Almost 20 Years After ‘Legally Blonde 2,’ Reese Witherspoon and Regina King Talk About Changing Hollywood
HBO’s “Watchmen,” Regina King plays Angela Abar, also known as the masked police detective Sister Night. A drama about the legacy of racial trauma, “Watchmen” shows us the way we live now through the lens of the eponymous 1986 graphic novel — a world in which costumed vigilantes are very much a real thing. Reese Witherspoon — who worked with King in “Legally Blonde 2” in 2003 — was in three shows recently: “Big Little Lies,” “The Morning Show” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” In the last one, set in upper-middle-class Shaker Heights, Ohio, in the ’90s, she plays Elena Richardson, an uptight white woman we would now call a Karen. Angela would arrest Elena for her white privilege.
Note: This conversation for Variety‘s Actors on Actors took place before the protests over police brutality swept through the United States — which is too bad, because “Watchmen,” which aired in the fall, was prescient about such things.
Reese Witherspoon: I feel like I met you when I was 23 years old.
Regina King: I know — we have grown children. We met each other on “Legally Blonde.” Remember when you got Sally Field to play that part? We were just fanning out. And you got to do that again on “Big Little Lies” with Meryl Streep. How do you do it, girl? Putting on your producer cap and your acting cap — are you wearing them simultaneously?
Witherspoon: Well, I try and make them an offer they can’t refuse. I knew I wanted to work with you too. I remember seeing you in “Jerry Maguire,” and I was like, “I’m going to work with her.” You had a spirit inside of you. You have won so many Emmys at this point. Do you have a favorite moment, or a moment that just sits in your heart, that you can never forget? Or the Oscar!
King: They’re all special moments. What about you? I remember when you won the Oscar, and I might have had one drink three times at the Vanity Fair party, and it was such a pure moment. I remember standing at the table eating In-N-Out burgers with your Oscar there. It was so joyous, but you were still my girl.Continue reading this entry »
Variety, PBS SoCal Takes ‘Actors on Actors’ Virtual with Jennifer Aniston, Zendaya, Chris Evans
Variety and PBS SoCal have announced the actor lineup and schedule for Season 12 of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.”
The new season of the Emmy-winning series was filmed entirely from actors’ homes and includes one-on-one conversations between stars from potential contending shows in this year’s Emmy race. The first two episodes will premiere on PBS SoCal on Friday, July 17, at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. with episodes three and four premiering on Friday, July 24, at 8 p.m. and 8:30 pm. All episodes will stream on pbssocal.org and on the free PBS Video app following their premieres.
The conversations include Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”) with Lisa Kudrow (“Space Force,” “Feel Good”); Henry Cavill (“The Witcher”) with Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: Picard”); Kieran Culkin (“Succession”) with Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”); Russell Crowe (“The Loudest Voice in the Room”) with Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”); Claire Danes (“Homeland”) with Damian Lewis (“Billions”); Daveed Diggs (“Snowpiercer”) with Anthony Mackie (“Black Mirror,” “Altered Carbon”); Chris Evans (“Defending Jacob”) with Paul Rudd (“Living with Yourself”); Anne Hathaway (“Modern Love”) with Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education”); Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”) with Paul Mescal (“Normal People”); Regina King (“Watchmen”) with Reese Witherspoon (“Little Fires Everywhere”, “Big Little Lies”, “The Morning Show”); Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) with Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”); Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”) with Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”); and Zendaya (“Euphoria”) with Mj Rodriguez (“Pose”).
“Variety is excited to debut the 2020 ‘Actors on Actors’ Emmy Edition directly from the safety of the homes of this season’s top Emmy-award contending talent,” said Variety group publisher and chief revenue officer, Michelle Sobrino-Stearns. “Our partnership with PBS SoCal on Variety’s three-time Emmy winning series takes our viewers inside the biggest television shows of the past year through these candid one-on-one conversations.”
Variety’s Actors on Actors issue will hit newsstands on June 23 with clips appearing on Variety.com starting June 22nd. “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” will air on PBS stations across the nation starting in July, and on the WORLD Channel (check local listings).
