Reese graces the cover of the upcoming February issue of US Harper’s Bazaar magazine! She looks stunning in a new photoshoot, and talks about her current career path and Draper James in the interview. I love the colours and styling of the photoshoot, it’s so pretty. Read the interview below, find the pictures in our Gallery, and watch the behind the scenes video further down this post.
The magazine hits US news-stands on January 19th.
From screen sweetheart to power producer to lifestyle entrepreneur, Reese Witherspoon brings Southern charm to every role.
Reese Witherspoon is sitting in a random office in a glorious location: Nashville’s grand Cheekwood Museum of Art. She’s been twirling all day in concoctions for this cover story—on horses, holding piglets and parasols, and battling oddly aggressive ladybugs. But the great charm of Witherspoon, of course, is that she can look like she’s having the most fun in the world.
And right now, it would seem that she is. After 25 years in films—a long reign as America’s sweetheart, an Oscar for Walk the Line, and a lull before her second nomination, for 2014’s Wild—and with her 40th birthday on the horizon, Witherspoon is not just a star but a force. With her tenacity and sonar-like acumen, she is deftly changing cinema.
“It’s almost like my brain is hardwired to collect information and do things,” Witherspoon says. “I used to do very little with it, and now I’m being more productive, which feels good.” Turns out, she handily notes, that if you spend 25 years making movies, “that’s the way that you learn how to make movies.” In the past four years Witherspoon optioned two books, Gone Girl and Wild, shepherding them through production (and in Wild, shepherding herself up the Pacific Crest Trail) and seeing both receive Oscar nominations.
While Witherspoon could have surfed on a wave of rom-coms until the end of her days, it was a combination of frustration and curiosity that forged her new path. “There was a point, around 2011, there were like five actresses that I admire very much and they all called me and said, ‘There’s this role of this girlfriend in this movie,’ which was kind of just a terrible movie. And we’re all kind of clamoring for this terrible part? We are so much better than this.” So Witherspoon went about changing things.
“I certainly can’t star in all these movies,” she says. “I want to get a female perspective on film that would make my daughter [Ava] understand what it means to be a woman in a different way.”
Witherspoon—who along with Ava, 16, and son Deacon, 12 (with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe), has a three-year-old son, Tennessee James, with her husband, talent agent Jim Toth—credits Toth for her renewed cinematic mojo. “He said, ‘You should produce movies. You read more books than anybody I know. You should just buy some of them and turn them into films.’ ”
Reese opened the first Draper James store in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. She was supported at the event by her mum and husband, and looked super-pretty in a little dress from her line. We have HQ photos for you in our Gallery, and more information on the opening within this post…
Draper James Nashville: Reese Witherspoon Opens Her First Store
Reese Witherspoon is many things: actress, wife, mom. And now we can add shop girl to her resume. The Nashville native, who launched her fashion line, Draper James, online six months ago, opened her first brick-and-mortar store with a celeb-filled, Southern soiree.
Ever the charming hostess, Reese greeted her guests (roughly 500 of her nearest and dearest, not to mention Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Sheryl Crowe), telling them, “This is such a dream come true!”
Witherspoon, the company’s co-founder and creative director—who has been photographed in her designs many times this year—explained why she decided to open the first Draper James store in Nashville rather than Los Angeles or New York.
“Nashville is an amazing city that is full of music, great food and and amazing artists,” she told the crowd. “About three years ago I said, ‘I have got to do something here because, first of all, I’ve gotta move back to the South. It’s just where it’s at!’”
A couple of weeks ago Reese attended a conference in Nashville to teach teenage girls about the importance of managing their money and planning their futures. The conference was sponsored by Draper James. Read more about the event in the posts below, and see some pictures in our Gallery:
Reese Witherspoon hosts ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Funds’ event
One of Hollywood’s most powerful women joined some of Nashville’s on Tuesday night, all to mentor the city’s next generation of female business leaders.
Five hundred girls from Metro Nashville Public Schools and their women mentors and moms gathered at the Music City Center to learn the tools of financial responsibility.
Harpeth Hall graduate Reese Witherspoon, her new 12 South boutique, Draper James, and First Tennessee Bank sponsored the free conference.
