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Reese Witherspoon as

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Reese’s Role

Director and screenwriter Roger Kumble said of the casting of Reese and development of the role of Annette: “We got into disagreements over who was going to play Annette. The studio wanted Katie Holmes, who was just starting to do Dawson’s Creek. And I liked this actor Vinessa Shaw. And they were both great. But this was early Katie, and I thought we needed someone with a little more strength of character. And we just couldn’t agree. And then, literally, I was hanging out with Ryan one night and I was like, ‘What about your girlfriend?’. So, basically, we took Reese out to dinner to get her drunk, and we ended up getting drunk. And I literally got down on my knees and begged her: ‘Please, it’ll be 15 days, you’ll be great.’ And Reese was like, ‘I’ll do it. But we need to work on the character.’ I’m like, ‘Anything, anything, anything.’ She wanted to strengthen the character, and she was right. And she and I got together, and we gave Annette more bite so she wasn’t a doormat. And I’m very grateful to her for that.”

Reese said “I thought we were all just going to dinner as friends, and then Roger and Ryan asked me to do the movie. [Laughs] I remember a lot of coercing.” Roger Kumble added “It had nothing to do with “Oh, let’s cast [Ryan’s] girlfriend.” The world hadn’t seen Election, but we knew how talented Reese was. He just happened to be going out with her at the time.”

“It’s true, she came and sat with me for a week, and we worked on the dialogue together. Annette was the character most removed from me,” Kumble confirmed. “There’s no way the movie would have its success if it weren’t for [Reese’s] talent as a writer.”

Reese said of her character, “I remember finding Annette too demure and too much of a woman influenced by a guy’s manipulations. I was starting what I guess became my bigger mission in life — of questioning why women were written certain ways on film.”




Quotes » Reese, Cast & Crew

Reese Witherspoon – “”

Roger Kumble – “There were two scenes where I kind of gave them their space and made the set as comfortable as possible: The lovemaking scene — in any situation like that, you shut the set down — and the breakup scene. For the lovemaking scene, there were a couple of movies I referenced … Theo van de Sande, who shot Cruel Intentions, who was really my film teacher because I had only directed theater, we watched a lot of film together … So I go, ‘This is what I’m going for. I don’t want it to be exploitative, I want it to be beautiful.’ There was a lovemaking scene in The Player, with Tim Robbins and Greta Scacchi, for example. So once Ryan and Reese were comfortable and Theo and I were comfortable and they saw what I was trying to do, there was that scene. What I do in situations like that in anything I’m working on is I just drop the pretentions of the job and go, ‘OK, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. I’m about to film a sex scene with you and I feel weird.’ And then usually they’re like, ‘No, no, no, we get it — it’s weird.’ And then I go, ‘How do I make it less weird; let’s all be on the same page.’ If you notice in the movie, there’s no nudity except Ryan. Because I don’t need to see Annette nude; I don’t need to see Kathryn nude. The words are speaking for it. So even though we kind of sweated them up in the sex scene, he’s on top. We didn’t have to go there.” – on the sex scene in the film


Quotes » Character





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Last Updated: 2023

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