When Reese Witherspoon was in rehearsals for her lead role in the 2005 film Walk the Line, she wanted to quit–every day. But she went on to win the Oscar for her performance as June Carter Cash. Since then, she’s gone from playing iconic roles in films (Legally Blonde, Election, Water for Elephants) to also producing and starring in her own TV shows and movies (Little Fires Everywhere, Big Little Lies, Wild). Reese talks to Adam about how she’s built confidence by facing her doubts head on, and shares why acknowledging what she doesn’t know has helped her found a company–which was recently acquired for $900 million–that finally puts women at the center of their stories. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/RWAG7
Reese Witherspoon Reflects on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and How She’s Spending the Holidays
Nothing but sweet memories for Reese Witherspoon!
ET’s Cassie DiLaura spoke to the actress at the Something From Tiffany’s premiere, where she discussed the parallels between her new rom-com and her iconic Tiffany’s moment in 2002’s Sweet Home Alabama.
“I think there is something so magical about that Tiffany’s moment,” Witherspoon gushed. “I hear about it all the time, people say, that moment from Sweet Home Alabama, just really stays with people. I always love collaborating with the brand, ’cause it’s just this timeless, classic, beautiful brand and doesn’t everybody love something in a little blue box?”
As for what she loved most about shooting that “magical” scene at the beloved jewelry store — a scene she recreated back in 2015 — Witherspoon told ET it had to be having Tiffany’s all to herself.
“I think I was like, 24 years old, and it was a night shoot, so we were up all night, and they had closed down the whole store, so we were allowed to walk around and look at all the jewelry, everything,” The Morning Show star recounted. “And it was just magical. It was very magical.”
Witherspoon’s latest turn behind the camera brings that same sparkle, with Something From Tiffany’s bringing that rom-com magic to a new Christmas-time film. In the movie, out Dec. 9, Zoey Deutch plays a woman whose life gets upended when an engagement ring that was for someone else leads her to the person she’s meant to be with.
“It’s just a classic, kind of, misunderstanding movie, with it being Christmas, you got New York at Christmas time,” Witherspoon, who serves as an executive producer on the project, said. “It’s just one of those movies you want to sit and watch over and over again.”
With the holiday season around the corner, Witherspoon said she’ll be doing just that, as she and her family get cozy by the fire.
“Oh, so much fun,” she said of how the holidays will look like at her home. “We just do lots of baking and sitting cozy by the fire, I watched the Lindsay Lohan movie — loved it. Loved. Stuff like that. Things that are like, cozy and Christmas-y and holiday.”
Something From Tiffany’s premieres Dec. 9 on Prime Video.
Reese Witherspoon to Star in ‘Election’ Sequel ‘Tracy Flick Can’t Win’ at Paramount+
Reese Witherspoon is reprising her role as go-getter Tracy Flick in “Tracy Flick Can’t Win,” a sequel to the 1999 political comedy “Election.”
Alexander Payne, who co-wrote and directed the original film, is returning for the follow-up, which is set to debut on Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount+. In addition to directing, Payne will write the movie adaptation with Jim Taylor.
In “Election,” based on the 1998 novel by Tom Perrotta, Witherspoon portrayed an ambitious, Type-A student whose social studies teacher (played by Matthew Broderick) attempts to sabotage her campaign to become school president. Although it wasn’t a box office draw, the movie was nominated at the Oscars for best adapted screenplay, while Witherspoon landed attention at the Golden Globes in the best actress race.
The sequel, based on Perrotta’s follow-up novel that published earlier this year, picks up with Tracy in adulthood as she continues to struggle to fight her way to the top at work. She’s the assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey, but she sets her sights on the top job as her boss announces plans to retire.
In the New York Times’ review, critic Molly Young described the follow-up story as “even more piercing than its predecessor” and praised Perrotta’s characters as “exquisitely drawn.” Meanwhile, Vox’s Constance Grady calls Tracy Flick “a Rorschach test for how we think about women, ambition, and the power dynamics of sex. “
Witherspoon will produce the film with Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine, a Candle Media company. Additional producers include Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Productions. Perrotta is executive producing.
Witherspoon is filming the next season of “The Morning Show” for Apple TV+ and will appear next in Netflix’s romantic comedy “Your Place or Mine.”
Payne, best known for “Citizen Ruth,” “The Descendants” and “Nebraska,” is currently working on “The Holdovers” with his “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti.
Perrotta’s prior novels “Election” Little Children” were adapted into Oscar-nominated films, while “The Leftovers” and “Mrs. Fletcher” were turned into acclaimed HBO shows.
