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.
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?
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:
Reese celebrated her Draper James Fall Collection by making an appearance at the South Coast Plaza Nordstrom in Costa Mesa, California yesterday. She posed for photos and took the microphone to introduce the collection. She wore a little blue floral dress from the collection for the event. Find HQ photos in our Gallery:
Reese appeared on UK daytime chat show Lorraine today, to promote Home Again. She chatted about her film, growing up, Legally Blonde, Wild, her producing work, and her upcoming TV show with Jennifer Aniston. Here’s the clip:
Reese appeared on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw to promote Home Again this morning. They also chatted about Reese’s daughter and English slang, and Big Little Lies and the Emmys. Below are a couple of clips, and you can listen to the full interview here (Reese comes in at about 1hr 40mins):
Reese and her Home Again co-stars Candice Bergen, Jon Rudnitsky and Pico Alexander continued their promotional tour with an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen last night. As well as their movie, Reese chatted about her upcoming TV show with Jennifer Aniston and Big Little Lies. The show had various games involving Reese and Candice’s movies, including Four Christmases, This Means War, Fear, Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde, The Man In The Moon and Just Like Heaven – it was pretty funny seeing Reese’s reactions to these movies! She also re-created the Bend & Snap and explained how and when to use it. It was a really fun and lively interview, and nice to see Reese alongside Candice. She wore a dress by Bottega Veneta with Alaia shoes. Below are a few clips including their ‘after-show’ Q&A, and in our Gallery you can find photos of Reese arriving at the show studios, backstage, stills from the show, and HD screencaptures from the full interview:
Legally Blonde 3
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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