Reese Witherspoon on Acting: ‘My Performances Have Been Based on My Friends, and I’ve Never Told Them’
From Tracy Flick to Elle Woods to Madeline Martha Mackenzie, few actors have as many household names in their body of work as Reese Witherspoon. How has her acting process helped her create so many iconic roles? “It’s almost like being an anthropologist,” she says. “You are studying contemporary behavior and how people interact and then applying it to character.”
Take “Legally Blonde,” her instant-classic comedy about a sorority sister–turned–Harvard lawyer. “There’s a reason that it has stood the test of time,” Witherspoon says of the 2001 film. Remembering how she constructed Elle Woods, she says she spent time at a real-world sorority house to watch how the members behaved. She also went to a fancy Beverly Hills department store to watch customers try on shoes. All that analysis then went back into the performance.
Witherspoon’s techniques for each role vary wildly, thanks to an early start as a teen actor and a lack of formal training. As she puts it, “It’s hard for me to describe [my process], because I’ve kind of taped it together with duct tape!” After being bit by the acting bug early on in Tennessee, she began taking adult acting classes, appearing in commercials, and performing odd jobs in film production. She dropped out of school to pursue a screen career and broke out in “The Man in the Moon,” following it up with “Cruel Intentions” and “Election.” Eventually, she became a movie star; her performance as June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line” earned her a SAG Award, a BAFTA, and an Oscar.
“The way I prepare for everything is deeply personal for me,” she says, “so sometimes I have a hard time explaining to directors what I do. But it’s a deep, deep understanding of where the character comes from, what their upbringing was, who loved them, who didn’t love them. How do they walk through the world? Do they diminish themselves? Do they take up space? And so much of it comes from knowing people and watching people.
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, World of Women Partner to Adapt NFTs Into Movies, TV Shows
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine has forged a storytelling partnership with World of Women (WoW), the NFT collective that is cracking open the male-dominated world of crypto currency while celebrating inclusivity and equality. World of Women launched in July 2021 with some 10,000 artworks from women creators, quickly becoming one of the most popular and profitable purveyors of non-fungible tokens.
As part of the partnership, Hello Sunshine will build out the World of Women character universe and franchise into entertainment properties including feature films, scripted and unscripted TV series. The move is another sign of the growing popularity of NFTs and the potential they hold for traditional media companies on the prowl for intellectual property.
They will also launch a Hello Sunshine x World of Women live event in conjunction with other diverse women-led NFT projects. The goal is to educate women about this new space.
“While the crypto and NFT space is largely dominated by men, there are inspiring leaders like World of Women creating incredible communities for women during this massive shift for media and technology,” said Witherspoon. “We’re proud to partner with WoW to expand their universe of characters and to develop innovative scripted and unscripted content. We look forward to engaging with the remarkable WoW community at every step of this partnership and creating opportunities for WoW holders to work collaboratively with Hello Sunshine on transforming the WoW art into powerful stories.”
The move isn’t a complete surprise. Witherspoon has been outspoken about her support of World of Women’s mission, even making her profile picture an NFT from World of Women’s collection. She’s also been using her social media platform to talk up the possibilities of the metaverse, digital art and cryptocurrencies.
Hello Sunshine shares a similar mission with World of Women. Both companies are female-led and also make a point of promoting works by female artists and authors. Hello Sunshine has produced “The Morning Show” for Apple TV and has Olivia Newman’s adaptation of Delia Owens’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” and Aline Brosh McKenna’s “Your Place or Mine” on tap. In August, Witherspoon sold a majority stake in Hello Sunshine to Candle Media, which is led by former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs.
Exciting news this morning, as the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were announced, and The Morning Show and Reese scored nominations! The show received a total of 4 nominations, for Ensemble and 3 for acting – including an individual nomination for Reese (finally!).
The show will go back to being a in-person event this year (last year was virtual), and will be held at the Santa Monica Barker Hangar on February 27th. It will air on on TNT and TBS in the US at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Brian Cox (“Succession”)
Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”)
Kieran Culkin (“Succession”)
Lee Jung-Jae (“Squid Game”)
Jeremy Strong (“Succession”)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”)
Jung Ho-yeon (“Squid Game”)
Elizabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Sarah Snook (“Succession”)
Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“The Morning Show” (Apple TV Plus)
“Squid Game” (Netflix)
“Yellowstone” (Paramount Network)
‘The Morning Show’ Renewed for Season 3 at Apple, Charlotte Stoudt Joins as Showrunner
“The Morning Show” has been renewed for Season 3 at Apple, with Charlotte Stoudt boarding the series as showrunner.