“When it came up that it was the YWCA, I was so excited,” Witherspoon said. “We used to go there when I was a little girl and take Jazzercise classes with my mom, and my grandma took bridge classes there. It’s always been an incredible place of resource for women in this city.”
While in Nashville a couple of weeks ago Reese spoke to Vanderbilt University business students about starting up her Draper James company and how she manages her career. Read more below, and see the photos in our Gallery:
Actress Reese Witherspoon opens up to Vanderbilt business students about starting a new retail store in Nashville—and balancing the rest of her life
When actress and Nashville native Reese Witherspoon shot a movie in Atlanta several years ago—smack in the middle of a culinary and artistic renaissance—she realized there were no stores that captured those uniquely Southern experiences, everything from tailgating to sprawling Sunday suppers.
“I was being approached at that time by some big American brands to represent their businesses,” she said during a Q&A with students Oct. 27 at the Owen Graduate School of Management. “But then I thought, ‘why isn’t anybody telling these Southern stories?’”
Witherspoon’s first inclination was to start a blog showcasing the lifestyles of a new kind of Southern woman—those with a cosmopolitan bent who, like her, have come to embrace their hometowns in cities like Atlanta, Nashville and New Orleans (not unlike Witherspoon’s film Sweet Home Alabama).
12 things we learned about Reese Witherspoon at her American Cinematheque tribute
“All Reese, all Reese, all Reese!”
Matthew McConaughey had it mostly (all) right Friday night in twisting his trademark catchphrase as he presented Reese Witherspoon with the American Cinematheque Award at the annual fundraiser for the nonprofit group.
The bulk of the ceremony, which also honored Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, was devoted to the 39-year-old Witherspoon and the nearly 50 movies she has headlined or produced in a career dating back to her 1991 debut in Robert Mulligan’s lovely coming-of-age story “The Man in the Moon.”
Here are a dozen things we learned about Witherspoon from her many friends and colleagues:
1. Witherspoon will soon reunite with “Election” writer-director Alexander Payne for “Downsizing”, co-starring Matt Damon. Payne says he receives more compliments about “Election,” in which Witherspoon played a ferociously precocious high school student running for class president, than any other movie in his lauded career.
“Even Barack Obama told me it’s his favorite political film,” Payne said.
2. Sofia Vergara calls Witherspoon, her “Hot Pursuit” co-star, “my little pony.” She did not explain why.
3. When country music singer Kenny Chesney thinks of Witherspoon, he thinks of the song “Wild Child,” which he performed at the tribute. But he didn’t explain whether it was because she starred in a movie called “Wild” or because Witherspoon reminds him of the song’s lyrics, (“a spirit that can’t be tamed, a calico pony on an open plain.”) Wait … there’s that pony thing again!
4. Kate Hudson first met Witherspoon at the premiere of “Man in the Moon,” where she watched the young actress work the after-party “like a seasoned politician.” (Witherspoon did the same thing at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza’s ballroom Friday, graciously welcoming dozens of the 800 people in attendance.)
5. The words Hudson heard most early in her career: “It’s between you and Reese” or “Well … Reese has the offer. But if she passes, it might come to you.”
6. Witherspoon will not let guests get away with singing just any old Christmas song like “Frosty the Snowman” at her annual holiday party. “No,” Hudson says, “it’s ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ ”
7. Apparently, Witherspoon’s husband, CAA agent Jim Toth, can’t sing. Or, at least not well. He’s not allowed to participate in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
8. Witherspoon yells at Laura Dern, who played her mom in “Wild,” for not being on social media more. And for using brown lipstick.
9. Dern’s mother, actress Diane Ladd, and Witherspoon’s mom, Betty (who sat next to her daughter at the Cinematheque event), are tight. Dern believes Witherspoon has an innate desire to take care of other people because she “grew up in a home of healthcare providers.”
10. Legendary music man T Bone Burnett had a feeling Witherspoon would win the Best Actress Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line” when he heard her let out an “actual blood-curdling scream” in frustration after wrestling with the classic Carter Family folk song “Wildwood Flower.”
“All the birds flew away,” Burnett remembered of Witherspoon’s cry.
