Reese Witherspoon is out to change things in Hollywood. The mother, actress, fashion designer and lifestyle entrepreneur, 39, is not afraid to call out sexism in the industry — especially when it’s so flagrant.
She sat down with Harper’s Bazaar for its February issue to talk out her new perspective.
“There was a point, around 2011, there were like five actresses that I admire very much and they all called me and said, ‘There’s this role of this girlfriend in this movie,’ which was kind of just a terrible movie. And we’re all kind of clamoring for this terrible part? We are so much better than this.”
“I certainly can’t star in all these movies,” she continued. “I want to get a female perspective on film that would make my daughter [Ava] understand what it means to be a woman in a different way.”
Meanwhile, even her new line of clothing, Draper James, is more than just preppy prints: She’s using it to reflect on the history of femininity.
“I saw an empty space. All these women in the South, they read fashion magazines, but nobody was telling the stories about their upbringing — their mothers, their grandmothers who love getting dressed up. It’s a feminine culture.”
The actress owes a lot of her newfound bravery and ability to speak about feminism out loud to her age.
“I’m much more open now. In my 20s, I was scared of everything. I didn’t know what my career was. I didn’t know why people liked my movies,” she admitted. “I was wary of interacting with people. I was 25 when ‘Legally Blonde’ came out, 26 for ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ and 29 for ‘Walk the Line.’ And I was scared, really scared. Now I feel like a different person. It’s a great thing getting older. You are who you are; you say what you mean.”
As for the few extra wrinkles that come with that wisdom?
“I kind of enjoy that!”