Reese Witherspoon talks Apple TV+ drama ‘Surface,’ how new ‘Top Gun’ inspired ‘Legally Blonde 3’
If you’re missing “Big Little Lies,” Reese Witherspoon is here to help.
The actress and producer, featured in two seasons of the addictive HBO drama, is back behind the camera as executive producer of Apple TV+’s “Surface” (first three episodes streaming Friday, then weekly).
Created by Veronica West (Hulu’s “High Fidelity”), the sumptuous psychological thriller follows a San Francisco woman named Sophie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who suffers a traumatic head injury after falling off a boat in an apparent suicide attempt. With support from her therapist (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and attentive husband James (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), Sophie attempts to heal and piece her memories back together.
But with the arrival of a mysterious man from her past (Stephan James), she begins to realize that she’s not being told the full truth of what happened to her – or even who she is.
“It reminded me of ‘Big Little Lies,'” Witherspoon, 46, says of the script. “It’s this very affluent community, but there’s this mystery lying underneath it all. It’s unsettling, and as an audience member, you don’t know who to trust. At the end of every episode, there’s a moment where you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that is completely not what I expected.'”
The project reunites Witherspoon and Mbatha-Raw, who co-starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2018 sci-fi adventure “A Wrinkle in Time” and, a year later, Season 1 of Apple’s “The Morning Show.” The British actress was drawn to the challenge of playing a character like Sophie who’s essentially a “clean slate,” with a backstory that only becomes more apparent as the eight-episode first season progresses.
Reese is on the cover of the Summer issue of Interview magazine! This is a fun magazine and it’s nice to see Reese back on the cover of it – her last one was December 2005! In this issue, Reese and actress/producer Tracee Ellis Ross talk about Reese’s business, women in business/power/entertainment, Wild, being everyone’s best friend, coffee, cocktails and Reese’s adult children. It’s accompanied by a fantastic new photoshoot. Find the photoshoot and cover in our Gallery, and read the interview at InterviewMagazine.com. We’ll hopefully be able to find scans for you soon…
“I’m passionate about what I do. I love making movies and television shows. I feel so lucky when I stand on set, and years of experience have stacked together to create this time in my life where I can really add, and I can really listen, and I can really be a problem solver, and I can always make something better. That’s such a great feeling. To feel purposeful and useful at work. I also love making people’s lives a tiny bit easier, whether you provide something that’s a reprieve from their daily life, whether it’s a smile you put on their face.”
Every year, Time magazine release their ‘Time100’ list which highlights the most influential people out there, and this year, they are launching an additional list of Most Influential Companies – which includes Reese’s Hello Sunshine! Reese graces the cover of the magazine with a new photoshoot, and talks about building the company in the detailed interview inside. Read the interview below, find scans and the photoshoot in the Gallery, and see the behind the scenes interview in this post. Pick up a copy of Time on news-stands now!
Reese Witherspoon, 45, has transformed her role in Hollywood from movie star to business leader—and maker of her own fortune. After rising as a child actor, she shot to household-name status for 2001’s Legally Blonde, going on to win an Oscar in 2006 for Walk the Line. But even after those triumphs, for a time she struggled to find satisfying roles in Hollywood, where women’s stories have long been sidelined. She discovered a way to change that in a lifelong love: books. Celebrating books through her book club—and adapting them for the screen—is now the foundation of Witherspoon’s business at Hello Sunshine, the media company she founded in 2016, where she’s established a track record for spotting, and making, hits.
Golden Globe-winning actress Reese Witherspoon sat down to talk to HFPA journalist Margaret Gardiner about her decades in Hollywood, from her start in films like Cruel Intentions, Election, and Legally Blonde, to turning points in her career like Wild and Walk the Line, to her recent forays in television with The Morning Show and Big Little Lies, to her outside work like her use of fashion and her ongoing monthly book club that highlights and celebrates great and noteworthy works, and more.
Advertising and marketing company AdWeek have honoured Reese in their 2020 Hot List and she is on the cover of their October 26th 2020 magazine cover to mark this! The magazine used additional photos from the Emmy magazine photoshoot that was published earlier in the year, and features a new interview in which Reese talked about growing her business and working to be taken seriously as a producer. Read the article below, and find the scans in our Gallery. Congratulations to Reese on being recognised for her fantastic work again!
The 2020 Hot List: Honoring the Year’s Best in TV, Publishing, Digital and Brands
When the pandemic forced us all to begin sheltering in place in March, we leaned on TV, publishing and digital brands more than ever before to connect us with the outside world. So it’s no surprise that Adweek’s annual Hot List, which always honors the best in those three categories, is full of people and brands who were at their best when so many things seemed at their worst.
Take Adweek’s Media Visionary Reese Witherspoon, who has turned Hollywood on its head by creating a successful media company, Hello Sunshine, focused on female-centric stories—for a variety of platforms.
Our TV Creator of the Year, Jon Favreau, helped get Disney+ off to a hot start with The Mandalorian, while TV Executive of the Year, TLC president Howard Lee, showed that linear networks still have plenty of fight in them.
Digital Creator of the Year Sarah Cooper turned her popular President Trump lip-syncs on TikTok and Twitter into a Netflix comedy special, and Digital Executive of the Year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is helping lead the charge against lies and hate speech on social media.
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.
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.
‘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.”
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