Monday, June 12, 2017

Reese Witherspoon Talks Producing Roles for Women

Reese Witherspoon recently sat down for an interview with Net-a-Porter's The Edit, where she talked about producing roles for women, and working on Big Little Lies. Here's what she had to say:

On female-focused filmmaking:
“It’s hard to be a female director, or a female writer, or an actress over 25. I think the dawn of streaming and the way that people are watching content now has been a great benefit because maybe women are too busy to go all the way to the theater, but they still want to see a diverse array of women on screen. I’ve been hearing for 27 years that women don’t show up to see women in movies, and I know empirically that is not true.”

On how she chooses projects to produce:
“Women are voracious readers. Women want story, character, nuance, emotion, heart, and a lot of that is in books, but they weren’t being bought by studios unless they were mega blockbusters. When we bought Gone Girl, it was in the galleys. Every studio passed except for one. Honestly? I don’t think they even read it.” 

On drawing inspiration from Goldie Hawn:
“She went to

studios and pitched Private Benjamin, Wildcats, Bird on a Wire, The First Wives Club. She pushed hard to create characters that were independent, and all of them are underestimated. She showed that being pretty with a high voice and a bubbly personality doesn’t mean you’re stupid.”

On her Big Little Lies character Madeline:
“What I liked about Madeline is that she’s over 40 and she does not give a fuck what people think. She has no
filter, she doesn’t suffer fools, she’s not interested in hearing people’s silly conversations. [After 40] you know who you are, who your friends are, what you want to accomplish and what you don’t care about. It’s liberating not having to worry so much about what other people think of you. I mean, look, I’m still an actor...”

On relating to the women in the book:
“When I read it, I felt a little like Renata because I was a working mom. I felt a little like Madeline because I’d been divorced, married and had other kids. I didn’t feel the Celeste experience as much, but I’ve known many, many women in domestic-violence situations. I felt like I had been Jane, because I was the youngest mom at school and the other [mothers] rallied around me and got me everything from a pediatrician to registered at schools. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.”

On playing multi-dimensional women:
“I remember doing Legally Blonde and thinking, this is my first film that isn’t about a romantic entanglement; it’s about

a woman finding her own destiny. There certainly were romantic aspects to it, but it wasn’t the driving part of her story.” 

Read the full interview at Net-a-Porter's The Edit.

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