Reese Witherspoon Knows Rom-Coms Need an Image Makeover
Romantic-comedy heroines can seldom have it all. They’re either professionally successful and unlucky in love, or great with the kids and unfulfilled at work or in the bedroom.
But in “Home Again,” a comedy due Sept. 8, Reese Witherspoon is a walking empowerment meme, complete with a wardrobe of pristine white blazers: she’s a newly separated 40-year-old, the mother of two precocious girls who starts a promising career as an interior decorator and shacks up with a hot 27-year-old.
“It never would have even crossed my mind that she couldn’t be all those things,” the writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer said, adding, “That wasn’t my experience growing up.”
Ms. Meyers-Shyer, 30, is the daughter of two filmmakers: Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated”) and Charles Shyer (“Baby Boom”). She spent her formative years on movie sets, before making her directing debut with “Home Again.” (Nancy Meyers served as executive producer.)
“In certain ways, Hallie knows more about the movie business than I do,” Ms. Witherspoon said.
Ms. Witherspoon, 41, has lately taken a big leap as a filmmaker herself, starting a production company to focus on projects led by women, with hits like “Wild,” “Gone Girl” and, earlier this year, the HBO mini-series “Big Little Lies,” about mothers in wealthy Monterey, Calif., that starred Ms. Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, among others. (A follow-up is being discussed with Liane Moriarty, the author of the novel on which it’s based, Ms. Witherspoon said.)
Speaking by phone from her Los Angeles home — and pausing briefly to greet Tennessee, the youngest of her three children — she spoke passionately about the changing roles for women on screen and how she wants to be a part of that change. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Reese appeared on ‘Chelsea’, Chelsea Handler’s weekly Netflix show, yesterday to promote Home Again. She also chatted about Big Little Lies, her producing work, her upcoming show with Jennifer Aniston, her love of dogs, and being a responsible adult! It’s a really fun interview! Below is a video of the full interview and I’ve added HD screencaptures to our Gallery:
Last night Reese attended the Los Angeles premiere of her new romantic comedy Home Again. She walked the red carpet with her daughter Ava, and posed with her director Hallie Meyers-Shyer, producer Nancy Meyers, and co-stars Lake Bell, Lola Flanery, Jon Rudnitsky, and Eden Grace Redfield. Reese wore a simple but striking red dress by Roland Mouret, with Christian Louboutin shoes. On the red carpet Reese chatted about what attracted her to the role, why she loves romantic comedies, her daughter Ava, her Emmy nomination, and her upcoming project with Jennifer Aniston. Reese looks so beautiful, and I love seeing her and Ava together! We have the first batch of HQ photos in our Gallery for you, and further down this post are some video interviews from the red carpet. This post will be updated with more coverage in the next few days too…
Actors Are Calling Reese Witherspoon About Joining Big Little Lies Season 2
Is casting already underway for Big Little Lies season two?!
OK, we’re sorry to get your hopes up, as HBO has yet to officially announce the miniseries that everyone was obsessed with from February through April will return for a second season, but Reese Witherspoon did offer up an update that if making us excited.
“We’re talking about it, but it’s sort of up to the writer Liane Moriarty,” Witherspoon, who executive-produced and starred in the hit series, told E! News’ Will Marfuggi while promoting her new film, Home Again.
And if season two does end up happening, it seems like some of Witherspoon’s famous friends want in on the action in Monterey.
“I have gotten two really interesting calls, but we’ll see happens,” Witherspoon teased, thought she wasn’t about to give up the names of the actors hitting up her cell just yet. “No, I can’t say!”
Earlier this month, HBO programming president Casey Bloys discussed the network’s thoughts on another season, echoing Witherspoon’s sentiment that it’s ultimately up to Moriarty.
“Liane taking her crack at it and I think that it’s interesting,” he said. “I don’t think [there’s been] a time when we’ve gone to the writer of the novel, the source material, to come up with like, ‘Do you see ongoing stories?’ I’ll be very curious to see what she comes up with that. Normally you go to a TV writer, and say, ‘What do you see?'”
