ve all become fast friends it seems.
WITHERSPOON: It’s great to be around people who inspire you and lift you up. My grandma used to say, ‘People are either a radiator or a drain. Surround yourself with people who radiate light and goodness and love and do not stick around the drains because they will pull you down.’
WINFREY: Oh, that’s good, grandma!
AP: What do you think of the historic fact that Ava DuVernay got to direct this?
WITHERSPOON: It’s extraordinary when a company of this size puts their money into it and their entire marketing into this. This is not the level of marketing I’m used to.
KALING: I’m like Carrie Bradshaw where I’m walking down the street and see a bus with my face on it.
WINFREY: That happened to me! I’m driving down the street and I see my face on a bus stop and I’m like, ‘Stoppppp! Stoooopppp! That’s me!’
‘A Wrinkle in Time’: Stars get frank about motherhood, parity and Oprah for president
It turns out, Reese Witherspoon is a killer travel guide.
Last year, when she, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling moved with the cast of A Wrinkle in Time (in theaters Friday) from California to New Zealand, it was Witherspoon who knew about all the best spots and local adventures.
“Reese has friends in any corner of the world; generous friends who say, ‘We’d like to take you on a helicopter tour,’ ” says Kaling, 38, sitting next to a laughing Winfrey, 64, and Witherspoon, 41.
“Or, ‘Would you like to come to our island?’ ” Winfrey says.
The fast friends represent director Ava DuVernay’s vision of what a modern adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic 1962 sci-fi novel looks like in 2018: Take protagonist Meg Murry (in the book, a young white girl from Connecticut), and cast her as a black child from Compton. Replace the three granny-esque “Mrs.” — celestial guides who mentor Meg — with black, white and Asian faces.
“I just wanted to do something that would make a kid go, ‘Wow, I want to fly like that.’ But who’s the person flying? It’s the person who never gets to fly. The black girl,” says DuVernay. “It’s a really big deal to have a scene in the movie, where a black girl says to a Caucasian boy, ‘Do you trust me?’ And he says yes and he follows her. I can’t think of another film where that happens.
“She’s not a Jedi. She’s not a superhero. She’s a girl in a plaid shirt and glasses and she does extraordinary things. That touched me and I related to it.”
Our beautiful Reese graces the cover of the March issue of US Marie Claire magazine! In the interview they talked about the familiar themes of ambition, sexual harrassment, female empowerment, and of course A Wrinkle In Time. Accompanying the interview is a brand new and beautiful photoshoot – I particularly love the softness of the cover, it reminds me of 2003/2005 photoshoots. I love seeing Reese on another big magazine cover, and this one will be available to purchase on US news-stands from February 20th. Find snippets from the interview below, and high quality photos in our Gallery.
The award-winning actress, producer, and activist sits down with Marie Claire’s Editor-in-Chief to discuss her upcoming movie A Wrinkle in Time, diversity in the workplace, and the undeniable evolution of what it means to be a woman today.
I first fell in love with Reese Witherspoon when she strutted down the halls of Harvard Law School in 2001’s Legally Blonde as Elle Woods, proving so forcefully that a woman who cares about makeup and clothes can also be brilliant. I’ve followed Reese’s career ever since, from her Oscar-winning portrayal of June Cash in Walk the Line (2005) to her raw performance in Wild (2014), and I recently spent an entire Saturday binge-watching the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Big Little Lies. Reese produced the latter two projects, in addition to 2014’s Gone Girl, under the auspices of her relatively new production company, Hello Sunshine.
Her mom once told her that if you wanted a job done right, you’d have to do it yourself. So, realizing the alarming and persistent dearth of meaty roles for women, Reese set out to create her own opportunities, lifting up other women along the way. With 23 producing projects in the works, it’s kind of a miracle she’s running lifestyle brand Draper James and a killer book club on Instagram. When I heard she’d landed a role in Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of one of my all-time favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time, I volunteered to interview her myself.
Anne Fulenwider: You’ve talked about how you’re proud of your ambition. Where do you get that from?
Reese Witherspoon: I get a lot of support from my husband [Jim Toth, an agent at CAA], who cares deeply about equality and always tells me,“Why wouldn’t you call the person in charge of a company and have a personal relationship with them?” He’s encouraged me to be outspoken. Oprah has encouraged me before I ever met her to be the best version of myself, through her book clubs, the people I saw on her show. [She’s been] an incredible advocate for me as a businesswoman.
