Reese Witherspoon’s joy at being courted by two men in her new role
She’s dated Hollywood’s most handsome leading men but happily married Reese Witherspoon still relishes romance roles
She may play a woman who resorts to using an online dating agency to find a man in her latest movie, but that’s not a problem Reese Witherspoon has experienced.
For the Legally Blonde star has been romatically involved with some of Hollywood’s most handsome leading men.
“It’s a wonderful time in my life at the moment,” says the 35-year-old, who re-married less than a year ago, five years after splitting from her first husband, actor Ryan Phillippe.
“I’ve had trepidations about relationships and getting married again,” adds Reese, whose new romantic action comedy This Means War has been showing at selected previews ahead of a full release in two weeks’ time. “But I’ve never wanted fear to be the reason that I didn’t find happiness.”
Her new husband, Jim Toth, 41, is one of the executives at the agency that handles Witherspoon.
“I usually run into people who are in the same business as me,” Reese explains, “so it’s kind of natural that you would gravitate towards someone who understands what you do for a living.”
Before she married Phillippe in 1999, Witherspoon had dated actors Jeremy Sisto, Chris O’Donnell and Mark Wahlberg. Then, when her marriage broke up amid rumours that Phillippe had cheated on her with actress Abbie Cornish, she spent two and a half years with her Rendition co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, splitting with him in November 2009. Jim Toth entered the picture shortly afterwards.
“I’m very happy and very lucky,” Reese says. “It just feels right. It’s the right thing and he’s the right person at the right time in my life. It’s a great experience to find somebody that you feel well matched with and that you can build a life with.”
She and Phillippe share custody of their two children, Ava, 12, and Deacon, eight, both of whom, she says, get along swimmingly with her new husband. “I wouldn’t have married him if they didn’t,” she laughs.
“I don’t feel bad about any of the things I’ve done and gone through, whether it’s divorce, break-ups or anything like that, because it’s all part of life’s journey. I’m very good friends with a lot of my exes and I’m even friends on Facebook with the first boy I ever kissed!”
In This Means War, Reese’s character Lauren signs up with an online dating service and finds herself torn between two men who are both friends and CIA operatives, played by Chris Pine and Britain’s Tom Hardy.
“It’s definitely every woman’s fantasy to have two hot, sexy guys battling over you,” she laughs, “but I don’t think it happens too often in real life.”
As the two men fall for Lauren, they become increasingly competitive and use their spy tactics and techniques to sabotage each other’s romantic efforts.
Reese, the daughter of a surgeon father and pediatric nurse mother, had a sturdy Southern upbringing in Nashville, Tennessee, and planned to follow her parents into medicine. She took acting lessons while at school and when she was 14 landed one of the leading roles in the movie The Man In The Moon after attending a casting call expecting to be hired as an extra.
She racked up television and film credits and then went to the prestigious Stanford University in Northern California with her sights set on a degree in English literature. But after only a year, acting drew her back to Hollywood where directors were lining up to cast her in risky, complex roles in movies such as Boogie Nights, Fear and Freeway.
She met husband-to-be Ryan Phillippe at her 21st birthday party in 1997 and they subsequently starred together in Cruel Intentions. After they married, she took a two-year break from movies to give birth to Ava and returned to the big screen in the comedy Legally Blonde and its sequel, Legally Blonde: Red White and Blue.
She hit a career high point portraying country singer June Carter Cash in Walk The Line, a performance which won her the Best Actress Oscar.
“My career is going well,” says Reese, who will soon star with Colin Firth in the true crime drama Devil’s Knot. “I’m also very lucky to be married to a wonderful person whom I care very much about. I can’t complain about anything.”