Reese and Where the Crawdads Sing author Delia Owens appeared on CBS Sunday Morning last Sunday, to promote the new movie adaptation of the book. Watch the interview below:
Delia Owens’ debut novel, which has spent 166 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, was plucked from obscurity by Reese Witherspoon when the Hollywood star enthusiastically added the story of a Southern girl raising herself in the marshes of North Carolina to her Hello Sunshine Book Club. Now she’s produced an adaptation of “Crawdads,” one of the most eagerly-anticipated movies of the year. Owens and Witherspoon – two tomboys from the South who bonded almost immediately – talk with correspondent Lee Cowan.
[Live chat from June 13th] Reese Witherspoon sits down with Daisy Edgar Jones, Taylor John Smith, and Director Livi Newman to discuss ‘Where the Crawdads Sing,’ share their reactions to Taylor Swift’s ‘Carolina,’ and play a game of pictionary.
Vanity Fair have the first look at one of the upcoming films Reese is producing – Where the Crawdads Sing. Reese talked to the publication about what drew her to the novel, and the director of the film:
Where the Crawdads Sing: Your First Look at the Lush Adaptation The bestselling Delia Owens novel is “a love letter to growing up in the South,” says producer Reese Witherspoon—which is exactly why it sang to her.
When director Olivia Newman first heard about Where the Crawdads Sing, the novel everyone seemed to be talking about, she flat-out didn’t want to read it. At the time, Newman was looking for scripts to helm after her 2018 SXSW breakout film, First Match. She was intrigued by the tale of the mysterious “Marsh Girl” from debut novelist Delia Owens—but while driving around L.A., Newman heard an interview with the author on NPR and learned that Reese Witherspoon was interested in pursuing the novel. “I remember thinking, Oh, my God, this sounds like something I would love…but I’m not even going to read it because I’ll be so heartbroken that I won’t get to make it,” Newman tells Vanity Fair.
In a few short years, Crawdads went on to sell more than 12 million copies, and Newman wound up directing the film, which will premiere in theaters on July 22.
A lyrical blend of romance, crime thriller, and survival story, Where the Crawdads Sing follows Kya, a young girl in the marsh of North Carolina who yearns for connection after being abandoned by her family. After one of the men Kya becomes romantically entangled with shows up dead, she is even further ostracized from the community, and the town’s previously concealed secrets bubble up to the surface. “I read this novel probably in one day, maybe two days. I just couldn’t put it down,” says Witherspoon, a producer on the film who also selected Crawdads for her famed book club. “I fell in love with Kya as a main character, as a little girl who’s growing up in this very rural area, who’s shunned by society, and is trying to find a way to just save herself, just survive. And the way that Delia Owens wrote this book with such authenticity, you could just tell she really grew up in this place. She really appreciated the nature around her. The book is a love letter to growing up in the South, which for me really resonated because I grew up in New Orleans and Nashville.”
Alongside Elizabeth Gabler and Sony’s 3000 Pictures, a newly launched label in partnership with HarperCollins, Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine’s Lauren Neustadter found a screenwriter in Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated scribe behind Beasts of the Southern Wild. Alibar, who is from the Florida Panhandle, had been in the Hello Sunshine offices to discuss optioning another book that didn’t come to fruition. On her way out the door, she was handed a copy of Where the Crawdads Sing.
“Offhand, an executive said, ‘Oh we have this book. It’s from the South. You’re from the South. Why don’t you take a look at it?’” Alibar says. “It was one of those [conversations] that didn’t feel like anything momentous at the time.” As soon as Alibar started reading, she immediately began to picture everything from the palmettos to the house where Kya lives in the marsh. The cinematography jumped right off the page, Alibar says. “As soon as I started reading I could see everything. That happens in my favorite novels. It’s rare that I experience that with a first-time novelist.”
Reese is on the cover of the new December/January issue of In Style US! She is interviewed by US broadcaster Gayle King, and they talk about Reese’s work as a producer, humility and ambition, her daughter and family, Legally Blonde and The Morning Show. It’s accompanied by a beautiful (but slightly photoshopped) new photoshoot. The behind the scenes video of the photoshoot interview is really good too – Reese talks about some of her past characters, what she thinks about some of her past red carpet outfits, the difference between acting and producing, the badass women that inspire her, the movie that made her want to be an actress (Broadcast News & Overboard), and what she thought when walking up to receive her Oscar. Read the interview and watch the behind the scenes video below, and find high quality photos in our Gallery. The magazine hits news-stands on Friday so be sure to pick up a copy!
