At 47 years old, Reese Witherspoon has this physical status:
Witherspoon attended an open casting call in 1991 for The Man in the Moon, intending to audition for a bit part; but instead was cast for the lead role of Dani Trant, a 14-year-old country girl who falls in love for the first time with her 17-year-old neighbor. According to The Guardian, her performance made an early impression. Film critic Roger Ebert commented, "Her first kiss is one of the most perfect little scenes I've ever seen in a movie." For her role, Witherspoon was nominated for a Young Artist Award, in the category of Best Young Actress. Later that year, she made her television debut role in Wildflower with Patricia Arquette. In 1992, Witherspoon appeared in the television film Desperate Choices: To Save My Child, portraying a critically ill young girl.
In 1993, Witherspoon played a young wife, Nonnie Parker, in the CBS miniseries Return to Lonesome Dove, appeared in the Disney film A Far Off Place, and had a minor role in Jack the Bear, which garnered her the Young Artist Award for Best Youth Actress Co-star. The next year, she had another leading role as Wendy Pfister in the 1994 film S.F.W., directed by Jefery Levy. In 1996, Witherspoon starred in two major films: the thriller Fear alongside Mark Wahlberg, as Nicole Walker, a teenager who starts dating a man with obsessive tendencies, and the black-comedy thriller Freeway, alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Brooke Shields, in which she played Vanessa Lutz; a poor girl living in Los Angeles who encounters a serial killer on the way to her grandmother's home in Stockton. The film received positive reviews from critics; San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle wrote, "Witherspoon, who does a Texas accent, is dazzling, utterly believable in one extreme situation after the other." Witherspoon's performance won her the Best Actress Award at the Cognac Police Film Festival and helped establish her as a rising star. The production of the film also gave her significant acting experience; she said "Once I overcame the hurdle of that movie – which scared me to death – I felt like I could try anything."
In 1998, Witherspoon had major roles in three films: Overnight Delivery, Pleasantville and Twilight. In Pleasantville, she starred with Tobey Maguire in a tale about 1990s teenage siblings who are magically transported into the setting of a 1950s television series. She portrayed Jennifer, the sister of Maguire's character who is mainly concerned about appearances, relationships and popularity. Her performance earned her praise and garnered her the Young Hollywood Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance. Director Gary Ross applauded her efforts saying, "she commits to a character so completely and she understands comedy".
A year later, Witherspoon co-starred with Alessandro Nivola in the drama thriller Best Laid Plans; she played Lissa, a woman who schemes with her lover Nick to escape a small dead-end town. Also in 1999, she co-starred with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe in the drama Cruel Intentions, a modern version of the 18th-century French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The critic for San Francisco Chronicle praised her performance as Annette Hargrove: "Witherspoon is especially good in the least flashy role, and even when called upon to make a series of cute devilish faces, she pulls it off." She also appeared in a music video by Marcy Playground for the film's soundtrack. Next, she appeared in Election (1999) opposite Matthew Broderick, based on Tom Perrotta's novel of the same name. For her portrayal of Tracy Flick, she earned acclaim and her first nominations in the Golden Globes and in the Independent Spirit Awards. She also won the Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics and the Online Film Critics Society. Witherspoon received a rank on the list of 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time by Premiere. Director Alexander Payne said "She's [Witherspoon] got that quality that men find attractive, while women would like to be her friend. But that's just the foundation. Nobody else is as funny or brings such charm to things. She can do anything."
Following the success of Election, Witherspoon struggled to find work due to typecasting. "I think because the character I played was so extreme and sort of shrewish—people thought that was who I was, rather than me going in and creating a part. I would audition for things and I'd always be the second choice—studios never wanted to hire me and I wasn't losing the parts to big box office actresses but to ones who I guess people felt differently about", she said. In 2000, Witherspoon had a supporting role in American Psycho as Patrick Bateman's trophy girlfriend, and made a cameo appearance in Little Nicky as the mother of the Antichrist. She also made a guest appearance in the sixth season of Friends as Rachel Green's sister Jill.
