When Reese Witherspoon feels her love life is veering off track, rather than call a girlfriend, she turns to 70-year-old director James L. Brooks for guidance.
“He’s been a really great confidante and is really caring and interested in people’s lives,’’ the actress says during an interview at a hotel. “I tell him a lot and he gives me romantic advice, especially when I’m dating. He has a wealth of knowledge about romantic dynamics and I don’t know where it comes from.’’
It could stem from more than four decades of guiding fictional women through rocky personal and professional terrain. Brooks created “The Mary Tyler Moore Show’’ and “Rhoda’’ in the ’70s and went on to write and direct several films, including “Broadcast News,’’ “Terms of Endearment,’’ and “As Good as It Gets.’’ So who better to dish with than the man who walked Mary through countless dates, finally found Rhoda a husband, and, in “Broadcast News,’’ helped Holly Hunter’s character understand that her career would always be her first love? Brooks, who wrote and directed “How Do You Know,’’ which opens Friday, says he spends a lot of time thinking about romance, so he’s happy to share his perspective. In fact, in his latest film, he makes the case that in the face of life’s uncertainties and pitfalls, love has become an increasingly important commodity.
“Everybody went to war on our ability to trust, so I think the last stand is, ‘honey, give me your hand,’ ’’ he says in his hotel suite last week. “The truth is people are so afraid to make sentimental films, but the point of this film is true. It’s the fact that really bad things can happen to you and the right person can walk through the door and make things better. The problem remains large, but your spirit rises and the problem shifts in position a little. It doesn’t quite occupy center stage and I think that’s true and romantic.’’
Reese Witherspoon is always in the ‘Know’ about her life
You don’t become the queen of romantic comedies without learning a few things about matters of the heart.
Reese Witherspoon, actress and mother of two, is well-versed in the mysteries and mores of love, and she spends hours discussing and debating them with her girlfriends.
“I’m literally the girl who talks constantly about relationships. I hang up with one (friend), and I pick up the phone and call another one. It’s an ongoing dialogue all day long,” she says. “I don’t understand a woman who doesn’t talk about love and relationships.”
She has been through a divorce (from actor Ryan Phillippe) and breakups (most notably with actor Jake Gyllenhaal), but Witherspoon isn’t one to get hung up on past amorous calamities. She views them as life lessons.
“You gotta be glad that you went through them, and you gotta be glad that you learned from them,” says Witherspoon, 34. “You gotta learn what you want.”
And like so many of the romantically challenged, you have to figure out if he’s the one for you. That’s the perplexing question Witherspoon toys with Friday in How Do You Know, a rom-com with the actress playing a past-her-prime softball pro who gets cut from Team USA and finds herself torn between two guys: a self-absorbed jock (Owen Wilson) and a somewhat neurotic businessman (Paul Rudd). But unlike Witherspoon, who exudes certainty and self-assurance, the character of Lisa is a romantic naïf.
“She’s not very good at articulating her feelings. She’s never been in a serious relationship. She’s almost an innocent,” says Witherspoon. “She doesn’t care if (men) call her back if she slept with them. She’s having sex for fun and sex for sport.”
PopSugar.com were in attendance at a recent press junket/conference for How Do You Know, and have posted a handful of quotes from it! Have a read …
• Reese on bad blind dates: “I had someone correct my grammar on a blind date once, and I knew in the first ten minutes that the date was over. You just don’t correct someone’s grammar! I’m from Tennessee I probably said everything wrong. I probably said ain’t or something.”
• Reese on her motivations: “I’m definitely one of those people who has post-its everywhere. The six evils of the world. I really do! Desire, greed, envy. . . Try to tell myself all those things to avoid! Positive affirmations, I have to say “Judge not lest ye be judged” has guided me through life.”
• Reese on being unsettled like her character: “I think it’s really interesting to play a woman who can articulate that she isn’t ready to have a family — isn’t even sure she wants to have a family! I have a lot of friends like that. I think it’s a really interesting character than can say it. And I think Jim really wrote it so beautifully, that emotional honesty of someone who is not afraid to be honest about maybe not wanting what other women want. And I think there’s a lot of women out there like that. I think it’s really interesting to play a character like that. Obviously it’s not like myself, I have two kids, a very sort of settled-down life. But it was cool to play that girl.”
Exciting news Reese fans! Reese graces the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, with a new photoshoot and interview inside! Reese looks gorgeous on the cover, and I can’t to see the photos inside! We’ll have scans for you asap, and if anyone would like to contribute scans then please get in touch 🙂
Below is the cover, report on the cover from the EW website, plus read on further down the post for the full interview.
This Week’s Cover: The return of Reese Witherspoon
Believe it or not, it’s been two full years since Reese Witherspoon has graced a movie screen, unless you count doing the voice of a nearly 50-foot-tall animated woman in Monsters vs. Aliens. In a candid interview, the actress — who stars opposite Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson in the upcoming romantic comedy How Do You Know — explains that her break from acting wasn’t anything she planned. “I just didn’t read anything I liked,” she says. “There are a lot of really, really, really big movies about robots and things — and there’s not a part for a 34-year-old woman in a robot movie.” In the meantime, Witherspoon has kept plenty busy raising her two kids, 11-year-old Ava and 7-year-old Deacon, and dating agent Jim Toth, to whom she’s rumored to be on the verge of getting engaged. “My mom always texts me, like, ‘Are you getting married?’ ” Witherspoon says, laughing. “I’m like, ‘Mom, come on! You would know if I was getting married.’ ” What Witherspoon clearly hasn’t been doing is dwelling on any of the personal turmoil in her past, including her divorce from actor Ryan Phillippe. “My favorite quote is from Martha Stewart: ‘I have a very short memory for painful things.’ And I do. I have one of those incredible memories where I just erase painful things….I truly believe you never lose in a relationship. You’ve always gained something.”
For more from Reese Witherspoon — including her thoughts on fame, her insecurities, and her “insane” visit to the White House with Paul Rudd — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, December 10.
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.”
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