Reese’s final promotional appearance this week was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday evening. They played a fun game of ‘What’s Behind Me’, and Reese chatted about Busy Betty, The Morning Show season 3, Dolly Parton, and Hello Sunshine. Reese again opted for Alexander McQueen for this appearance, wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress and belt from the designer, with shoes by Christian Louboutin. Watch the interview below, and find HD screencaptures and stills in our Gallery:
Reese appeared on Today with Hoda and Jenna on Tuesday, to promote her new children’s book Busy Betty. Reese talked about her early experiences of business – including lemonade stands – and that she was “kooky” and had a “big personality” as a child! She said she didn’t play much with other children as she was too busy performing and singing Dolly Parton to them, and that her kindergarten teacher told her Mom this and her Mom put her in acting classes! She also talked about how she’s always found it important to see how different parts of film-making happen (she worked as a production assistant when she was younger), and the work she is doing now to develop more roles for women. Reese talked about the spirit of Busy Betty, as well as the difference between parenting young children and adult children. They mentioned that it is the 20th anniversary of Sweet Home Alabama and Reese said she’d “make some calls” to get a reboot/sequel made! 😉 Reese’s gorgeous red jacket and trousers are by Alexander McQueen, and her shoes are Christian Louboutin.
Watch the interview below, and find HD screencaptures, still from the show, and some photos of Reese arriving at the studios in our Gallery:
Reese appeared on Good Morning America yesterday, as part of her promotional tour for Busy Betty. She talked about how she came up with the idea of Busy Betty – she was looking through photos of herself as a child during the pandemic and was reminded of all the businesses she started when she was little, and she wanted to write a book to teach children about business concepts. She talked about the influence of her parents on her work ethic, the trouble she got into as a child with her businesses, her kids, how she harnessed her creativity to become successful, and The Morning Show. Reese wore a striking blue jacket and trousers by Alexander McQueen, with a Lafayette shirt and Manolo Blahnik shoes.
Watch the interview below, and find HD screencaptures from the interview and photos of Reese outside the studios in our Gallery:
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Developing ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ Movie With Build-A-Bear This marks the first feature from the kids and animation division of Witherspoon’s company. The reimagining of the classic tale will lean heavily into the title character as a powerful female protagonist.
Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Harden’s production company Hello Sunshine and Build-A-Bear Entertainment are partnering to develop a reimagination of the classic children’s story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
The movie — which marks the first feature from Hello Sunshine’s kids and animation division — will be a modern take on the classic tale that leans into the title character as a powerful female protagonist.
Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine’s head of kids and animation, Claire Curley, will executive produce the project alongside Build-A-Bear’s Sharon Price John and Foundation Media Partners’ Patrick Hughes. Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden said the hope is “for this collaboration to provide families a new way to experience and share” the company’s mission.
This is the first partnership between Hello Sunshine and Build-A-Bear, the global family-friendly branded toy and entertainment company.
“Over the last 25 years, Build-A-Bear has created a trusted fanbase rooted in family, personal connection, and storytelling with teddy bears, making them the perfect partner for this project,” Curley said in a statement. “We’re excited to collaborate with them to bring a new perspective to such a timeless tale that we know will inspire young audiences.”
Reese and Lauren Neustadter (Hello Sunshine’s President of Film & TV) have been named The Hollywood Reporter’s TV Producers Of The Year! Congratulations to Reese and Lauren on this prestigious honour! The September 28th edition of the magazine had a new interview and portraits of Reese and Lauren – read the article below, and find the scans and photos in our Gallery. Really great seeing Reese honored for her work so much 😀
Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter Are Doing Just Fine Without the Boys Club
Hello Sunshine’s top creative duo — and THR’s TV Producers of the Year — on that $900 million sale, a rom-com renaissance and the potential return of ‘Big Little Lies’: “I talk to Nicole Kidman about it all the time.”
Reading isn’t only fundamental. Sometimes, it’s incredibly lucrative. Reese Witherspoon proved that in 2021 when she sold Hello Sunshine, the media company she built on the back of her own voracious reading and savvy book rights acquisitions, to Blackstone-backed Candle Media for a reported $900 million. Not too shabby for a production outfit that many might have been quick to write off as another actor’s vanity shingle. But Witherspoon’s tastes — and those of Lauren Neustadter, Hello Sunshine’s president of film and TV — have populated one of the most thriving content suppliers in Hollywood. Blending marquee ensemble vehicles for its founder (Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere and The Morning Show) with an aggressive slate of dramas starring the likes of Octavia Spencer (Truth Be Told), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Surface) and Zoe Saldaña (From Scratch, out Oct. 21 on Netflix), Hello Sunshine’s focus on female stories (from female storytellers) has made it a standout.
Further distinguishing the brand is its ever-diversifying portfolio. In February, the company acquired media and merchandising startup The Home Edit. And in July, it saw its first theatrical release since Hello Sunshine’s 2016 founding, Where the Crawdads Sing. The picture, an adaptation of an early Reese’s Book Club selection, grossed $130 million on a $24 million budget. Speaking in mid-September over Zoom, Witherspoon and Neustadter, THR‘s TV Producers of the Year, discussed new areas that they’ve identified for expansion, the biggest obstacle in populating sets with women and why Hollywood should be preparing for the impending rom-com renaissance.
You just hit the one-year anniversary of the sale. How would you describe this era of the company?
REESE WITHERSPOON It’s a big year for romance for us. We have a movie in December with Zoey Deutch called Something From Tiffany’s, a real return of the rom-com. And Ashton Kutcher and I have a movie coming out at Valentine’s Day, Your Place or Mine.
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