“The Morning Show” was originally picked up for two seasons by Apple when it was initially ordered in 2017. Stoudt coming on as showrunner is part of a new, multi-year overall deal that she has signed with Apple. Kerry Ehrin, who served as showrunner on the show’s first two seasons, will serve as a consultant on Season 3 while also developing new projects for Apple under her overall deal.
“I’m excited to be joining forces with Apple TV Plus and ‘The Morning Show,’” said Stoudt. “The cast, led by the phenomenal Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, are truly to die for. Kerry, Mimi and Michael, and the teams at Media Res, Hello Sunshine and Echo Films, have created an irresistible world that is equally delicious and provocative.”
Season 2 found “The Morning Show” team emerging from the wreckage of Alex (Aniston) and Bradley’s (Witherspoon) actions, to a new UBA and a world in flux, where identity is everything and the chasm between who we present as and who we really are comes into play.
Reese Witherspoon Spills Her Skincare Routine And Why Beauty Ingredients Matter
Sometimes stars really are just like us. During lockdown, Reese Witherspoon went for a walk through her hometown. She wandered into Sephora and picked up a few Biossance products. “I ended up trying them because I was looking for a clean beauty solution for my skincare needs, and I was just crazy about them,” Witherspoon recalls. She called her rep to ask her to put her in touch with the Biossance team so they could answer all her burning questions about the brand, from who makes the products and how to where they’re made.
Fast forward and Witherspoon is now a global brand ambassador for Biossance, with a rare five-year partnership with the brand. “For us, it was truly from the beginning recognizing that Reese has always embraced education and empowerment, specifically for females, whether it’s a female author, leader or an actress, and that has inspired us for years,” says Catherine Gore, President of Biossance. “[We are dedicated to] bringing intellect and science to Biossance. Helping to tell that story, we felt that there was no better partner than Reese.”
A phrase that Gore says often and is the philosophy of Biossance is “the nerdy side of science and the charming side of beauty can coexist.” The brand is dedicated to introducing biotechnology into the beauty industry and taking age old science to the next level. That explains their dedication to using sugarcane fermentation to create plant-based alternative ingredients that replicated their DNA, like squalane. What really sets them apart is they sell that technology to their competitors, making the ingredients available to all, in the interest of a healthier planet. “[Biotechnology] is the future of everything,” Gore says. “Consumers are smart. It’s not just about wanting a product that’s beautifully packaged; it’s actually about is it effective? How is it made? Who’s making it? Who’s making money off of that?”
Reese Witherspoon’s Skincare Secrets The actress opens up about her current skin concerns and the advice she’s passing down to her kids.
Clean beauty has come a long way. Just a few years ago, the hunt for a simpler ingredient list usually ended with sacrificing efficacy and skin-transforming results. But we’ve now entered an entirely new age, one where it’s not just good enough to be a clean product—it has to be a clean product that performs.
Biossance is leading the “clean science” revolution with its signature plant-based squalane, and that’s precisely why beloved actress Reese Witherspoon signed on in April to be the brand’s global ambassador.
“I started looking for clean beauty solutions probably like a year and a half ago,” Witherspoon tells BAZAAR.com. “I was in my hometown Sephora and was looking at the Biossance products. It has such great reviews, and somebody mentioned it to me so I bought a bunch. I just started using them. And I found them so effective, completely luxurious, unlike any other clean product I’ve ever used. And I was just hooked.”
BAZAAR.com caught up with Witherspoon after a recent Biossance event to chat about her skin journey, how she unwinds at the end of a long day, and which of her iconic characters share her skin care routine.
What has your skin journey been like the last few years, and what are your concerns now?
My skin texture has changed a little bit—it’s a little bit drier. I definitely struggle with brown spots, I think from pregnancy, and so I’m looking for products that are really effective for dark-spot treatment. Especially in the summer, they get darker since they come up with heat. But you know, moisturizing, making sure the texture is very smooth, that’s really important for the base under the makeup, because the cameras now are so HD and there’s nowhere to hide.
E! News spoke to Reese’s daughter Ava in December about her new make-up collaboration. Ava shared the best advice her parents have given her, and E! News showed a clip of an interview with Reese in which she told them what she’s learnt from Ava:
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