Reese Witherspoon’s phone stopped ringing. Now she’s making the calls
Sitting next to Nicole Kidman in makeup on the set of “Big Little Lies,” Reese Witherspoon had questions. Loads of questions. What was it like to work with Stanley Kubrick? How did you do the musical numbers in “Moulin Rouge!”? Witherspoon loves movies. At age 44, she has been working on sets for three decades and enjoys nothing more than digging into film lore.
Kidman, though, had more existential musings she wanted to explore. “Do you ever think about dying, Reese?” Kidman would ask her costar. “Because I think about it all the time.”
“And she’s like, ‘Nope, I don’t think about it because I know where I’m going,’” Kidman relates over the phone from her Nashville home. “I wish I had her certainty. Reese doesn’t fear things, that’s for certain.”
Hearing Kidman’s story, Witherspoon laughs, chalking her faith up to her Episcopal upbringing in Nashville. She went to church every Wednesday and Sunday, singing her heart out in the church choir for nine years and loving every minute of it.
“I don’t have a lot of fear, that’s true,” Witherspoon says. “There’s a time and a purpose and a place, and I don’t fear death, because I know there’s heaven. I know it.”
We’re talking on the phone in early May, Witherspoon from her home in Pacific Palisades, where she’s been sheltering in place with her husband, Quibi exec Jim Toth; her college-student daughter, Ava; and younger sons, Deacon and Tennessee. The national protests against racism and police violence following the police killing of another black man, George Floyd, are weeks away. At this moment, all I’m wondering is how Witherspoon can be so certain about the afterlife. It’d be nice to feel sure of something right now.
“My daughter asked me that the other day, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know. I just know,’” Witherspoon says. “I believe deeply that there’s a higher power — and I don’t know what that is — but I just don’t fear dying. A lot of people have these repressive experiences with religion, and I didn’t. I felt this incredible acceptance and that everyone has a gift and we’re all God’s children and your purpose in the world is to find the gifts that God gave you.”
Unlike the entitled woman she played on the Hulu limited series “Little Fires Everywhere,” Witherspoon possesses a self-awareness about her privilege and position, knowledge forged through 30 years of working in Hollywood, seeing and experiencing inequities that made her push for equal-pay-for-equal-work agreements and to start her own media company, Hello Sunshine, to, among other things, tell stories about women – all kinds of women.
CBS Sunday Morning had a profile on Reese and Hello Sunshine on their show yesterday, with a new interview with Reese and her fellow company executives Sarah Harden and Lauren Neustadter. She talked about how her career as a producer has developed, betting on herself, and adapting media for the current coronavirus pandemic.
Reese Witherspoon is not just an Oscar-winning actress; she is also a major Hollywood influencer. Her media company, Hello Sunshine, has been behind stories that put a female perspective front-and-center, such as the TV series “Big Little Lies” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” Correspondent Rita Braver talks with Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine executives Sarah Harden and Lauren Neustadter about their philosophy, and how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting production.
Reese appeared on Jameela Jamil’s ‘I Weigh’ podcast today. This is an incredibly open interview with Reese talking about the media interest in her life, her mental health, and being in therapy, and then the more general topics of females in science/healthcare, representation of race/gender/other minorities, and why she turned to producing. It’s almost an hour long and worth listening to all of it:
What started with a social media post has become a movement, and now a podcast. On I Weigh, Jameela Jamil challenges society’s definition of worth through weight by asking different thought-leaders, performers, activists, influencers, and friends about how they are working through their past shames to find where their value truly lies. With hilarious and vulnerable conversations, I Weigh will amplify and empower diverse voices in an accessible way to celebrate progress, not perfection.
Reese Witherspoon joins Jameela to talk about how instagram helped her control her own narrative, struggling with postpartum depression, the red carpet advice Meryl Streep once shared, how “funny doesn’t sag,” and building her own media company.
In a nice moment of light relief, Reese is gracing the cover of the April issue of Vanity Fair magazine! The article focuses on Reese’s love of books and her success in turning books into well-received movies and TV series with strong female leads – including Little Fires Everywhere. It’s a long but good read, and always really nice to see Reese being celebrated and acknowledged in this way. The magazine also has a gorgeous new photoshoot! Read the interview below or at Vanity Fair, and find the photoshoot in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you when the magazine is released on news-stands.
In recent years, Reese Witherspoon has turned her literary obsession into an empire. Her latest brilliant book adaptation: Little Fires Everywhere, which debuts March 18 on Hulu.
I first met Reese Witherspoon three years ago at Parnassus Books, the store I co-own in Nashville. She’d come to interview me for Hello Sunshine, her media company, and when the interview was finished, our events manager asked Witherspoon if she’d be willing to have her picture taken with one of our shop dogs, Mary Todd Lincoln, a dappled, silky dachshund who’d been photographed with any number of celebrities in the past. It’s Nashville, after all; it’s the kind of thing we do here. Witherspoon took the little dog and tucked her into an open space in the bookshelf behind her, then proceeded to run the gamut of human emotion: joy, surprise, eagerness, love, suffering, hope—spinning out a master class of acting in less than a minute. The amazing part was not how good Witherspoon was at this—she’s a very good actor—the amazing part was how she managed to shine the enormous light of her talent onto a nine-pound dog. In frame after frame, the viewer’s eye skips the movie star and goes straight to the dachshund, which first appears coy, then knowing, then resplendent. If Oscars were given to pups, everyone would have agreed that this was Mary Todd Lincoln’s year.