The 2001 film Legally Blonde marked a turning point in Witherspoon's career; she starred as Elle Woods, a fashion-merchandising major who decides to become a law student to follow her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School. Witherspoon said about the role, "When I read Legally Blonde, I was like, 'She's from Beverly Hills, she's rich, she's in a sorority. She has a great boyfriend. Oh yeah, she gets dumped. Who cares? I still hate her.' So we had to make sure she was the kind of person you just can't hate." Legally Blonde was a box-office hit, grossing US$96 million domestically. Witherspoon's performance earned her praise from critics, and the press began to refer her as "the new Meg Ryan". Roger Ebert commented, "Witherspoon effortlessly animated this material with sunshine and quick wit", and the critic from Salon magazine wrote "she [Witherspoon] delineates Elle's character beautifully". Meanwhile, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer concluded, "Witherspoon is a talented comedian who can perk up a scene just by marching in full of pep and drive and she powers this modest little comedy almost single-handedly." The film earned her a second nomination for Best Actress at the Golden Globes, and an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
In 2002, Witherspoon starred in several features, such as Greta Wolfcastle in The Simpsons episode "The Bart Wants What It Wants", and as Cecily in the comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play in which she received a Teen Choice Award nomination. Later that year, she starred with Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey in Andy Tennant's romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, in which she played Melanie Carmichael, a young fashion designer who intends to marry a New York politician but must return to Alabama to divorce her childhood sweetheart, from whom she has been separated for seven years. Witherspoon regarded it as a "personal role" as it reminded her of the experience of moving from Nashville to Los Angeles. The film became Witherspoon's biggest live-action box office hit, earning over $35 million in the opening weekend and grossing over $127 million in the U.S. Despite the commercial success, critics gave Sweet Home Alabama negative reviews. The Miami Herald called it "a romantic comedy so rote, dull and predictable", and the press opined that Witherspoon was the only reason the film attracted such a large audience. The Christian Science Monitor wrote of her, "She is not the movie's main attraction, she is its only attraction."
The next year, Witherspoon followed up the success of Legally Blonde by starring in the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. Elle Woods has become a Harvard-educated lawyer who is determined to protect animals from cosmetics industry science tests. The sequel was not as financially successful as the first film and it generated mostly negative reviews. USA Today considered the movie "plodding, unfunny and almost cringe-worthy", but also wrote "Reese Witherspoon still does a fine job portraying the fair-haired lovable brainiac, but her top-notch comic timing is wasted on the humorless dialogue." Meanwhile, Salon magazine concluded that the sequel "calcifies everything that was enjoyable about the first movie". Despite being panned by critics, the sequel took in over $39 million in its first five days in the U.S. box office charts and eventually grossed $90 million in the US. Witherspoon was paid $15 million for the role—a starting point which would make her consistently one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses between 2002 and 2010.
In 2004, Witherspoon starred in Vanity Fair, adapted from the 19th-century classic novel Vanity Fair and directed by Mira Nair. Her character, Becky Sharp, is a poor woman with a ruthless determination to find fortune and establish herself a position in society. Witherspoon was carefully costumed to conceal her pregnancy during filming. This pregnancy was not a hindrance to her work as Witherspoon believed the gestation had helped her portrayal of Sharp's character: "I love the luminosity that pregnancy brings, I love the fleshiness, I love the ample bosom—it gave me much more to play with", she said. The film, and Witherspoon's performance received mixed reviews; The Hollywood Reporter wrote "Nair's cast is splendid. Witherspoon does justice to the juicy role by giving the part more buoyancy than naughtiness." The Charlotte Observer called her work "an excellent performance that's soft around the edges", and the Los Angeles Times concluded that Becky is "a role Reese Witherspoon was born to play". However, LA Weekly wrote "[Witherspoon] ends up conveying so little of what's at once appalling and perversely attractive about the would-be mistress of Vanity Fair" and states that it may have to do with Witherspoon's vanity, "with an Oscar-less young star's need to be loved more than anyone could conceivably love the "real" Becky Sharp.". Some critics thought she was miscast.