Reese recently took part (via video) in a tribute to director/producer Lynn Shelton, who recently passed away. Lynn was an executive producer for Little Fires Everywhere, and directed episodes of that series plus The Morning Show. Watch the tribute below – Reese comes in at about 35 minutes. You can donate to support The Shelton/Seal Family Fund for Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children here: northwestschool.com/donate/the-shelton-seal-fund/
Lynn Shelton Tribute with Marc Maron, Emily Blunt, and More Set for YouTube
Marc Maron, Emily Blunt, and many more are set to appear during the star-studded streaming telecast of “Her Effortless Brilliance: A Celebration of Lynn Shelton Through Film and Music.” The Lynn Shelton tribute will air live tonight at 9pm ET/6pm PT on YouTube and will continue to be free to stream on the platform afterwards. Viewers can watch the live stream in the embedded video below.
Shelton’s longtime friend Megan Griffiths directed the tribute and produced it alongside Mel Eslyn, the Duplass brothers, and Adam Kersh. Among the actors slated to speak are Blunt, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark and Jay Duplass, Jeff Garlin, Joshua Leonard, Sean Nelson, Michaela Watkins, and Reese Witherspoon. Musicians scheduled to perform include Maron, Andrew Bird, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Laura Veirs, and Tomo Nakayama.Continue reading this entry »
From the moment Mia and Pearl Warren set foot in Shaker Heights, OH, the narrative of Little Fires Everywhere begins to unpack issues of race, class and motherhood in American Suburbia.
Reese Witherspoon’s phone stopped ringing. Now she’s making the calls
Sitting next to Nicole Kidman in makeup on the set of “Big Little Lies,” Reese Witherspoon had questions. Loads of questions. What was it like to work with Stanley Kubrick? How did you do the musical numbers in “Moulin Rouge!”? Witherspoon loves movies. At age 44, she has been working on sets for three decades and enjoys nothing more than digging into film lore.
Kidman, though, had more existential musings she wanted to explore. “Do you ever think about dying, Reese?” Kidman would ask her costar. “Because I think about it all the time.”
“And she’s like, ‘Nope, I don’t think about it because I know where I’m going,’” Kidman relates over the phone from her Nashville home. “I wish I had her certainty. Reese doesn’t fear things, that’s for certain.”
Hearing Kidman’s story, Witherspoon laughs, chalking her faith up to her Episcopal upbringing in Nashville. She went to church every Wednesday and Sunday, singing her heart out in the church choir for nine years and loving every minute of it.
“I don’t have a lot of fear, that’s true,” Witherspoon says. “There’s a time and a purpose and a place, and I don’t fear death, because I know there’s heaven. I know it.”
We’re talking on the phone in early May, Witherspoon from her home in Pacific Palisades, where she’s been sheltering in place with her husband, Quibi exec Jim Toth; her college-student daughter, Ava; and younger sons, Deacon and Tennessee. The national protests against racism and police violence following the police killing of another black man, George Floyd, are weeks away. At this moment, all I’m wondering is how Witherspoon can be so certain about the afterlife. It’d be nice to feel sure of something right now.
“My daughter asked me that the other day, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know. I just know,’” Witherspoon says. “I believe deeply that there’s a higher power — and I don’t know what that is — but I just don’t fear dying. A lot of people have these repressive experiences with religion, and I didn’t. I felt this incredible acceptance and that everyone has a gift and we’re all God’s children and your purpose in the world is to find the gifts that God gave you.”
Unlike the entitled woman she played on the Hulu limited series “Little Fires Everywhere,” Witherspoon possesses a self-awareness about her privilege and position, knowledge forged through 30 years of working in Hollywood, seeing and experiencing inequities that made her push for equal-pay-for-equal-work agreements and to start her own media company, Hello Sunshine, to, among other things, tell stories about women – all kinds of women.Continue reading this entry »
Reese shows us how to make her trusted green smoothie recipe that she’s been drinking for years! It’s delicious, nutritious, and great for your skin. Enjoy!
