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Reese Witherspoon as

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Reese’s Role



• Director Alexander Payne wanted to associate Tracy Flick with straight lines, and Mr McAllister with circles. He admitted that he didn’t think he did that very well throughout the film.
• The film was shot at a real school, and real classes were being held in adjacent classrooms to the ones seen in the film. Also, every high school student extra seen in the film is a real student from a school in Omaha.
• Alexander Payne says Tracy Flick is more sexual in the novel than in his film – he didn’t think that would be interesting for the film, and preferred to “emphasise her youth and being a little kid still.” This was especially important to him in Tracy’s scenes with Dave Novotny.
• One of the scenes cut from the final version of the movie was of Tracy and Dave in bed together, and Tracy not really enjoying herself much.
• A sub-plot and character that was cut from the final version was that of a character named David who was Tracy’s little helper and who was in love with her. He is seen early on in the film putting up banners for Tracy just before she spots Paul running for president.
• Apples were used throughout the movie as a sign of temptation.
• Reese actually did the ‘stunt’ of falling off the bin when fixing the falling sign, and she did it in one take. Neith she nor Alexander Payne wanted to rely on a stunt double. She did put some padding on, though!
• That same scene where tracy is ripping up all the signs was also done in a single take, as it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and everyone wanted to get home!
• A scene depicting Tracy as Lady MacBeth, washing and washing her hands to get the blood off, was cut.
• Another deleted scene involved showing Tracy and her mother in the kitchen together making the Pick Flick cupcakes at 5:30am. Alexander Payne described this scene as showing how Tracy’s mother is really the one ‘propelling’ her, and how Tracy herself may be unwilling. In that same scene, Tracy also confessed to her mother that she fears she may not win the election, and Tracy’s mother responds with ‘Tracy Flick’s a winner!’.
• Alexander Payne says Reese is “so very good in this movie”.
• Scenes showing Tracy being interviewed on local TV about the election scandal were cut.
• Tracy got into Georgetown University like she wanted to – with scholarships!
• Alexander Payne likes the scene near the end of the movie where Tracy’s voiceover is saying that something still doesn’t feel right, as he thinks it shows a “tiny realisation [for Tracy] that she’s on the wrong path and that maybe she’s not going to have have much personal satisfaction or connection with others.” They didn’t want to make a big deal about that, but felt it was definitely a part of someone like that.


Quotes » Reese, Cast & Crew

Reese Witherspoon – “”

Reese Witherspoon – “[It’s] A comedy about the nuances of everyday life, the ennui of everyday life and the reality of that, in a tone similar to an early Coen brothers movie. But it’s very different. Alexander has a unique voice, but a similar sensibility.”

Alexander Payne – “A nice thing to watch in Reese is how she listens. When she acts, she’s really good because she’s reacting throughout the film, you see her thinking and it’s always interesting to see a character thinking.”

Alexander Payne – “She inhabited that role fully, but she can do all these other roles. You see a woman in her, not a girl. She’s going to be interesting for a long time.”

Alexander Payne – “She has such intelligence and humor, so it was a joyous leap of faith. Working with her, I kept thinking of Holly Hunter, she is an actress who is equally at home in character roles and in leads and in comedy and in drama. Reese has that kind of range, as an actress and as a human being.”

Alexander Payne – “I still get compliments on Reese Witherspoon in ‘Election. I hope in all of my films you see actors in a way you’ve never seen them before in anything else.” [speaking in 2011]


Quotes » Character

Tracy: [narrating] “None of this would have happened if Mr. McAllister hadn’t meddled the way he did. He should have just accepted things as they are instead of trying to interfere with destiny. You see, you can’t interfere with destiny. That’s why it’s destiny. And if you try to interfere, the same thing’s going to happen anyway, and you’ll just suffer.”

Tracy: “It’s like my mom says, “The weak are always trying to sabatoge the strong.”

Tracy: “When I think back on my relationship with Mr. Novotny, what I miss most… is our talks.”

Tracy: “Good morning, Mr. M. Looks like you could use a CUPCAKE!”

Tracy: “You might think it upset me that Paul Metzler had decided to run against me but nothing could be further from the truth. He was no competition for me; it was like apples and oranges. I had to work a little harder, that’s all, see I believe in the voters; they understand that elections aren’t just popularity contests, they know this country was built by people just like me who work very hard and don’t have everything handed to them on a silver spoon. Not like some rich kids who everybody likes because their fathers owns Metzlers cement and give them trucks on their 16th birthday and throw them big parties all the time. No, they don’t ever have to work for anything. They think they can just all of a sudden one day out of the blue waltz right in with no qualifications what’s so ever and try to take away what other people have worked very, very hard for their entire lives. No, it didn’t bother me at all.”

Tracy: “I don’t know what you’re referring to, but maybe if certain older, wiser people hadn’t acted like such little babies, and gotten so mushy, then everything would be ok… and I think certain older people, like you, and your colleague, shouldn’t be leching after their students, especially when some of them can’t even get their own wives pregnant… and they certainly shouldn’t be making slanderous accusations, especially when certain young, naive peoples’ mothers are paralegal secretaries at the cities biggest law firm, and have won many successful law suits, and if you want to keep questioning me like this, I won’t continue without my attorney present.”

Tracy: “Dear Lord Jesus, I do not often speak with you and ask for things, but now, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn’t, as you well know. I realize that it was your divine hand that disqualified Tammy Metzler and now I’m asking that you go that one last mile and make sure to put me in office where I belong so that I may carry out your will on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.”





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