Reese, Oprah Winfrey, and Mindy Kaling cover the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine as part of the promotion for A Wrinkle In Time. In the interview, the three women talk about empowering women, ambition, the recent sexual harrassment scandal in Hollywood, and the Times Up movement. The interview was televised on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show on her OWN network and you can see the videos here. Find scans, the photoshoot, and behind the scenes photos in our Gallery – all in high quality:
Oprah Talks with Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling About Sexism
Oprah talks with Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon about sexism onscreen and off, and carving a pathway to parity.
It would be tough to pick two more blue-chip Hollywood names than Reese Witherspoon (star and producer of, most recently, the deliciously sinister, labyrinthine HBO series Big Little Lies and Mindy Kaling (whose six-season comedy, The Mindy Project, was the first TV show created by an Indian American). Both wield witchy magic alongside Oprah in the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time, the new film adaptation of the 1962 futuristic fantasy novel, directed by another boundary smasher, Ava DuVernay. When the “O” of O sat down with these two fearless changemakers, they immediately started discussing how far women have come— and where we must go next.
Oprah: I’m so excited to have a conversation with such beautiful, innovative, powerful women—my A Wrinkle in Time costars.
Reese Witherspoon: Thank you for having us! Sitting around and talking is our favorite thing to do.
Mindy Kaling: And it’s nice not to be in harnesses and wigs.
In the new issue of Seventeen magazine, Reese interviews her young A Wrinkle In Time co-stars Storm Reid and Rowan Blanchard. Below is the cover, and you can find scans in the Gallery. There’s also a video with parts of the interview, which you can watch further down this post.
The Draper James Spring 2018 collection has recently been released, and Reese and daughter Ava have been photographed together to promote the collection! You can see the photos and read their interview together at DraperJames.com – what a treat!! It’s a very pretty photoshoot. Here’s the behind the scenes video:
Reese Witherspoon’s Second Act: Big-Time Producer From Oscar-winning actress to Emmy-winning producer: After taking charge of her career, she makes deals with HBO and Apple.
A few months ago, Reese Witherspoon realized everything had changed.
HBO’s glossy, seven-episode drama, “Big Little Lies” — which Ms. Witherspoon starred in and helped produce — won eight Emmy Awards, including the one for best limited series. From the Microsoft Theater stage in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, to swelling applause, Ms. Witherspoon spoke of how important it was to bring “women to the front of their own stories and make them the heroes of their own stories.”
Not long after that night, she found herself in demand.
“It opened a lot of doors for me,” Ms. Witherspoon said in an interview this past week. “People wanted to be in business with me as a producer in the TV space. My mission was to create television for other women, for other female storytellers that are actresses, other directors and other writers. I think it just clicked in people’s minds.”
Since then, Ms. Witherspoon has transformed herself from an actress increasingly frustrated with the roles she was being offered into a producer with a slate of projects that puts her in the company of series creators like Dick Wolf, Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.
Last month, HBO ordered a second season of “Big Little Lies,” with Ms. Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, among the key companies behind the show. In addition, Apple has bought three Hello Sunshine projects as part of its push to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in streaming. That amounts to a third of Apple’s TV purchases to date.
One of the series — which is set to star Ms. Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston as hosts of a fictional morning news show — marks one of the most expensive deals in TV history: With a 20-episode commitment, Apple has pledged roughly $240 million to make it, according to two people familiar with the series. Ms. Witherspoon’s other two Apple projects will star Octavia Spencer and Kristen Wiig.
Apple’s top TV executives, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, said in a statement that Ms. Witherspoon had “an extraordinary knack for being a step ahead of the zeitgeist.”
The rise of Hello Sunshine — with projects centered on strong, complicated women — syncs up perfectly with the #timesup movement, which counts Ms. Witherspoon as a major player, and gives evidence that the risk-averse Hollywood establishment may have learned something from the blockbuster success of “Wonder Woman” last year.
“People are desperate for this kind of storytelling about the female heroes that have always been in the shadows and now are coming into the light,” Ms. Witherspoon said.
On CBS Sunday Morning earlier today, Oprah Winfrey hosted a discussion with some of those involved in starting the Times Up movement, in which they talked about gender inequality and speaking up about sexual harassment. Reese was one of those on the panel, alongside actresses Natalie Portman, America Ferrera and Tracee Ellis Ross, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy, producer Shonda Rhimes and attorney Nina Shaw. Watch the video below:
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."
Untitled TV Project with Jennifer Aniston
Luckiest Girl Alive
Tiny Beautiful Things
Barbie origins project
In A Dark, Dark Wood
Untitled Rob Long Project
The Thing About Jellyfish
All Is Not Forgotten
Three Little Words
Pale Blue Dot
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