11. Robert Downey Jr. would very much like to order the Bessie Bow table runner from Witherspoon’s clothing and home store Draper James, but he can’t get his credit card to work.
12. Two of Witherspoon’s three children — 16-year-old Ava and 12-year-old Deacon — can’t get enough of this 1991 Entertainment Tonight video, in which a young Reese talks about how much fun it will be to go to the video store in 30 years and rent “The Man in the Moon” on laserdisc and watch it with her kids.
“I thought that was the best moment of my life,” Witherspoon said from the stage. “I was wrong about that. Some days I still can’t believe that I get to do this, that I get to be a storyteller in this world. It is the greatest privilege of my life.”
Reese was featured in the October/November issue of Garden & Gun magazine, talking about Draper James. Below is the interview, and if anyone can provide us with scans from the issue then please get in touch!
Talking Shop With Reese Witherspoon
The Oscar-winning actress on grace, grandmothers, and breaking ground on her Nashville store
Self-determined since childhood, Nashville-raised actor and producer Reese Witherspoon has always been a get-it-done kind of woman. And so it was with Draper James, her budding fashion and lifestyle brand, which she developed because she “couldn’t find the sort of items I wanted anywhere else.” Named after her grandparents, Draper James celebrates what Witherspoon sees as a renaissance in Southern style, featuring playful dresses and jewelry alongside engraved julep cups and embroidered linens. This fall, she plans to open Draper James’s first store, in Nashville, realizing her dream of building a new tradition in the town she credits with building her.
Tell me about the genesis of Draper James.
I started this for many reasons. First, because I was being approached by Northeastern brands to represent them and I thought, I don’t know anything about the Northeast. I don’t even go there very often. [Laughs.] Then, two years ago I was shooting a movie in Atlanta, and I noticed this boom of cultural growth in the South: in food, music, art, fashion. I saw something similar in New Orleans and other places. I feel like a lot of people who left the South are moving back and bringing with them everything they’ve learned from living elsewhere.
You source and develop much of your line in the South. Your denim is sewn in Blue Ridge, Georgia; your linen pillows in Savannah.
Southerners have such pride in their work. I was tapping into a community that already existed. I started the company myself and funded it myself so I wouldn’t have to do what someone else wanted. My goal was to create a retail experience that spoke to Southern people. I feel like Southerners have their own unique sense of style, and I wanted to be a part of telling the story of what it means to be a contemporary Southern woman.
You’ve always been a bit of an ambassador on that front.
My mother always said, “If you want to get something done, ask a Southern woman to do it.” It’s so true. No matter what you need, within twenty-four hours it has gotten done. The last movie I shot in Georgia, I couldn’t find summer camps for my kids. And I asked one friend, the phone tree happened, and before the day was over I not only had a camp but also women volunteering to drive and pick up the kids. It’s incredible how Southern women take care of each other.
Reese made an appearance on The Today Show yesterday to promote Draper James again; below is the TV segment and an extended interview from the show. At the end of the post is another video about Draper James from The Today Show, which I think might’ve aired earlier in the year.
Reese Witherspoon tours her new store, reveals what her kids find ‘mortifying’
Reese Witherspoon often comes across as the ultimate Southern belle. But the Nashville-born actress admits she’s not always so refined at home, much to the dismay of her children.
“Well, I like to have dance party in the morning. Because I drink coffee in the night, I have lots of energy,” the Oscar-winning actress told TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager recently. “And it’s mortifying to my children.”
Also embarrassing, particularly to her teenage daughter, are the trendy hashtags or acronyms Witherspoon likes to use when texting or on social media — like YOLO.
“Or LOL, BRB,” she said with a laugh. “Ava’s like, ‘Oh my God, you have got to stop.'”
Witherspoon opened up to Hager during a tour of her new Nashville storefront for her business, Draper James, which sells a line of Southern-inspired women’s apparel, accessories and home accents.
Witherspoon said it can be difficult balancing her Hollywood career with her recent job as a business owner, but she said she always makes sure she makes her family her top priority.
“The kids come first, no matter what,” she said. “My kids are so wonderful. I mean, they’ve been so supportive of what I do as a filmmaker, what I’ve been doing as an entrepreneur.”
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