In late 2004, Witherspoon starred alongside Mark Ruffalo in the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven. Her character, Elizabeth Masterson, is an ambitious young doctor who is involved in a car accident on her way to a blind date and is left in a coma; her spirit returns to her old apartment where she later finds true love. Next, she was cast as June Carter Cash, the second wife of singer-songwriter Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), in James Mangold's Walk the Line (2005). She never had the chance to meet Carter Cash, as Witherspoon was filming Vanity Fair at the time the singer died. Witherspoon performed her own vocals in the film, and her songs had to be performed in front of a live audience; she was so worried about needing to perform that she asked her lawyer to terminate the film contract. "That was the most challenging part of the role," she later recalled. "I'd never sung professionally." Subsequently, she had to spend six months learning how to sing for the role, including from the help of vocal coach Roger Love. Witherspoon's portrayal of Carter Cash was acclaimed by critics, with Roger Ebert stating that her performance added "boundless energy" to the film. She won Best Actress at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, British Academy Film Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild award for her performance.
Witherspoon and Phoenix received a nomination for "collaborative video of the year" from the CMT Music Awards. Witherspoon has expressed her passion for the film: "I really like in this film that it is realistic and portrays sort of a real marriage, a real relationship where there are forbidden thoughts and fallibility. And it is about compassion in the long haul, not just the short easy solutions to problems." She also stated that she believed Carter Cash was a woman ahead of her time: "I think the really remarkable thing about her character is that she did all of these things that we sort of see as normal things in the 1950s when it wasn't really acceptable for a woman to be married and divorced twice and have two different children by two different husbands and travel around in a car full of very famous musicians all by herself. She didn't try to comply to social convention, so I think that makes her a very modern woman." After the success of Walk the Line, Witherspoon starred in the fantasy Penelope, as Annie, the best friend of Penelope (Christina Ricci), a girl who has a curse in her family. The film was produced by her company Type A Films, and filming began in March 2006. The film premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, but went unreleased until February 2008.
Witherspoon admits to spending several years "kind of floundering career-wise". Reflecting on this period of time in a December 2014 interview, Witherspoon attributed it to the split from her first husband in October 2006 and their subsequent divorce, stating that she spent "a few years just trying to feel better. You know, you can't really be very creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs." She claims that she "wasn't making things I was passionate about. I was just kind of working, you know. And it was really clear that audiences weren't responding to anything I was putting out there."
Witherspoon appeared in the thriller Rendition, in which she played Isabella El-Ibrahim, the pregnant wife of a bombing suspect. The film was released in October 2007 and it was her first film appearance since the 2005's Walk the Line. The film received mostly mixed reviews and was deemed a major disappointment at the Toronto International Film Festival. Witherspoon's performance was also criticized; writing for USA Today, Claudia Puig wrote "Reese Witherspoon is surprisingly lifeless [...] She customarily injects energy and spirit into her parts, but here, her performance feels tamped down." In 2008, Witherspoon starred with Vince Vaughn in the comedy Four Christmases, a story about a couple who must spend their Christmas Day trying to visit all four of their divorced parents. Despite negative reviews from critics, the film was a box office success, earning more than $120 million domestically and $157 million worldwide. In 2009, Witherspoon voiced Susan Murphy, the lead character in the DreamWorks Animation Monsters vs. Aliens, released in March, which grossed $381 million worldwide. She also co-produced the Legally Blonde spin-off Legally Blondes, starring Milly and Becky Rosso. However, Witherspoon did not appear in a live-action film for two years after Four Christmases. She told Entertainment Weekly that the "break" was unplanned, stating that, "I just didn't read anything I liked... There are a lot of really, really, really big movies about robots and things—and there's not a part for a 34-year-old woman in a robot movie."
Witherspoon returned with three romances released in 2010, 2011 and 2012, all starring her as a woman caught in a love triangle between two men. In the first, she was cast in James L. Brooks' How Do You Know, in which she played a former national softball player who struggles to choose between a baseball-star boyfriend (Owen Wilson) and a business executive being investigated for white-collar crime (Paul Rudd). Filming took place in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. during the summer and fall of 2009 and it was released on December 17, 2010. The film was critically and commercially unsuccessful; with a budget of more than $100 million, the film only earned $48.7 million worldwide, leading the Los Angeles Times to call it "one of the year's biggest flops". The film received mainly unfavorable reviews, with an approval rating of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 111 reviews as of December 2010.
