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.
Amazon Studios Lands Reese Witherspoon, Will Ferrell Wedding Comedy Directed by Nick Stoller
Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell are headed to the altar in a new wedding comedy for Amazon Studios.
Amazon has landed rights to the untitled movie, from writer-director Nick Stoller, in which Witherspoon and Ferrell will star and produce under their respective banners. Jessica Elbaum and Ferrell will produce for Gloria Sanchez, with Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter producing for Hello Sunshine and the company’s Ashley Strumwasser serving as executive producer. Stoller — whose highly anticipated gay rom-com “Bros,” which he directed and co-wrote with star Billy Eichner, is due out Sep. 30 — will also produce for his Stoller Global Solutions alongside Conor Welch.
While details of the movie’s plot are still being kept under wraps, the premise reportedly involves two weddings that are booked at the same venue on the same weekend.
Sources say Amazon landed the rights to the project in a highly competitive situation with bids coming from both streamers and studios, which is logical given Witherspoon, Ferrell and Stoller’s stellar comedy resumes. To note, Hello Sunshine also has a number of high-profile projects in the works at Amazon, including the musical drama series “Daisy Jones & The Six,” starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin, and the holiday romantic comedy “Something From Tiffany’s,” starring and executive produced by Zoey Deutch. After starring in hit dramas “Big Little Lies,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and “The Morning Show,” Witherspoon is set to return to her “rom-com roots” with the upcoming “Your Place or Mine” at Netflix.
Among Gloria Sanchez’s recent successes are “Eurovision,” in which Ferrell starred opposite Rachel McAdams, “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” “Hustlers” and “Booksmart.” The company also has two multi-year first-look deals: one in television with Netflix, which came on the heels of the Emmy-nominated series “Dead to Me,” which will soon debut its third and final season; and a film deal at 20th Century Studios. Ferrell will next be seen in the Christmas musical “Spirited,” opposite Ryan Reynolds, which the company also produced for Apple TV+.
Reese and Where the Crawdads Sing author Delia Owens appeared on CBS Sunday Morning last Sunday, to promote the new movie adaptation of the book. Watch the interview below:
Delia Owens’ debut novel, which has spent 166 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, was plucked from obscurity by Reese Witherspoon when the Hollywood star enthusiastically added the story of a Southern girl raising herself in the marshes of North Carolina to her Hello Sunshine Book Club. Now she’s produced an adaptation of “Crawdads,” one of the most eagerly-anticipated movies of the year. Owens and Witherspoon – two tomboys from the South who bonded almost immediately – talk with correspondent Lee Cowan.
Congratulations to Reese for the extremely well deserved honour of being nominated at The Emmys for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Morning Show! Its great to see Reese recognised for her acting! Congratulations also to her co-stars Billy Crudup and Marcia Gay Harden for their nominations. The Morning Show received a total of 3 nominations at this years Emmys.
The Emmy Awards will take place on September 12th, and will be broadcast on NBC and Peacock at 5pm PT.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)
Laura Linney (“Ozark”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)
Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nicholas Braun (“Succession”)
Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”)
Kieran Culkin (“Succession”)
Park Hae-soo (“Squid Game”)
Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession”)
John Turturro (“Severance”)
Christopher Walken (“Severance”)
Oh Yeong-su (“Squid Game”)
Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Hope Davis (“Succession”)
Marcia Gay Harden (“The Morning Show”)
Martha Kelly (“Euphoria”)
Sanaa Lathan (“Succession”)
Harriet Walter (“Succession”)
Lee You-mi (“Squid Game”)
Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and More Women of ‘The Morning Show’ on Creating a Drama-Free Set and Telling Important Stories
Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” started with a man at the center.
Season 1 began with Steve Carell’s Mitch Kessler getting fired from a popular morning talk show following complaints of sexual harassment. However, instead of focusing on Mitch, creator Kerry Ehrin leaned in on those whom his actions impacted: The women steering the ship.
Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Karen Pittman led that journey in Season 1, which earned eight Emmy nominations, while Greta Lee and Julianna Margulies joined the second season.
Season 2 of the drama continued tracking the fallout of Mitch’s firing, while tackling the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Both seasons were intense to shoot, with what was happening in real life — no one expected the pandemic would still be going on years later.
Season 2 was “awful,” mentally, says Aniston, who also executive produces the drama. That said, there was a silver lining.
“Thank God it was actually about what we we’re going through. We were able to dig into what was happening at the moment, which our show seems to be known for doing in the last two years,” she says.
Buyers Spark To Nick Stoller Wedding Comedy Package With Reese Witherspoon & Will Ferrell Attached
Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell are attached to star in an untitled wedding comedy that will be scripted and directed by Nick Stoller. He directed the upcoming Universal Pictures comedy Bros, which Judd Apatow produces, and which Stoller co-wrote with Billy Eichner. UTA is handling the auction and there are multiple offers on the table for the package. Witherspoon is coming off the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, and Ferrell last starred in Eurovision and is filming the Barbie movie.
That means two strong packages that will sell for sure, the other being the Kat Coiro-directed buddy comedy with Nick Jonas and Glen Powell. These deals should be done by early next week. Stay tuned.
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