Reese Witherspoon Isn’t Afraid to Say She’s the Best
With her recent nine-figure money moves and a full slate of upcoming projects, the Morning Show star is like the Lebron James of Hollywood — and she’ll be the first to tell you.
They share a mutual pal in Oprah Winfrey, but “we don’t have a great meet-cute story,” jokes Gayle King about her initial introduction to Reese Witherspoon. Over the years, they have gotten to know each other through corporate gatherings, private dinners, and, of course, regular interviews. (In 2019, King was even the subject as Witherspoon and her Morning Show co-star Jennifer Aniston were the ones asking the questions for a CBS Mornings segment.) When it was revealed this past summer that Witherspoon had sold her female-focused production company, Hello Sunshine, for around $900 million, King was among the first to salute her. “That was a big friggin’ deal,” said King during this talk for InStyle. “When I read it in the paper, I stood up and gave you a round of applause.”
Gayle King: What’s it like to be a badass? Own it, Reese!
Reese spoke (virtually) at the SalesForce Cloud100 summit on August 10th. She spoke about adapting her business and leadership during the pandemic.
From e-commerce to cryptocurrency and everything in between, the cloud is increasingly powering how we bank, communicate, work and shop in an increasingly digital world.
Join leading CEOs from Canva, Databricks, Vimeo and many more — as well as leaders such as Hello Sunshine founder Reese Witherspoon and NFL athletes Kelvin Beachum and Larry Fitzgerald — as they discuss where the industry is headed, how to build a breakout cloud business, and how to match profits with purpose in this insights-packed live virtual event to celebrate the launch of the sixth annual Cloud 100 list.
The live virtual event will start on August 10 at 12pm ET. (Forbes)
The pandemic isn’t over, but the light is at the end of the tunnel. During this great reset — when the way people work and live is more fluid than ever before — figuring out how to navigate the digital and the “real” world seems to be on everyone’s mind. For many leaders, this shift is an opportunity to explore what they can do differently as the world begins to open up again.
To help explore this transition, we bring together three leaders from industries undergoing major change who are leaning into the shifting landscapes and pointing their respective industries towards the future. Reese Witherspoon of Hello Sunshine, Rachel Carlson of Guild Education, and Chris Comparato of Toast share the transformations they’ve made this year, the values they continue to carry, and how that informs the way they build and lead.
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Sold for $900 Million to Media Company Backed by Blackstone
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine has been sold for north of $900 million to a media company backed by the private-equity firm Blackstone Group Inc.
Witherspoon and Sarah Harden, Hello Sunshine’s CEO, will join the board of the new company and will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. They will also remain significant equity holders.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of Hello Sunshine’s sale. The still-unnamed media venture by Blackstone will be run by former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs.
“Today marks a tremendous moment for Hello Sunshine,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “I started this company to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film and social platforms. Today, we’re taking a huge step forward by partnering with Blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally.”
Hello Sunshine received interest from multiple private equity companies and streamers after it began shopping itself. At one point, Apple, which produces Witherspoon’s “The Morning Show,” kicked the tires on the company, but it’s not clear how far the talks went. The sale of Hello Sunshine could spark a fresh wave of acquisitions of content companies, and comes as the likes of A24, Imagine, Legendary and Lebron James’ SpringHill Entertainment have all explored possible sales. Mayer and Staggs have been at the center of this deal-making, engaging in talks with SpringHill and Imagine as they look to roll up several smaller media companies, according to knowledgable insiders.
“We are thrilled to partner with Reese, Sarah, and the entire Hello Sunshine team,” Mayer and Staggs said. “Hello Sunshine is a perfect fit for our vision of a new, next generation entertainment, technology, and commerce company. We seek to empower creators with innovation, capital, and scale to inspire, entertain, and delight global audiences with engaging content, experiences, and products. Our platform will foster a uniquely creator-friendly culture that gives elite talent the resources they need to create and capitalize on their best, most inventive work. We look forward to backing Reese, Sarah, and their world-class team as they continue to produce and identify dynamic, engaging content for years to come.”
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