‘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.”Continue reading this entry »
Added to our Gallery today are 3 fabulous HQ stills from the upcoming final episode of Big Little Lies:
• Big Little Lies > Stills x3 more
The 6th and penultimate episode of Big Little Lies – ‘Burning Love’ – aired on Sunday on HBO. It was a relatively slow-burning episode, but set up a potentially fast-paced and exciting finale. The episode show-cased another fantastic and particularly nuanced performance from Reese – she had a couple of very emotive and profound scenes, and one particularly hilarious scene. Madeline is in some ways taking a bit of a backseat to Celeste and Jane, who are both currently at the centre of the main part of the drama/mystery storyline, but she’s bringing real heart and humour to the show, not to mention Reese’s usual perkiness. I can’t wait to see how the show wraps up!
HD screencaptures from ‘Burning Love’ are in our Gallery:
The final episode of Big Little Lies airs next Sunday – here’s a preview:
After yet another fight, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) makes a bold move. Before the school’s long-awaited fall fundraiser, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) deals with fallout from her past, while Jane (Shailene Woodley) learns who’s really been hurting Amabella (Ivy George) at school.
The Gallery has been updated with an additional 150+ HQ photos from this years Vanity Fair Oscars Party. I really loved Reese’s simple but chic Michael Kors dress, and I also loved seeing her snapped backstage with friends Isla Fisher, Amy Adams and Elizabeth Banks! Have a browse of the new photos in our Gallery:
• The Oscars – Vanity Fair After Party x155 more
The penultimate episode of Big Little Lies airs tonight on HBO, and over the past week we’ve added HQ stills from the episode to our Gallery. HBO have also released a clip from the show which does not show Madeline unfortunately, but focuses on Celeste – watch that below. We’ll have screencaptures and clips from this new episode for you in the coming days. Be sure to tune in to watch the show tonight if you can!
Scans from 3 new/recent magazines Reese has been featured in this year have been added to the Gallery. She’s on the cover of the new issue of Psychologies (UK), which features the much-under used 2015 Time magazine photoshoot; Woman & Home (South Africa) re-print an old In Style photoshoot in a nice spread; and US TV Guide had a short feature on Big Little Lies in their February issue.
On a side note, we’ve noticed people are reposting large sections of our Gallery on blog/social media pages. In the future we ask that you post a link to the content on our site rather than simply reposting everything with no credit. Thanks.