December 7, 2019 • Category: Hello Sunshine, Producing •
Comments Off on ‘Truth Be Told’: How the Apple TV+ Drama Came to Be, From Pitch to Screen
Truth Be Told is a new crime-drama series for AppleTV+ that Reese executive produced through Hello Sunshine. Below is an interview with some of the other producers about how the show was developed – there is only a brief mention of Reese, but still an interesting look at the work put in.
‘Truth Be Told’: How the Apple TV+ Drama Came to Be, From Pitch to Screen
In Apple TV+’s “Truth Be Told,” Octavia Spencer plays Poppy Parnell, a true-crime podcaster who is compelled to reopen the murder case that made her a national sensation and comes face to face with the man she may have mistakenly helped to put behind bars. Relitigating the murder case via her podcast, Parnell contends with nearly 20 years of family secrets, deceit, and the San Francisco Bay Area’s powerful in order to get to the truth.
The series, which is created by Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“The Good Wife”) and premieres today, came about after general conversations on the value of true crime between executive producers Jenno Topping, Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. Witherspoon recommended that Topping and Neustadter consider Kathleen Barber’s 2017 novel, “Are You Sleeping.”
“We read it and loved it, and especially loved its potential in terms of an adaptation,” Topping said. “Lauren then got involved as well. We had just done ‘Hidden Figures’ with Octavia, and together we found Nichelle and it just became a happy party.”
Besides the novel, Bay Area native Spellman’s attraction to the project started with the opportunity to explore the phenomena of podcasting and revisiting criminal cases. She also relished the idea of setting a series in the city where she was born and raised. The original story was set in Illinois, a state unfamiliar to Spellman.
“I’m a Bay Area girl, and I really wanted to show the diversity that I remembered,” she said. “Much of what I was fond of has kind of disappeared, or been altered after all the money that came in from Silicon Valley spread through San Francisco and then into the East Bay. So the series is a little bit of a love letter to how things used to be.”
‘From Book To Script To Screen,’ Reese Witherspoon Is Making Roles For Women
Actor Reese Witherspoon became famous in her 20s after starring in films like Election and Legally Blonde, but by the time she entered her 30s, the film landscape had shifted. DVD sales had shrunk and smaller, female-centered movies were in short supply. It was nearly impossible to find good leading roles for women.
Witherspoon began asking different movie studios what projects they were developing for women. “With the exclusion of one studio, everybody said ‘Nothing. Nothing with a female lead,’ ” she says.
So Witherspoon decided to start a production company and began adapting books with complex female characters into films and TV shows. The idea was to create better parts for women — and to help female authors get their stories sold.
Witherspoon’s company spearheaded the adaptation of Gone Girl, Wild and Big Little Lies, among other titles. Looking back, Witherspoon describes her shift into producing as “betting on myself.”
With the awards season coming up, Reese and Nicole Kidman have been doing some more promotion for Big Little Lies! They took part in a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversation together on Monday, and you can watch the interview below – it’s a treat!
Reese appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier in the week, as part of her promotion for The Morning Show. She chatted about Big Little Lies, why she started producing, TikTok and The Morning Show. She also took part in a game of ‘Can You Feel It’, which was hilarious! She wore a black dress by Andrew Gn, with Wolford tights and YSL heels. Reese was at her most charming and funny, and it’s a must watch appearance!!
Find stills and screencaptures in our Gallery, and videos below:
Reese and Jennifer Aniston appeared on CBS’s This Morning show yesterday morning – watch the segment below:
Two of Hollywood’s biggest names, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, are teaming up for “The Morning Show” as the leading ladies and executive producers of the new Apple TV+ series. From the Me Too movement’s impact on the series to how they drew from their own experiences, “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King spoke to Aniston and Witherspoon about the project.
Reese and Jennifer Aniston took part in a Q&A session discussing The Morning Show with The Hollywood Reporter yesterday. The two-some talked about the creative control they had over the show, the relevance of the story in the show to current times, why they opted to take the show to AppleTV+, their characters, and the challenges of morning TV. It’s a great insight into the show. Watch the Q&A below, and find screencaptures in our Gallery.
October 12, 2019 • Category: Career, Times Up •
Comments Off on Meaningful Change at Last? Women Gain Ground in Hollywood
Meaningful Change at Last? Women Gain Ground in Hollywood
Women in Hollywood are finally starting to exhale. Two years after sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein first broke, turbocharging the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, there’s a growing sense among women in showbiz that meaningful change is underway — though much remains to be done before true parity is reached.
“There have been some good inroads,” says Donna Langley, chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, whose studio was the first major to sign on to USC Annenberg Inclusion Institute and Time’s Up’s 4% Challenge for female directors in January. “It’s never going to feel like it’s enough. It’s never going to be enough — this is work that is going to be ongoing.”
Langley’s views were echoed by other women surveyed by Variety for its annual Women’s Impact Report. They reported increased opportunity behind and in front of the camera.
“I think we’ve made an incredible amount of progress just by opening up the conversation,” says Reese Witherspoon. She was so frustrated about the lack of substantial roles for women that she founded Hello Sunshine, a media company dedicated to female storytelling, three years ago. She is now producing and starring in some of the projects in its pipeline, including Apple TV Plus’ “The Morning Show” opposite Jennifer Aniston.
“Female directors are working so much, and it’s enormously encouraging,” she says. What’s more, their authority is better respected on set and elsewhere. “I used to work with female directors and people would just talk over them,” but now “there’s a real consciousness to listening to women that was never here before.”
Reese Witherspoon to Receive Sherry Lansing Award at Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Event
Reese Witherspoon will receive the prestigious Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment gala, set to take place Dec. 11 in Los Angeles.
The Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy winner will be joined by best-selling author, entrepreneur and political activist Stacey Abrams, who will deliver the keynote speech at the breakfast, which is attended by 600 of the leading women in the entertainment industry.
Also speaking will be Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress and producer Charlize Theron, who’ll help present $1 million in university scholarships to high-school seniors from underserved communities across Los Angeles, all of whom have taken part in THR’s acclaimed Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program.
The gala coincides with the release of THR’s much-anticipated annual Women in Entertainment issue of the magazine (on newsstands Dec. 11), which highlights the Power 100, the leading female executives in entertainment. This year, the issue is guest-edited by actress, director, producer and activist Olivia Wilde, who will also attend the star-studded event.
Witherspoon is the latest recipient of the Lansing Award, which recognizes trailblazers and philanthropists and was established in honor of the former CEO of Paramount Pictures (the first woman to head a Hollywood studio). Previous recipients include Viola Davis, Jennifer Lawrence, Tina Fey, Barbra Streisand, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Halle Berry, Jodie Foster, Glenn Close and Barbara Walters.
“Reese has transformed herself from acclaimed actress to one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers. She is a perfect fit to carry on the legacy of trailblazing women by receiving the Sherry Lansing Award,” THR editorial director Matthew Belloni said. “I’m delighted that this year we’ll also have Stacey Abrams — one of the most impressive and transformative figures in the country — to deliver our keynote speech. They are fitting company to the multitalented Olivia Wilde, who’s proved how gifted she is not just as the director of this year’s Booksmart, but also as guest editor of our upcoming magazine.”
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