Reese Witherspoon on Portraying Hillary Clinton, Finding Great Roles for Women
Reese Witherspoon offered plenty of encouragement to fellow producers on Saturday morning by stressing the need to focus on the female audience — as demonstrated by her recent producing efforts, “Wild,” “Gone Girl” and “Hot Pursuit.”
“Women make up 50 percent of the population,” she said. “We should make up 50% of the movies we see.”
Speaking at the Producers Guild of America’s 7th annual “Produced By” conference on the Paramount lot, Witherspoon said the success of her Pacific Standard company stems partly from Hollywood knowing what to expect from the shingle. Witherspoon noted that she and partner Bruna Papandrea created the banner out of frustration with a lack of interesting roles for actresses.
“It is great to have specificity because people know what to send you,” Witherspoon noted. “We are looking for great female parts.”
But Witherspoon also noted that Pacific Standard wants to succeed on the basis on story. “The films we make are not chick flicks,” she insisted. “‘Wild’ is just about a human being.”
Speaking to a capacity crowd of more than 500 at the Paramount Theater, Witherspoon also addressed the question of whether she’d ever portray Hillary Clinton. She responded by saying that she’s been asked to do so several times and wryly pointed out that she portrayed a young version of Clinton as Tracy Flick in 1998’s “Election.”
“When I did meet Hillary Clinton she said, ‘Everybody talks to me about Tracy Flick in ‘Election,’” Witherspoon added.
Asked by moderator Will Packer if they believed they had made any mistakes with “Wild,” Witherspoon responded: “Shooting 55 locations in 30 days was probably not the best way to start, but we were determined.”
Both producers noted that they were also pregnant at the time. Papandrea said being a mother is not a disadvantage.
“I make better decisions because when I’m leaving my children, I want to do something I love,” she said.