Vogue.com interviewed Reese towards the end of last month, in the run-up to the finale of Big Little Lies; here is what they talked about:
Reese Witherspoon on Who She Initially Wanted to Play on Big Little Lies—and What She Thinks About Those Critics Who Dismiss the Show as Just Another Soap Opera
We only have a few days to go until the finale of HBO’s Big Little Lies airs—why, oh why are there only seven episodes?—but we can already anticipate the massive void we’ll be feeling once the show wraps up on Sunday. Thankfully, Reese Witherspoon is here to help us cope. As Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Witherspoon’s character has become a fan favorite for her type-A personality and wicked one liners (“I love my grudges; I tend to them like little pets,” she says in an early episode). We spoke on the phone with the star and executive producer of the hit TV show, and talked about who she initially thought she would play, whether or not Ed and Madeline have a good marriage, and what she thinks about those (mostly male) critics who dismiss the show as just another soap opera.
Some spoilers ahead for those who aren’t caught up.
What drew you to Liane Moriarty’s book? Why were you excited to bring it to the screen?
I thought the book was really well plotted. I loved all the characters, I thought they were really dynamic women and very truthful in their struggles and the way that they communicated with each other. I thought it was a unique opportunity to have five really talented, diverse women on screen together, which is something that doesn’t happen that often.
Did you always want to play Madeline, or did you ever consider playing any of the other roles?
I didn’t know who I was going to play. Nicole [Kidman] really wanted to play Celeste, but I don’t know, I thought for a minute I might have played Renata. But then I was in a meeting with David Kelley and Nicole and I said I didn’t know who I was going to play and they looked at me like I was crazy. They said, “You’re Madeline!” And I said, “I am? What do you mean?” And they were like, “You are very clearly Madeline.” And I thought, “Is this an insult? I don’t know.” But then I kind of started thinking how I would do this. I started talking to Nicole, she was very helpful when I was creating the character. We added a lot of stuff that wasn’t in the book.
I haven’t read the book, but I know that David E. Kelley rewrote a lot of Madeline for you. I know the affair with her play’s director, for example, wasn’t in the book. What was behind the decision to add that?
Well, we talked about it. I just felt like everybody sort of has a secret in the show. All five of us have a secret. We’re all hiding something from each other and I felt like Madeline needed something she was hiding as well; it added a new conflict for her to resolve. It was just something interesting to play instead of just being a busy body.
On that note, do you think Madeline and Ed have a good marriage?
I don’t think of it in terms of good and bad. I think they have an active marriage, they are working on their marriage. There are aspects that are really positive and there’s parts of it there are really difficult. I don’t know what “good” is, but there’s a lot of love there, for sure.
Over the past few days I’ve reverted to working on the Movies section of our Gallery, and have updated the Penelope section. Some of the photos have been replaced with HQ versions, but best of all we have HQ photos from a promotional shoot Reese did for the film, plus gorgeous HD screencaptures from the film! This is one of my favourite Reese films – it’s charming and sweet, and Reese is hilarious in her small part as Penelope’s friend Annie … it’s a very watchable, fun movie.
To stick with the Penelope theme, within this post are videos of Reese’s co-stars talking about her, a couple of interviews with Reese about the film (it was the first that she produced through her former and first production company, Type A Films), and trailers.
Enjoy the updates 🙂
Annie: “I was just thinking … I might get a little work done myself … for my ears, they just kind of stick out up here a little on the top – I mean I’m no Penelope!”
Reese took time out of her holiday in the Caribbean to chat to fans on Facebook live yesterday. She and co-star Laura Dern also did an interview on Instagram. They revealed that they are considering a second season of Big Little Lies…
‘Big Little Lies’ Feels Crazy Truthful to Reese Witherspoon
Yes, even Reese Witherspoon has felt judged as a parent. The actress, producer, newly-named Elizabeth Arden brand ambassador and mom of Ava, 17; Deacon, 13; and Tennessee, 4, is fascinated by just how opaque and unreadable kids can be and how hard moms and dads try to seem absolutely perfect.
“Have you ever gotten a call that your kid bit someone at school? I have. You feel awful. You feel like there is something wrong. It’s interesting how we stigmatize people,” she tells Yahoo Style.
She explores the disparaging, cutting and very juicy side of motherhood (and fatherhood) in Big Little Lies, which has exploded as this season’s must-see show. The HBO miniseries delves into the inner lives of a multitude of multidimensional women, showcasing a bully (Laura Dern), a cheater (Witherspoon), a domestic abuse victim (Nicole Kidman), and a single mom raising a child of rape (Shailene Woodley).
Witherspoon was instrumental in bringing Liane Moriarty’s bestseller to the screen. She, along with Kidman, produced it and the project resulted in a bidding war. That’s because while much of Hollywood was busy lamenting the dire lack of roles for women of a certain age, or any age, Witherspoon was busy creating them.
Her production house, Pacific Standard, is now a part of the content company Hello Sunshine, a joint venture with Peter Chernin and AT&T whose sole mission is to tell female-driven stories on TV, film, and digital platforms.
“It’s my entire life. It’s so fulfilling to me. It’s all been leading to this place where I took control of my career,” Witherspoon says. “It came out of a frustration, of seeing the kind of roles for women that were so flimsy. Buying books that have complex and real interior lives of women is my life’s work. I’m a storyteller, but I’m passionate that women have stories that need to be told.”