‘Legally Blonde 3’: Mindy Kaling & Dan Goor Giving Fresh Take To MGM-Hello Sunshine Sequel
We have learned tonight that Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor have officially signed on to write MGM’s Legally Blonde 3. This is the second feature film that Kaling and Goor are partnering on, the first being the Kaling/Priyanka Chopra wedding comedy that Universal won in a heated auction last year, which Deadline also told you about first.
Reese Witherspoon remains aboard, reprising her role as attorney Elle Woods, producing through her Hello Sunshine studio with the franchise’s original producer Marc Platt.
Deadline exclusively announced Legally Blonde 3 close to two years, with original scribes Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah penning. Kaling and Goor’s version isn’t a makeover, nor are they doing touch-ups, rather their screenplay will have an entirely new fresh spin.
Also producing are Hello Sunshine banner head of Film and Television Lauren Neustadter and Adam Siegel, President of Platt Productions.
Even though many feature productions are closed, the new MGM Film Group headed by Mike De Luca and Pamela Abdy remains very busy in development. Recently, they announced several film projects including Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, The Martian author Andy Weir’s next novel (aka Project Hail Mary) with Phil Lord and Chris Miller attached to direct, George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing, David Slade’s Dark Harvest (opening Oct. 24, 2021) and Ridley Scott’s Lady Gaga Gucci project on Nov. 26, 2021.
Kaling recently co-created and is the executive producer on the critically acclaimed Netflix comedy series Never Have I Ever which follows an Indian American teenage girl and is inspired by Kaling’s own childhood. Last summer she co-created and executive produced the Hulu series Four Weddings and a Funeral based on the hit 1990s romantic comedy. Her movie Late Night which she stars in, wrote and produced, made its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Amazon for $13M. Kaling counts two SAG ensemble wins and six Emmy noms for NBC’s The Office as EP and star. She also was the EP and star of The Mindy Project on Fox. Kaling is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Ziffren Brittenham,
Goor is a two-time Emmy winning writer of The Daily Show and Late Night With Conan O’Brien. He is the co-creator of Universal Television’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and was an EP and writer on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He is repped by Ziffren Brittenham. Witherspoon is represented by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.
Both Legally Blonde pics amassed close to $267M at the WW box office. The first title was a cash cow for MGM made for a reported $18M and earning $141.7M. The movies spawned a 2007 Broadway musical which received seven Tony nominations and ten Drama Desk nominations.
Reese Witherspoon To Star In Two Netflix Romcoms From Hello Sunshine: Aggregate-Produced, Aline Brosh McKenna-Helmed ‘Your Place Or Mine’ & ‘The Cactus’
Netflix has set a deal for two feature starring vehicles for Reese Witherspoon, her first with the streaming service. Her Hello Sunshine has teamed with Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan to produce Your Place Or Mine, a romantic comedy that will mark the feature directorial debut of Aline Brosh McKenna, whose script credits include The Devil Wears Prada and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Netflix has also acquired for Witherspoon the Sarah Haywood bestselling novel The Cactus, which will be fashioned as a second star vehicle which Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter to produce.
Your Place Or Mine focuses on two long-distance best friends who change each other’s lives when she decides to pursue a lifelong dream and he volunteers to keep an eye on her teenage son. The film will be produced by Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Neustadter and Aggregate’s Bateman and Costigan, and McKenna under her Lean Machine banner. She wrote the screenplay. Aggregate has its first look at Netflix, where Bateman stars in, directs and exec produces Ozark, which completed its third season (Netflix disclosed to shareholders the series drew 29 million viewers in the first four weeks).
Witherspoon has produced and starred in projects for Apple (The Morning Show), Hulu (Little Fires Everywhere) and HBO (Big Little Lies), and now she’s joined Netflix.
“We have been looking for the right feature opportunities to collaborate with Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and the entire team at Netflix for a while and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with them on these two romantic comedies,” Witherspoon said. “Both Sarah Haywood’s and Aline Brosh McKenna’s stories blend everything we love about traditional RomComs with strong, smart and determined female leads.
In The Cactus, an unexpected pregnancy at 45 causes a reserved woman to rethink the structured life she has created for herself and leads her on an unconventional journey toward love, family and learning to embrace the unexpected. The book was published on May 7, 2019 by Park Row.Continue reading this entry »