Video: Reese Witherspoon's Revolution
Reese Witherspoon speaks to me at the office of the Chickwood Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee. Before we met, the actress spent the whole day shooting Bazaar in the botanical garden of the same name, meekly following the photographer's instructions (including riding a horse and holding a pig in her hands) and between camera flashes, waving away unexpectedly aggressive ladybirds. And for the whole day - not a single complaint: optimism and cheerfulness are typically "southern" character traits for which Witherspoon, a native of New Orleans, is loved all over America.
I'm no longer afraid to say what I think
25 years in cinema, an Oscar for her role in Johnny Cash's biopic Walk the Line and last year's nomination for Wild - the 39-year-old actress is not just a star, but the brightest comet in the Hollywood sky. And it seems that she no longer intends to illuminate the passing romantic comedies with her radiant smile. Instead, Witherspoon took part in the film adaptations of Gone Girl and Wildlife as a producer, and also starred in the latter film. The result is obvious: both projects were nominated for an Oscar, and both in the Best Actress category.
What made the actress leave her comfort zone? “I remember that in 2011, me and five of my colleagues, whom I truly admire, were considered for the role of the hero's girlfriend in an apparently mediocre film. We called up with them, compared how who had the casting, and at some point it dawned on me: what kind of nonsense? Why on earth should we fight to participate in this hack? In our industry, there are desperately few interesting stories told from a woman's perspective, and I intend to change that. At least for the sake of my daughter Ava: I want her to grow up with confidence that her voice will be heard."
Do you know what I really love to do? Tidy up the library and laundry drawers
Reese was first offered to try her hand at the role of a producer by her husband, Hollywood agent Jim Toth. "He noticed that I was all the time buried in a book, and advised me to buy the rights to film adaptations of novels that I especially like." Witherspoon listened to his words, and today her company Type A Films is working on as many as 30 projects, 25 of which are feature films.
Most people would be limited to this, but not the energetic "blonde in law". Last spring, Witherspoon launched her own clothing and home furnishings line, Draper James, and the brand's first store opened in Nashville in October. Why does a successful actress and producer need extra workload? “The motivation is the same as in the movies: I saw a free niche,” explains Reese. - Of course, women in the south are interested in fashion, but they have completely forgotten about their roots. But their grandmothers and mothers loved, and most importantly, knew how to dress up. Southerners have always been very feminine - and I wanted to remind them of that."
Draper James clothing is truly feminine. However, for every lace dress in the collection there is a plaid shirt and blue jeans (“Made in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia,” the actress proudly adds). Reese herself is happy to wear things of her own brand: "In them, I seem to return home to the south, and this is very important for me."
When asked how she spends her free time (and if she has any at all), Witherspoon laughs: “My tactful husband says that at home I am very 'relaxed'. It is he that recently I almost stopped cooking. Do you know what I really love to do? Tidy up the library and laundry drawers. Sometimes Jim asks what I've been doing in the dressing room for four hours straight. What-what - arranged socks by color!"
If it's a way to deal with stress, then it clearly works. Reese exudes serenity today. “I have become more open and confident. Until the age of 30, I was worried about any reason: whether my career would take place, whether the audience really liked my films. Fortunately, this has passed over time. In general, I like growing up: I finally understand who I am and what I want. And most importantly, I am no longer afraid to say what I think."
The actress will turn 40 on March 22nd. She decided to celebrate her anniversary in Nashville with her family and close friends. However, the original plan was different. “I wanted to climb Machu Picchu on foot,” says Witherspoon, “but suddenly I realized that hiking was enough for me on the set of Wild. I'll sit at home for a while."
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