There’s a moment in her new romantic comedy, How Do You Know, when Reese Witherspoon makes an unusual request of Owen Wilson.
He’s her unreliable boyfriend Matty – a major-league pitcher who can’t resist the lure of other females. She plays Lisa, a young woman whose entire life has revolved around softball and who can’t cope emotionally when she’s dropped from her team.
So along comes this crucial moment when Lisa says to Matty: “If I wake up in the middle of the night and start crying, just ignore me, please.” Witherspoon cites this speech as an example of something she herself would never say in real life.
“I usually play really verbal characters, and this woman is sort of more interior,” Witherspoon points out.
That made Lisa a fascinating challenge, because Witherspoon couldn’t really draw on her own life experiences to portray her.
“I’ve done a lot of comedies where a woman talks about her romantic dynamics and is always kind of talking about men and what she should do. But this is a woman who has a hard time conveying her emotions and doesn’t even really want to talk about things -which is sort of an interesting female character.”
In the film, which opens Dec. 17, Lisa thinks her whole life is slipping away because, at 31, she’s been cut from her team. Because she’s uneasy talking about feelings, she feels emotionally isolated. Furthermore, her romantic life is in turmoil because of Matty’s irresponsibility and the unexpected intrusion into her world of another male. This is George (Paul Rudd), whose own life is falling apart because he’s the target of a federal investigation into high-stakes financial crimes.
Romantic comedies are nothing new for Reese Witherspoon, but her role in James L. Brooks’ new film, How Do You Know, presented some interesting challenges.
“This character is a woman who has a hard time conveying her emotions — and doesn’t even really want to talk about things,” Witherspoon says of professional softball player, Lisa.
“The biggest challenge for me was she’s not verbal, and I’m used to playing really talkative characters and women who speak about their relationships and talk about love and dynamics and boys with their girlfriends,” the actress explains.
“And she doesn’t really have that Greek chorus of women around her,” she adds. “So that was a new character for me, and really interesting. And I had to meet a lot of women like that.”
The film follows Lisa as her affections pinball between a commitment-phobic baseball player (Owen Wilson) and an honest-to-a-fault businessman (Paul Rudd).
“It’s a tough job, ladies, but someone’s got to do it,” she says of working with Wilson and Rudd. “How lucky am I to work with two of the most talented, funny, attractive, hysterical men?”
On set, Witherspoon found her own feelings mirroring that of her character, making it hard to choose between the two co-stars.
Female athletes aren’t typically the subject of American movies. In a culture where sex, action, and 3-D sells tickets and wins big at the box office, it’s hard to imagine an athletic heroine winning over an American audience. But in the new romantic comedy, “How Do You Know,” Academy Award-winning writer and director, James L. Brooks, takes a risk and places a professional woman softball player at the center of his plot.
In the film, Reese Witherspoon plays the protagonist, Lisa, who is consumed with her sport and at 31-years-old has no plans to get married and have a family. When she is cut from the national team because she is deemed too old to play, Lisa finds solace in a casual relationship with Matty (Owen Wilson), a major league pitcher who is so much of a womanizer that he keeps an assortment of new women’s clothing in his closet as emergency morning-after attire for his conquests.
At the same time, Lisa goes on a blind date with George (Paul Rudd), a businessman who runs a company started by his father, Charles, (Jack Nicholson). George is recently the subject of a federal investigation and now a nervous wreck. Unemployed and emotional, Lisa soon finds herself in the midst of a love triangle with two equally handsome and complicated male suitors and she wonders if she’s even the marrying type.
Sunday afternoon in the basement of the Ritz Carlton in Manhattan, Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Kathryn Hahn and James L. Brooks gathered for a press conference to promote their new non-traditional romantic comedy, in an intimate and ornate room with chandeliers and impressionist paintings on the wall.
Witherspoon, a petite blonde, sat sandwiched between Wilson and Rudd, and instantly broke the ice, admitting, “I’m really not that athletic. [Brooks] wanted … [me] to work with coaches and train so I did that for four months [and] three hours a day. … I’m still not any good at softball but I learned a lot.”
