Reese Witherspoon

Actress and producer advocating for women in Hollywood and co-creator of the Time's Up movement

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"Reese Witherspoon is an American actress, producer, and entrepreneur. She is the recipient of several awards including an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award. Born in New Orleans and raised in Tennessee, she began her career as a child actress, making her professional screen debut in The Man in the Moon (1991), for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. Following breakout roles in Desperate Choices: To Save My Child (1992) and Jack the Bear (1993), she starred in the comedy-drama Pleasantville (1998), for which she won the Young Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Performance. Her leading role of Tracy Flick in Election (1999) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

 

Witherspoon's breakthrough role was playing Elle Woods in the 2001 film Legally Blonde, for which she received her second Golden Globe nomination. The following year, she starred in the romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, which emerged as her biggest live-action commercial success. In 2005, she portrayed June Carter in Walk the Line, which earned her the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Critics Choice Award for Best Actress. Other notable films of hers include Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), Water for Elephants (2011), and Sing (2016). In 2014, Witherspoon produced the thriller Gone Girl and received critical acclaim for portraying Cheryl Strayed in Wild, for which she earned her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and a fourth Golden Globe nomination. In 2017, she co-produced and starred in the HBO drama series Big Little Lies, for which she received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and Outstanding Limited Series, winning the latter as a producer.

 

Witherspoon owns a production company, Hello Sunshine, a clothing company Draper James, and she is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010…

 

In 2012 she, by herself, started the production company Pacific Standard. The goal of the company was to produce movies with strong female lead roles. In a speech she gave at the Glamour Awards in 2015, she said that she was tired of seeing only movies with a strictly male focus being produced. The mission of the production company is to focus more on stories about the trials and tribulations of women. So far they have produced movies like Gone Girl and Wild.Through her company Pacific Standard, Witherspoon served as a producer in the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl, though she did not star. Indeed, Witherspoon and her producing partner "had little to do with the production of Gone Girl", leaving it to director David Fincher while focusing their efforts on another adaptation produced via Pacific Standard, that of Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, which began production in fall 2013 on the same day as Gone Girl. Witherspoon starred in the project, portraying Strayed herself on her 1,000-mile (1,600 km) hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild was released in December 2014 to critical acclaim; Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune wrote in his review, "Witherspoon does the least acting of her career, and it works. Calmly yet restlessly, she brings to life Strayed's longings, her states of grief and desire and her wary optimism." Wild was promoted as Witherspoon's primary "comeback" vehicle following her previous career slump, and she earned her second Academy Award nomination for the role…

 

In January 2016, Witherspoon began filming her first television project since Return To Lonesome Dove, the seven-part miniseries adaptation of the Liane Moriarty bestseller, Big Little Lies. She produced the miniseries, along with her co-star, Nicole Kidman, and the show's director, Jean-Marc Vallée, her second project under his direction. The series premiered on February 19, 2017 on HBO and finished on April 2. Witherspoon has garnered critical acclaim for her performance, with TV Line proclaiming her as "Performer of the Week" of February 26 to March 4. The Washington Post compared her performance to her previous work in Election and Legally Blonde.

 

In November 2016, Witherspoon began production on the romantic comedy Home Again, the directorial debut of filmmaker Nancy Meyers' daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, which was released on September 8, 2017. A few months later, she began filming the Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, the film adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic novel of the same name, where she plays Mrs. Whatsit. She co-stars alongside Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling and is directed by Ava DuVernay.

 

Witherspoon owned a production company called Type A Films, which the media believed was a moniker honoring her childhood nickname "Little Miss Type A." However, when asked about the company by Interview magazine, she clarified the name's origin: "... people think I named it after myself... It was actually an in-joke with my family because at 7 I understood complicated medical terms, such as the difference between type A and type B personalities. But I just wished I'd named the company Dogfood Films or Fork or something. You carry that baggage all your life." In March 2012, Witherspoon merged Type A Films with producer Bruna Papandrea's Make Movies banner to create a new production company entitled Pacific Standard. In 2016, Witherspoon and Papandrea split up, with Witherspoon gaining full control over the company…

 

In May 2015, Witherspoon launched Draper James, a retail brand with a focus on fashion, accessories and home décor inspired by the American South. The brand is named after Witherspoon's grandparents, Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon, who are said to be her greatest influences. Some of the products are being manufactured and designed in-house, and the brand launched direct to consumers online before opening its first brick and mortar store in fall 2015 in Witherspoon's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee…

 

In November 2016, Witherspoon and Otter Media formed Hello Sunshine, a joint venture focused on telling female-driven stories on film, TV and digital platforms.

 

In March 2017, Witherspoon became the storyteller-in-chief for Elizabeth Arden, Inc.. There, she will be helping the company to shape the brand's narrative through advertising campaigns and marketing programs. Of her involvement, Witherspoon states that she is "excited to work as a creative partner alongside the Elizabeth Arden team, producing content that celebrates the spirit of the brand, highlighting female-centric stories that illustrate women's true life experiences which unite us all."

 

Witherspoon is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She is a longtime supporter of Save the Children, an organization that helps provide children around the world with education, health care and emergency aid. She also serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund, a child advocacy and research group. In 2006, she was among a group of actresses who went to New Orleans, Louisiana in a CDF project to publicize the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims. During this trip, she helped open the city's first Freedom School, as she met and talked with the children. Witherspoon later called this an experience that she would never forget.

 

In 2007, Witherspoon made her first move into the world of endorsements, as she signed a multi-year agreement to serve as the first Global Ambassador of cosmetic company Avon Products. She acts as a spokeswoman for Avon's cosmetic products and serves as the honorary chair of the Avon Foundation, a charitable organization that supports women and focuses on breast cancer research and the prevention of domestic violence. Witherspoon is also committed to participating in cosmetics product development and appearing in commercial advertisements. Explaining her motives for joining the foundation, she said, "As a woman and a mother I care deeply about the well being of other women and children throughout the world and through the years, I have always looked for opportunities to make a difference."...

 

In 2015, Witherspoon made her second appearance among the Time 100, with her featured article being written by Mindy Kaling. The same year, she was awarded, by a unanimous vote from the committee, the American Cinematheque for being "a perfect example of an actress flourishing in today’s world" and "an active and successful movie producer who is moving her career forward both behind and in front of the camera"...

 

Witherspoon has won numerous awards, including the BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Walk the Line in 2005. In 2015, Witherspoon was nominated for another Academy Award in the same category, this time for her performance in Wild." (1)

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