Variety’s L.A. Women’s Impact Report 2020
The past few months has been such a dynamic time for this industry that it has been a challenge keeping up with all the realignments while putting together this year’s report. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has accelerated change, disrupting business models and personal lives. Still, the L.A.- based women on this list have found ways to innovate, and many are hopeful for the future.
(The women of) Hello Sunshine
Sarah Harden, CEO
Lauren Neustadter, head of film & TV
Reese Witherspoon, founder
Any lingering doubts about Hello Sunshine’s producing acumen have surely faded with the streamer launches of “The Morning Show” on Apple TV Plus and “Little Fires Everywhere” on Hulu, which garnered 13 Emmy nominations between them. The second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” also received five noms, bringing Hello Sunshine’s nomination haul to 18 this year. “Morning Show” co-star Billy Crudup ultimately snagged a supporting actor Emmy, the first Emmy win for the fledgling Apple TV Plus service, while Jennifer Aniston won a SAG trophy for her performance. A second season of “The Morning Show” is in the works, with key talent returning.
Witherspoon, who co-starred in all three, founded Hello Sunshine four years ago to focus on female-led stories. And it turns out having a woman propel a narrative — be it a novel, a television show or a film — isn’t such a bad idea from a financial or creative standpoint. Hello Sunshine has projects in the works at Amazon, Apple, Hulu, Netflix HBO, MGM, Starz and HBO Max. Books — some of which are selected for Witherspoon’s affiliated book club — are often the basis of television projects or movies produced by the company.
“When we set out to build the company, we knew we had a worthy mission that was important,” says CEO Harden. “But we also knew it was good business.”
“When I started Hello Sunshine, I often found myself talking to people about female representation and saw blank faces staring back at me,” Witherspoon says. “That doesn’t happen as much now, and there’s definitely momentum in Hollywood to diversify storytelling.”
The company has doubled down on optimistic storytelling in the wake of the pandemic. “As quarantine has made clear, people want to be entertained and sometimes need a reprieve from bad news,” Witherspoon says. “We want to give them uplifting and hopeful TV shows and films.” Adds Neustadter: “Hope is an essential ingredient. The character can go through really challenging stuff, but we always want to show our audience that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Reese joined Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman & Will Arnett for the October 26th episode of their podcast ‘Smartless’ earlier this week. They talked about their experiences and process on set as actors/directors/producers, Reese’s childhood, her book club and the changing nature of media, Kamala Harris, Reese’s political aspirations, parenting/mental health during the global pandemic, and her retirement plan. It’s a good interview – listen below:
Following the Legally Blonde reunion, MGM Studios announced that Legally Blonde 3 will be released in cinemas in May 2022!
— MGM Studios (@MGM_Studios) October 20, 2020
Watch the amazing Legally Blonde reunion below – and pay a visit to the organisation it’s in aid of at World Central Kitchen.
Reunions give you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people join host Reese, moderator Chloe Fineman, and the stellar cast of Legally Blonde for a reunion after 20 years of the film’s production. So tune in; what like it’s hard?
Mindy Kaling Shares an Update on Legally Blonde 3 With Reese Witherspoon
Mindy Kaling just gave fans a much-needed update on Legally Blonde 3 while speaking on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
The Office alum was recruited to write the sequel by none other than Elle Woods herself—that would be star Reese Witherspoon.
“I was nervous because the movie is so iconic. But then I thought, ‘It’d be really fun to see that character in her 40s. What is Elle Woods dealing with as a 41-year-old woman?'” Kaling said. “And it’s been really funny to write. And I’m working on it with my friend Dan [Goor], and I think it’s going to be a great movie for Reese and people are going to love to see her in this part.”
Witherspoon first confirmed that Legally Blonde 3 was happening in 2018. And Kaling explained how it all went down.
“I’d been working with her on a couple movies and we’ve been friends for a while. And I have always quoted the movies to her. I was that annoying friend that would be like, ‘Bend and snap’ to her,” she said. “And [Reese] asked me, ‘You know, I’d really love to revisit this character.'”
Kaling and Witherspoon both starred in A Wrinkle in Time in 2018 with Oprah Winfrey and in The Morning Show in 2019.Continue reading this entry »
‘The Morning Show’ To Resume Production On Season 2 With Steve Carell Returning To Apple Series
Apple’s The Morning Show is headed back to production. The award-winning series is slated to restart filming its second season on October 19. As is the case with any production during COVID, the date is tentative and subject to change.
Led by Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show‘s Season 1 series-regular cast is coming back (sans Gugu Mbatha-Raw, for reasons related to her character’s storyline). That includes Steve Carell, who originally had signed a one-year deal. While his return had not been confirmed, The Morning Show producers had made it clear that they wanted him back and had indicated that they were pursuing a new deal with the actor.
The returning cast also includes Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, Nestor Carbonell, Bel Powley, Karen Pittman and Desean Terry.
The Morning Show was in the final stages of filming the first two episodes of Season 2, which were being shot as a block, when production was suspended on March 12 amid the rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak. I hear Carell had yet to film his scenes in the opening episodes when the pandemic-related shutdown hit.Continue reading this entry »
Get Organised With The Home Edit – the new home improvement reality series that Reese produced through Hello Sunshine – premiered on Netflix earlier this month. Reese appeared in the opening episode, and the hosts Clea and Joanna organised Reese’s closet with her movie, TV series and red carpet outfits/memorabilia. Reese has an impressive collection of outfits from Big Little Lies and Legally Blonde in particular, and it was so fun to see her look back through them! The finished closet looked amazing too!
Find The Home Edit team on Instagram, and watch the show on Netflix.
Reese appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show last week, and the two chatted about women supporting women, how Drew was Reese’s “childhood acting idol”, becoming mothers together, and friendship. Reese’s yellow dress is Draper James. Watch the interview below and find screencaptures in our Gallery: