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.
Amazon Prime Video have acquired Little Fires Everywhere for international markets and the show will be available through Prime Video from May 22nd:
Amazon to Put Out ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Across Europe, Latin America, Australia
Amazon Prime Video has taken rights to Little Fires Everywhere — which recently concluded on Hulu in the U.S. — for Europe, Latin America, Canada and Australia.
Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 best-seller and executive produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, the series will launch exclusively on the platform on May 22 in the original version with subtitles available. Dubbed local language versions will be available later this year.
“Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington spearheaded Little Fires Everywhere both as talented producers with their production companies Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street, and as outstanding actors,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “Together with Liz Tigelaar, they have created the type of exciting, exclusive TV content our customers love, making it the perfect title for Prime Video viewers around the world. There is feverish anticipation for this series from fans of the best-selling novel, so we are delighted to make it available to binge for Prime members.”
Little Fires Everywhere follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood — and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Alongside Witherspoon and Washington, Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott, Lexi Underwood and Huang Lu.
In a joint statement, Witherspoon and Washington said: “We, at Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street, are thrilled that Amazon will be the primary international home for Little Fires Everywhere. Jen Salke and the Amazon team have shared our passion for this spectacular story from the very beginning, making it the perfect home for audiences worldwide.”
The series is produced by Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Washington’s Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios. Hello Sunshine and ABC Signature served as studio co-production partners on the project. Tigelaar (Life Unexpected, Casual) is creator, showrunner and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Witherspoon, Washington, Lauren Neustadter, Pilar Savone and Lynn Shelton. Author Ng serves as producer. Produced for Hulu in the U.S., Little Fires Everywhere is distributed globally by Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment.
The season finale of Little Fires Everywhere was released on Wednesday, and it was fiery, intense and emotional! It was a really good ending to the season/series, with lots of twists that were both satisfying and not – one of the things I really enjoyed about the show is that the characters and their decisions are not always completely ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they’re dynamic and layered. Reese continues to surprise and amaze me with her performances and I was blown away by her in this episode. Her scenes towards the end of the episode were particularly impressive, we’ve never seen her like that before. What an actress HD screencaptures from the episode have been added to our Gallery:
Reese Witherspoon & Kerry Washington on playing Elena & Mia in Little Fires Everywhere
Reese and Kerry take it back to where it all began. Listen in as they chat with Little Fires Everywhere author Celeste Ng about her views on the television adaptation. Tune into Little Fires Everywhere available now on Hulu.
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