Almost 20 Years After ‘Legally Blonde 2,’ Reese Witherspoon and Regina King Talk About Changing Hollywood
HBO’s “Watchmen,” Regina King plays Angela Abar, also known as the masked police detective Sister Night. A drama about the legacy of racial trauma, “Watchmen” shows us the way we live now through the lens of the eponymous 1986 graphic novel — a world in which costumed vigilantes are very much a real thing. Reese Witherspoon — who worked with King in “Legally Blonde 2” in 2003 — was in three shows recently: “Big Little Lies,” “The Morning Show” and “Little Fires Everywhere.” In the last one, set in upper-middle-class Shaker Heights, Ohio, in the ’90s, she plays Elena Richardson, an uptight white woman we would now call a Karen. Angela would arrest Elena for her white privilege.
Note: This conversation for Variety‘s Actors on Actors took place before the protests over police brutality swept through the United States — which is too bad, because “Watchmen,” which aired in the fall, was prescient about such things.
Reese Witherspoon: I feel like I met you when I was 23 years old.
Regina King: I know — we have grown children. We met each other on “Legally Blonde.” Remember when you got Sally Field to play that part? We were just fanning out. And you got to do that again on “Big Little Lies” with Meryl Streep. How do you do it, girl? Putting on your producer cap and your acting cap — are you wearing them simultaneously?
Witherspoon: Well, I try and make them an offer they can’t refuse. I knew I wanted to work with you too. I remember seeing you in “Jerry Maguire,” and I was like, “I’m going to work with her.” You had a spirit inside of you. You have won so many Emmys at this point. Do you have a favorite moment, or a moment that just sits in your heart, that you can never forget? Or the Oscar!
King: They’re all special moments. What about you? I remember when you won the Oscar, and I might have had one drink three times at the Vanity Fair party, and it was such a pure moment. I remember standing at the table eating In-N-Out burgers with your Oscar there. It was so joyous, but you were still my girl.
Variety, PBS SoCal Takes ‘Actors on Actors’ Virtual with Jennifer Aniston, Zendaya, Chris Evans
Variety and PBS SoCal have announced the actor lineup and schedule for Season 12 of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.”
The new season of the Emmy-winning series was filmed entirely from actors’ homes and includes one-on-one conversations between stars from potential contending shows in this year’s Emmy race. The first two episodes will premiere on PBS SoCal on Friday, July 17, at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. with episodes three and four premiering on Friday, July 24, at 8 p.m. and 8:30 pm. All episodes will stream on pbssocal.org and on the free PBS Video app following their premieres.
The conversations include Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”) with Lisa Kudrow (“Space Force,” “Feel Good”); Henry Cavill (“The Witcher”) with Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: Picard”); Kieran Culkin (“Succession”) with Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”); Russell Crowe (“The Loudest Voice in the Room”) with Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”); Claire Danes (“Homeland”) with Damian Lewis (“Billions”); Daveed Diggs (“Snowpiercer”) with Anthony Mackie (“Black Mirror,” “Altered Carbon”); Chris Evans (“Defending Jacob”) with Paul Rudd (“Living with Yourself”); Anne Hathaway (“Modern Love”) with Hugh Jackman (“Bad Education”); Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”) with Paul Mescal (“Normal People”); Regina King (“Watchmen”) with Reese Witherspoon (“Little Fires Everywhere”, “Big Little Lies”, “The Morning Show”); Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) with Kerry Washington (“Little Fires Everywhere”); Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”) with Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”); and Zendaya (“Euphoria”) with Mj Rodriguez (“Pose”).
“Variety is excited to debut the 2020 ‘Actors on Actors’ Emmy Edition directly from the safety of the homes of this season’s top Emmy-award contending talent,” said Variety group publisher and chief revenue officer, Michelle Sobrino-Stearns. “Our partnership with PBS SoCal on Variety’s three-time Emmy winning series takes our viewers inside the biggest television shows of the past year through these candid one-on-one conversations.”
Variety’s Actors on Actors issue will hit newsstands on June 23 with clips appearing on Variety.com starting June 22nd. “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” will air on PBS stations across the nation starting in July, and on the WORLD Channel (check local listings).
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.
‘Legally Blonde 3’: Mindy Kaling & Dan Goor Giving Fresh Take To MGM-Hello Sunshine Sequel
We have learned tonight that Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor have officially signed on to write MGM’s Legally Blonde 3. This is the second feature film that Kaling and Goor are partnering on, the first being the Kaling/Priyanka Chopra wedding comedy that Universal won in a heated auction last year, which Deadline also told you about first.
Reese Witherspoon remains aboard, reprising her role as attorney Elle Woods, producing through her Hello Sunshine studio with the franchise’s original producer Marc Platt.