What a perfect start to the magazine year – Reese graces the cover of the January 2011 issue of US Glamour, with an interesting new interview inside and a red-hot new photoshoot. Reese is promoting How Do You Know! You can view the cover to your left, and I’ve added the photoshoot pictures to the Gallery. Read the full interview under the cut.
If anyone can provide Glamour Reese Witherspoon with a full set of scans from this interview then please get in touch! We’d all be very grateful!
Reese Witherspoon has starred in 25 films (and produced five), birthed two kids and won an Oscar. So why does it seem like Reese’s life is just beginning? She talks to Glamour about men, moves and finding her mojo. Read the interview, then check out the pics from her photo shoot.
by Skip Hollandsworth
Reese Witherspoon walks into Cookshop, a restaurant in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, bearing a gift: a small box of chocolates. When I say I’ll always cherish them, she cocks her head, levels her blue eyes on me and cheerfully snaps, “You’d better eat them.” At the age of 34, she is as tiny as a kitten, barely 5’2”. But it doesn’t take long to realize there is nothing fragile about her. She whips off her gray sock hat, orders chicken soup and is soon recounting the seven months she spent training with the UCLA softball team to prepare for her latest romantic comedy, How Do You Know, in which she plays a former star athlete transitioning out of her twenties. Witherspoon, too, went through a significant transition as she entered her thirties: a divorce from actor Ryan Phillippe, the father of her two children. Afterward, she took a break from acting; a two-year relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal came to an end in 2009. But now she is quietly involved with Hollywood agent Jim Toth (who, at press time, she tells Glamour she’s not engaged to) and back to working full-time. And she’s ready to open up. Maybe it was all that softball, but Witherspoon happily took a swing at every question thrown at her.
“This is an issue that has been in the dark for too long. There remains what can seem like an impenetrable wall of silence, around violence. And we must all play a role in breaking that silence.”
The funny thing,” Reese Witherspoon says, “is it happens all the time.” A day after Gordon Brown thanked “Renée Witherspoon” in Parliament for her work for victims of domestic violence, Witherspoon is wondering why she and her friend, fellow actress Renée Zellweger are often confused with each other. “Maybe it’s an R-W, R-Z thing,” she says. “I phoned Renée, and she already knew. She said three people yesterday had said to her, ‘Hi Reese, how are you?’”
There should be stranger elements to this tale than the mystery of the Z-W congruence. Such as, why is a 33-year-old actress from the US, most famous for a film in which she plays a ditzy blonde lawyer, being thanked at Prime Minister’s Questions? Why was she later given access to meet Sarah Brown? And why, purely by virtue of signing a contract in 2007 to advertise cosmetics, is she fronting a British campaign for the end of a postcode lottery in domestic violence services?
Reese Witherspoon’s son wanted to kill things after watching her new movie.
The blonde actress was amazed when a trip to see Monsters vs Aliens – in which she voices the character of Susan, a woman who swells to 42 ft 11 ins tall and then helps save the planet from an alien invasion – brought out Deacon’s violent tendencies.
Reese – who has nine-year-old daughter Ava and five-year-old son Deacon with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe – told BANG Showbiz: “I took my kids to see it a couple of week’s ago. As I was driving home from the theater I said to my children in the back seat, ‘So, what do you think is the message in this movie?’ My daughter really thoughtfully said, ‘I think it’s about never letting someone underestimate you and always living up to your true potential.’ I said, ‘That is so astute, yes, Ava, that is exactly what the message is.’
Reese Witherspoon could soon be seen high-kicking her way through an action film.
The Legally Blonde star – who has so far stuck mainly to the romantic comedy and drama genres – is voicing the part of Ginormica, a superhero/monster in new 3D animation Monsters Vs Aliens, and it’s made her think about doing something similar in real-life.
“It might be fun, it actually has gotten me excited. I have never been in an action film before so the last third of this movie is so action-packed, it made me very excited. I think maybe I could do that,” she said.
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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