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.
Behind Elizabeth Arden’s Campaign With Storyteller in Chief Reese Witherspoon
The goal is to show a younger audience Elizabeth Arden is more than their grandmother’s red lipstick.
By any measure Reese Witherspoon’s image would be enough to power a social campaign, especially after her recent Emmy haul for “Big Little Lies.”
But as the storyteller in chief for Elizabeth Arden, Witherspoon and Iced Media, the digital agency behind a new campaign, ventured in a different direction.
“It would have been easy to focus on this A-list celebrity and that’s what you see a lot of brands do when they have a face that is globally recognized,” explained Leslie Hall, president of Iced Media.
But Iced took a deeper dive, using parallels between Witherspoon and Arden as entrepreneurs and champions of women’s rights. “We took those kinship moments,” Hall said.
The campaign kicked off last week across Facebook, YouTube and Instagram with the third installment going live this week. The latter chronicles Arden’s efforts providing suffragettes with red lipstick. Witherspoon’s Instagram kicking it off last week already has more than 579,000 views.
Hall explained the videos dovetail with Elizabeth Arden’s direction as a company to harken back to the brand’s founder and telling her story in a more pronounced way. “We are tapping into that zeitgeist of powerful women and showing some of her firsts in the beauty business.” Arden’s role in the growth of the beauty industry was also put on the front burner in “War Paint” on Broadway.
The video spots use animation and graphic overlays juxtaposed to Witherspoon’s present day first-person narration.
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.”
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To celebrate our 16 years online, here we are spotlighting 16 of our favourite Reese things from the past 16 years. You will see a new one upon refreshing or changing the page.
"It took me years to be the woman my mother raised. It took me 4 years, 7 months and 3 days to do it, without her. After I lost myself in the wilderness of my grief, I found my own way out of the woods."
Untitled TV Project with Jennifer Aniston
Luckiest Girl Alive
Tiny Beautiful Things
Barbie origins project
In A Dark, Dark Wood
Untitled Rob Long Project
The Thing About Jellyfish
All Is Not Forgotten
Three Little Words
Pale Blue Dot
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