March 15, 2020 • Category: Hello Sunshine, News & Gossip, Producing •
Comments Off on Sony, Elizabeth Gabler & Reese Witherspoon Set Scribe For ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’s Lucy Alibar
Sony, Elizabeth Gabler & Reese Witherspoon Set Scribe For ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’s Lucy Alibar
Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild scribe Lucy Alibar has been set to adapt the 3000 Pictures/Hello Sunshine film adaptation of Delia Owens’ New York Times bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing.
Published by the Penguin Random House imprint G.P. Putnam’s Sons in August 2018., the novel has been a publishing juggernaut, on the bestseller list for 75 weeks with 4.5 million copies sold. Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will produce for Hello Sunshine. Witherspoon’s endorsement of the Owens’ first novel on her Reese’s Book Club in September 2018 helped put sales of the book into overdrive.
Gabler and Erin Siminoff will oversee for Gabler’s newly launched Sony Pictures label, 3000 Pictures. That shingle is the partnership among Gabler, HarperCollins\ and Sony Pictures designed to source literary material, mainly from the HarperCollins catalog, for all platforms.
Alibar got an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for co-writing with director Benh Zeitlin 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, an adaptation of her play Juicy and Delicious. She most recently adapted her original play Christmas and Jubilee Behold the Meteor Shower into Troop Zero. That Escape Artists-produced film stars Viola Davis Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney, and McKenna Grace and it premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
She seems a strong fit for Where the Crawdads Sing, which centers on a young woman named Kya. Abandoned by her family, Kya raises herself all alone in the marshes outside of her small town. When her former boyfriend is found dead, Kya instantly is branded by the local townspeople and law enforcement as the prime suspect for his murder. Equal parts haunting crime thriller and coming-of-age story, Where the Crawdads Sing explores the universal yearning for connection, formative first loves and an inner strength one can summon, no matter the obstacles.
“Delia Owens has created a heroine whose strength, perseverance and courage embodies the female character driven stories we are so excited to tell,” Witherspoon said. “We’re thrilled to have Lucy join the team of incredible women who are bringing Kya’s story to life on screen.”
Alibar is represented by Gersh, Manage-ment and Jackoway Austen; Owens is with CAA and Russel Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. Hello Sunshine is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.
Reese attended the Upfront Summit in LA on January 29th/30th, to talk about Hello Sunshine with her CEO Sarah Harden.
The annual Upfront Summit hosts more than 1,000 top investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders for an invitation-only event in Los Angeles. Forget what you think you know about tech conferences – with two days of compelling content, conversation, and connection, our Summit showcases the best of technology, innovation, and creativity, from established global brands to bleeding edge disruptors. We take on meaningful subjects with true thought-leaders. And it’s a lot of fun – it is LA, after all.
Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Harden discuss creating their media company Hello Sunshine and developing projects that put marginalized creative voices and storytelling at the forefront – how it was started, the untraditional power structure at the head of the company, and how they’re architecting the business for the next 20 years.
They also discuss how much they love data and books, about the journey of Reese’s Book Club, and what it takes to change and diversify the media landscape.
As posted about last night, Reese attended the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles yesterday, where she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for Big Little Lies, and her The Morning Show co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup were nominated for their performances. Congratulations to Jennifer who picked up the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series SAG for The Morning Show! Watch Jennifer’s win in the video below, which has a few brief shots of Reese. No other wins for Reese’s shows unfortunately, but it looks she had a fun night anyway – she was snapped with her Big Little Lies co-stars Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz and Laura Dern, and her friend Michelle Williams, amongst others! Reese looked absolutely stunning in a black and silver embellished dress by Celine, with Harry Winston jewellery, and a Tyler Ellis purse – I love this look on Reese!
We have over 150 gorgeous HQ photos in our Gallery for you:
Reese made another appearance at the TCA Winter Tour today, this time to preview The Morning Show! She was joined by Jennifer Aniston, Billy Crudup, producer and director Mimi Leder, and producer Michael Ellenberg. They talked about how the show has been received, the culture portrayed within the show, and season 2. Read reports from the panel below.
We’ll have a full set of pictures for you asap, but for now here’s a preview: HQ photos have been added to the Gallery:
‘The Morning Show’ Team on Steve Carell’s Season 2 Future, Season 1 Criticism
Although the first season of “The Morning Show” ended on Steve Carell’s former news anchor character, Mitch Kessler, who was fired at the top of the season amid sexual misconduct allegations, finally feeling the weight of what he did, there is no guarantee the second season will see him learn, grow or be around at all.
Although executive producer Michael Ellenberg said at the Television Critics Assn. press tour panel for the Apple TV Plus drama “certainly picks up where we ended” in terms of the fallout that will have to come after anchors Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) outed their network for knowing more about the allegations against Mitch earlier than they had led on, when it comes to Mitch himself, Ellenberg said they are still discussing if he will be back onscreen, as Carell’s original deal was only for the first season and they do not have a new one in place.
Aniston, who also executive produces, pointed out that although the show is “of course” about #MeToo, its messages are more widespread than that. “Gender dynamics, power dynamics, abuse of power — and not just sexual abuse of power but just power struggles in general,” are all story areas “The Morning Show” endeavors to explore.
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