Witherspoon's second love-triangle film was the drama Water for Elephants, an adaptation of Sara Gruen's novel of the same name. She began circus training in March 2010 for her role as Marlena, a glamorous performer stuck in a marriage to a volatile husband (Christoph Waltz) but intrigued by the circus' new veterinarian (Robert Pattinson). Principal photography began between May and early August 2010 in various locations in Tennessee, Georgia, and California. It was released on April 22, 2011, and received mixed critical reviews. Her last love-triangle film began production in Vancouver in September 2010. Directed by McG and released by 20th Century Fox, This Means War, saw Witherspoon's character at the center of a battle between best friends (played by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy), who are both in love with her. The film had a "sneak-peek" release on Valentine's Day, before fully opening on February 17, 2012. The film was panned by critics, with a 25% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and fared poorly at the box office, taking fifth place on its opening weekend with sales of $17.6 million. The New York Times remarked that this "extended the box office cold streak for the Oscar-winning Ms. Witherspoon". In a 2012 interview with MTV, Witherspoon jokingly referred that 2010–12 was her "love triangle period".
In September 2011, a year after beginning work on This Means War, she filmed a small role in Jeff Nichols's coming-of-age drama Mud in Arkansas, playing Juniper, the former girlfriend of a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey), who enlists two local boys to help him evade capture and rekindle his romance with her. Mud premiered in May 2012 in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, but did not win. Following its American debut at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2013, the film had a limited release in selected North American theaters on April 26, 2013.
Witherspoon next starred in Devil's Knot, which was directed by Atom Egoyan, and based on the true crime book of the same name, examining the controversial case of the West Memphis Three. Like Mud, the film is set in Arkansas. She played Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of three young murder victims. In an interview subsequent to her casting in the film, Egoyan noted that although the role requires "an emotionally loaded journey," he "met with Reese, and... talked at length about the project, and she's eager to take on the challenge." Filming took place in Georgia in June and July 2012, and Witherspoon was pregnant with her third child during filming. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, followed by a release in selected American theaters on May 9, 2014. Although the film received mainly negative reviews; London's Evening Standard thought Witherspoon was "the strongest, most involving character".
In 2012, Witherspoon founded production company Pacific Standard (now part of Hello Sunshine). Her goal was to produce projects with "strong" female lead characters, as she felt this was lacking in Hollywood. Through the company, Witherspoon served as a producer for Gone Girl (2014), an adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel of the same name. She also produced and starred in the biographical adventure Wild (2014), based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir of the same name. She portrayed Strayed 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 considered as Witherspoon's "comeback" role following her previous career slump, and she earned a second Academy Award nomination for her performance.
Witherspoon appeared in Philippe Falardeau's drama The Good Lie, based on a true story about an employment counselor assigned to help four young Sudanese refugees, known as Lost Boys of Sudan, who win a lottery for relocation to the U.S. It was released on October 3, 2014. The film was mostly well-received; The Hollywood Reporter critic praised the touching story and performances of the cast, writing that Witherspoon does not "upstage" her colleagues. Next, she appeared in Inherent Vice (2014), an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel of the same name. In May 2014, Witherspoon began production in Louisiana on Hot Pursuit, a comedy in which she plays a police officer trying to protect a drug lord's widow (Sofía Vergara). The feature was released on May 8, 2015.
In 2016, Witherspoon had a voice role in the animated musical comedy film Sing, and served as a performer to the film's soundtrack. Sing became Witherspoon's biggest commercial success, being the first of her films to make over $200 million domestically and $600 million worldwide. That same year, Witherspoon began filming her first television project since 1993's Return To Lonesome Dove, the seven-part miniseries adaptation of the Liane Moriarty bestseller, Big Little Lies. She co-produced the miniseries along with co-star Nicole Kidman and 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 garnered critical acclaim for her performance, with TV Line proclaiming her as "Performer of the Week" in the weeks of February 26 – March 4 in 2017 and June 23–29 in 2019. The Washington Post compared her performance to her roles in Election and Legally Blonde. In December 2017, HBO renewed Big Little Lies for a second season, which premiered in June 2019. Witherspoon also starred in the romantic comedy Home Again, the directorial debut of filmmaker Nancy Meyers' daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, which was released on September 8, 2017.