Hopefully, Moriarty sees enough plotlines for a second season.
Big Little Lies received a ton of Emmy nominations, with Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman both nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category. Their co-stars Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgård were also nominated, with the show also earning a slot in the Outstanding Limited Series category.
While we wait for official news about BLL season two, Witherspoon is teaming up with Jennifer Aniston for a new TV show, which you can get all the latest info on by pressing play on the video above.
Reese is gracing the cover of the September issue of Southern Living magazine! In the interview she talks about Draper James and her influences for this brand, her family life, and briefly about Big Little Lies and some of her favourite actresses work on screen. The interview is accompanied by a beautiful, laid back photoshoot showcasing items from Draper James.
Read the article and watch behind the scenes videos within this post, and find the photoshoot in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you asap…
Reese Witherspoon’s Southern Charm
The Nashville native opens up to Julia Reed about family, her favorite hometown foods, and the Southern women who have inspired her every step of the way
What did you do for Mother’s Day?
We had lots of people over for lunch, including Laura Dern [Witherspoon’s close friend and costar in Wild and Big Little Lies] and her mom, [actress] Diane Ladd, who has become friends with my mom. It’s pretty cute—they really love each other and talk all the time. They’re even planning on taking a road trip together!
In my family, we say, “It doesn’t have to be true to be told.” At lunch, my mom was telling a story about when I moved out here and how she found my apartment and paid for it. I said, “Mom, you know none of that’s true, right?” I found my own apartment, and she did not do any of it! But most of the time, I don’t even bother to interrupt…I think there’s nothing better than a Southern person as they age. The stories get better and better and less and less true.
You often visit Nashville, where you’ve said you’re “so much more relaxed.” But Nashville is not nearly as relaxed—or sleepy— as it was when you were growing up there. How has it changed?
Lately, Nashville has experienced a lot more commerce, a lot of growth, and a lot of new ideas, which is awesome. And you can’t throw a rock without hitting some new culinary surprise. I like Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Edley’s Bar-B-Que has great fried okra, one of my favorite foods. City House and Rolf and Daughters are really good, and Josephine is great for brunch. Five Daughters Bakery has the best doughnuts, and if we want a meat ’n’ three, we go to Swett’s Restaurant.
Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and ‘Big Little Lies’ Stars Detail Show’s ‘Tricky’ Journey
A version of this story on “Big Little Lies” first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.
Four lead women in “Big Little Lies,” the HBO miniseries based on Liane Moriarty‘s book, all landed Emmy nominations, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in the lead category and Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley in supporting. (Zoë Kravitz, the last of the main actresses, was left out.)
Dern, Woodley and actors/executive producers Kidman and Witherspoon described the rare experience of making the miniseries, which starts with a murder investigation and then slowly unveils victim, murderer and motive over 10 episodes. Alexander Skarsgard, who plays Kidman’s emotionally and physically abusive husband, was also nominated — but these conversation were about the women at the center of the miniseries.
REESE WITHERSPOON I found the manuscript and sent it to Nicole, and we decided to do the project together. She met with Liane Moriarty first and got the rights, and then we got David Kelly. And then Jean-Marc Vallee came on.
NICOLE KIDMAN For me, it was the complication of the women, and the strength of their stories, and the fact that it focused on the female relationships and was told primarily through the female point of view. That’s why the book was so appealing. And it seemed to warrant being told, because amidst the entertainment of it, underneath were issues that were incredibly topical and relevant and real.
WITHERSPOON We had to decide, Is it a miniseries or a movie? And we decided it would be better to do this for television. If we had done it as a two-hour movie, it might have been about two of the women, not all five.
KIDMAN I think it would be strange if Reese and I produced something that was all men. Don’t we have enough of those? So it was very important for us to throw our weight behind finding these great female roles, and calling our friends and people we admire. That was the glorious part of it.
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