Deadline exclusively announced Legally Blonde 3 close to two years, with original scribes Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah penning. Kaling and Goor’s version isn’t a makeover, nor are they doing touch-ups, rather their screenplay will have an entirely new fresh spin.
Also producing are Hello Sunshine banner head of Film and Television Lauren Neustadter and Adam Siegel, President of Platt Productions.
Even though many feature productions are closed, the new MGM Film Group headed by Mike De Luca and Pamela Abdy remains very busy in development. Recently, they announced several film projects including Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives, The Martian author Andy Weir’s next novel (aka Project Hail Mary) with Phil Lord and Chris Miller attached to direct, George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing, David Slade’s Dark Harvest (opening Oct. 24, 2021) and Ridley Scott’s Lady Gaga Gucci project on Nov. 26, 2021.
Kaling recently co-created and is the executive producer on the critically acclaimed Netflix comedy series Never Have I Ever which follows an Indian American teenage girl and is inspired by Kaling’s own childhood. Last summer she co-created and executive produced the Hulu series Four Weddings and a Funeral based on the hit 1990s romantic comedy. Her movie Late Night which she stars in, wrote and produced, made its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Amazon for $13M. Kaling counts two SAG ensemble wins and six Emmy noms for NBC’s The Office as EP and star. She also was the EP and star of The Mindy Project on Fox. Kaling is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Ziffren Brittenham,
Goor is a two-time Emmy winning writer of The Daily Show and Late Night With Conan O’Brien. He is the co-creator of Universal Television’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and was an EP and writer on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He is repped by Ziffren Brittenham. Witherspoon is represented by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.
Both Legally Blonde pics amassed close to $267M at the WW box office. The first title was a cash cow for MGM made for a reported $18M and earning $141.7M. The movies spawned a 2007 Broadway musical which received seven Tony nominations and ten Drama Desk nominations.
Reese Witherspoon To Star In Two Netflix Romcoms From Hello Sunshine: Aggregate-Produced, Aline Brosh McKenna-Helmed ‘Your Place Or Mine’ & ‘The Cactus’
Netflix has set a deal for two feature starring vehicles for Reese Witherspoon, her first with the streaming service. Her Hello Sunshine has teamed with Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan to produce Your Place Or Mine, a romantic comedy that will mark the feature directorial debut of Aline Brosh McKenna, whose script credits include The Devil Wears Prada and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Netflix has also acquired for Witherspoon the Sarah Haywood bestselling novel The Cactus, which will be fashioned as a second star vehicle which Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter to produce.
Your Place Or Mine focuses on two long-distance best friends who change each other’s lives when she decides to pursue a lifelong dream and he volunteers to keep an eye on her teenage son. The film will be produced by Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Neustadter and Aggregate’s Bateman and Costigan, and McKenna under her Lean Machine banner. She wrote the screenplay. Aggregate has its first look at Netflix, where Bateman stars in, directs and exec produces Ozark, which completed its third season (Netflix disclosed to shareholders the series drew 29 million viewers in the first four weeks).
Witherspoon has produced and starred in projects for Apple (The Morning Show), Hulu (Little Fires Everywhere) and HBO (Big Little Lies), and now she’s joined Netflix.
“We have been looking for the right feature opportunities to collaborate with Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and the entire team at Netflix for a while and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with them on these two romantic comedies,” Witherspoon said. “Both Sarah Haywood’s and Aline Brosh McKenna’s stories blend everything we love about traditional RomComs with strong, smart and determined female leads.
In The Cactus, an unexpected pregnancy at 45 causes a reserved woman to rethink the structured life she has created for herself and leads her on an unconventional journey toward love, family and learning to embrace the unexpected. The book was published on May 7, 2019 by Park Row.
May 8, 2020 • Category: Hello Sunshine, The Family, Video Updates •
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Emma Stone & Reese Witherspoon talk about anxiety in quarantine | #WeThriveInside
Reese and Emma Stone talk about children’s mental health and #WeThriveInside with Dr. Harold Koplewicz of the Child Mind Institute. To learn more about the Child Mind Institute, visit www.ChildMind.org and to donate to #WeThriveInside, visit www.ChildMind.org/WeThriveInside
We’re thinking about ways to be helpful during this time. In light of our new world, we wanted to bring some joy to your daily lives with #ShineOnAtHome, where I will sit down with some of my favorite experts in health, wellness, finance, food, and more over the next few weeks.
Laura Dern spills Big Little Lies secrets & talks about winning an Oscar with Reese Witherspoon
Share a cocktail Reese and one of her best friends, Laura Dern. They’ll discuss who fans want to see on Big Little Lies, Timothée Chalamet, and Laura Dern’s #AllGoodDeeds2020
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.
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