In 2018, she starred in Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, a film adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel of the same name, in which she plays Mrs. Whatsit. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the feature co-stars Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling, and was released in March 2018. Four months later, Witherspoon began hosting the talk show Shine On with Reese on DirecTV, in which she interviews female guests, focusing on how they achieved their ambitions. The show marks Witherspoon's first unscripted role in television.
Witherspoon currently produces and stars in the Apple TV+ drama series The Morning Show alongside Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell. The Morning Show has received a two-season order from Apple with the first season premiering in November 2019. Witherspoon was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama and a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series for her work in the series. Season two of The Morning Show was set to premiere in 2020 before the production shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two episodes were in the final stages of being shot before the production shutdown. During the production shutdown, scripts were rewritten to reflect the pandemic. Production on season two of The Morning Show restarted on October 19, 2020 and premiered on Apple TV in September 2021. Witherspoon also serves as an executive producer for the Apple TV+ series Truth Be Told starring Octavia Spencer which premiered in December 2019; it was renewed for a second season in March 2020.
In 2020, Witherspoon produced and starred in the Hulu drama miniseries Little Fires Everywhere opposite Kerry Washington, the televised adaptation of Celeste Ng's 2017 novel of the same name. In that same year, Witherspoon narrated the Quibi nature documentary series Fierce Queens which focuses on female animals in the animal kingdom.
In addition to starring and producing television shows for her own, Witherspoon will serve as an executive producer for six television series, for different streaming services and networks including Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, ABC, Starz and Netflix.
Witherspoon will produce and star in three Netflix films; first, Pyros, a science fiction drama directed by Simon Kinberg, secondly, two romantic comedies on Netflix. Witherspoon will produce two films including A White Lie set to star Zendaya, and a documentary about Martina Navratilova. Witherspoon will also reprise the role of Elle Woods by starring in and producing Legally Blonde 3; the script will be written by Dan Goor and Mindy Kaling. The film will be the fourth collaboration between Kaling and Witherspoon after A Wrinkle in Time, The Mindy Project and The Morning Show. In 2015, it was reported that Witherspoon had signed on to star and produce in a live-action film about Tinker Bell for Disney. Six years later, the project re-entered development as a part of Gary Marsh's overall deal with Disney and Witherspoon still attached as a producer.
Reese Witherspoon's lookalike daughter Ava Phillippe, 24, and mother Betty Reese, 75, attend finale of The Golden Bachelor: 'My grandma Betty needed a date!'
New York woman who pays just $500-a-month to live in a TINY apartment she found on Airbnb reveals the space-saving hacks she uses to fit into compact space - including turning a cupboard into a kitchen and washing her dishes in a BUCKET
Wait. Could this whole Reese Witherspoon and Kevin Costner thing be REAL?! That’s what DeuxMoi is insisting!
OK, so last week a rumor started going around that the Sweet Home Alabama and Yellowstones stars were an item. New Idea reported the recent divorcées met for an artistic collab but their heartland superduet turned into a matter of the actual heart! Kinda cute!
Reese Witherspoon and Kevin Costner dating?!
So said a report this week from New Idea. They claimed the recent divorcées met to discuss a business collab and ended up hitting it off. Seems like a bit of an odd couple. Sure, they’re both Hollywood powerhouses. But there’s also a 20+ year age gap there! Kevin is 68, while Reese is just 47. Obviously that isn’t a dealbreaker for everyone, but… is this true??
Wow, I can't believe it's been 5 years since we started ReesesBookClub! 🥰📚✨ Together, we’ve read over 70 stories with women at the center, championing female authors and connecting them with our community of avid readers. We’ve changed the lives of our authors, and bonded with each other all over the world through our love of reading. I can’t wait for the next 5 years and beyond!