For years, she’s been diligently optioning, producing, and releasing projects with women at their core: 2014’s Gone Girl, starring Rosamund Pike as spectacularly manipulative Amy Dunne, generated $168 million domestically. The same year, Witherspoon and her friend Laura Dern earned Oscar nominations for the soul-searching saga Wild. In the pipeline is the date-rape thriller Luckiest Girl Alive.
Big Little Lies, meanwhile, is set in glitzy Monterey, Calif., but peel back the lush exteriors of waves, beaches, and pristine landscaping, and you’ll see the ugly underbelly of the posh town and its denizens — led by Witherspoon’s insufferable but also oddly tender grudge-bearer Madeline. The role fits her like a proverbial glove, but when Witherspoon read Moriarty’s book and realized it would make for delicious television, she didn’t know what part she’d play, just that she wanted in.
“You don’t know why people like a show. I responded to the truth, a real truthful look at how women feel about parenthood. Sometimes there’s maternal ambivalence. Women are not good or bad. I like that complexity of character,” she says. “I don’t think you ever know if things are going to work or not work. But there’s something interesting about five dynamic roles for women in which they talk about sex and marriage and relationships the way that women really talk about sex and marriage and relationships.”
Elizabeth Arden Signs Reese Witherspoon As Storyteller-in-Chief
Elizabeth Arden announced today that it has signed entrepreneur and critically acclaimed, Academy Award winning actress Reese Witherspoon as the brand’s Storyteller-in-Chief. In this multi-faceted role, Reese will help to shape the brand’s narrative, through its advertising campaigns and marketing programs, with a strong focus on Elizabeth Arden’s digital strategy and engagement.
In researching visionary women throughout history, Reese learned of the life and achievements of Elizabeth Arden’s eponymous founder, who revolutionized the beauty industry at the turn of the 20th century as a self-made entrepreneur. Founding her company in New York in 1910, before women could even vote, Elizabeth Arden has a legacy of breaking boundaries. Reese, an entrepreneur in her own right as founder of Hello Sunshine, her content production company, and the Southern lifestyle and fashion brand, Draper James, was inspired to forge a partnership with such a likeminded company.
“We are thrilled to be working with Reese. In addition to her accomplishments as an actress, she is a successful entrepreneur—heading her own production, fashion and digital companies,” said JuE Wong, President, Elizabeth Arden Brand. “Reese exemplifies the ideals of our founder and continues to break boundaries every day. Like Elizabeth Arden before her, Reese does not accept the standard, she sets it, making her the perfect person to represent the brand and engage with our consumers globally.”
“One of the first things that drew me to the brand was its rich heritage and history of supporting women,” shared Reese Witherspoon. “As one of the first female entrepreneurs, Elizabeth Arden paved the way for women like me. It’s an honor to carry on her legacy and be part of such an iconic company that is committed to serving women.” Reese added, “I’m excited to work as a creative partner alongside the Elizabeth Arden team, producing content that celebrates the spirit of the brand, highlighting female-centric stories that illustrate women’s true life experiences which unite us all.”
The actresses, who star in HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” developed a tight friendship after playing “sort-of awful people” and then mother and daughter.
A mutual friend introduced Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern in front of a restaurant in the Brentwood Country Mart complex in Santa Monica, Calif. They were already aware of each other; it was 2011, and both were movie stars of many years. They had also each played antiheroines in back-to-back late-1990s Alexander Payne films to unforgettable effect: Ms. Dern as Ruth Stoops in “Citizen Ruth” and Ms. Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in “Election.” But it was merely a quick hello.
They reunited in 2014 to play mother and daughter in “Wild,” a film based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir that garnered them both Oscar nominations. A friendship blossomed quickly — playing family, as luck would have it, made them so. They now star (and spar) as rival Monterey power mothers in the new HBO mini-series “Big Little Lies,” of which Ms. Witherspoon is also an executive producer.
Speaking by telephone and email, Ms. Witherspoon and Ms. Dern talked about their fast-tracked friendship, multiple collaborations and conversations with their mothers (Ms. Dern’s is the actress Diane Ladd). This conversation has been edited and condensed.
REESE WITHERSPOON I was with Howell outside a restaurant. Howell Caldwell’s our friend who’s a first assistant director, who’d worked with Laura, and he’s this big, funny guy from Texas, and he’s like: “You gotta meet Laura Dern. You’re gonna love her, you’re gonna love her mom.” Her mom is, like, the quintessential Southern mom, and I have a real Southern mother, too. He said, “You guys are gonna be best friends.” And I remember thinking: “Could I be best friends with her? I don’t know.”
Reese appeared on US talk show ‘Conan’ on Tuesday night to promote Big Little Lies. It was a very funny interview, and Reese chatted about A Wrinkle In Time, Oprah Winfrey, her surprise Irish heritage, her kids, and of course Big Little Lies. I loved her Irish accent and Oprah impression! Plus, did you know that Reese is 63% Irish?! “It just makes so much sense!” she said, as she’s a great drinker and loves St Patricks Day 😀 We have lots of HD screencaptures for you in our Gallery, and within this post are videos from the interview:
March 22, 2017 • Category: News & Gossip •
Comments Off on Happy Birthday Reese!
Reese celebrates her 41st birthday today, and we’d like to wish her a very Happy Birthday!! She’s had a fantastic year with the success of Big Little Lies, and we wish her even more happiness and success in the year ahead! Thanks for sharing your talents with us and making us smile and laugh Reese!
Glamour Reese Witherspoon is an unofficial fansite dedicated to supporting and promoting the career of Reese Witherspoon. We have no contact with Ms Witherspoon or her family or management. No copyright infringement is intended through the use of content within this website ...