Reese Witherspoon Realizes That “People Like to See Me Do Lighter Movies” – The Hollywood Reporter

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Reese Witherspoon and that hello dear The media company hosted its inaugural Shine Away event on Saturday, which included several conversations with Witherspoon’s A-list friends and colleagues.

The event, held in downtown Los Angeles, welcomed hundreds of ticketed guests to hear participants jennifer garner, mindy kaling, Tracee Ellis RossAfternoon performances by Alison Felix, The Home Edit’s Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, Eve Rodsky, Hannah Bronfman, Cheryl Strayed and Dove Cameron.

Fortune Feemster kicked off the day with a short standup set, after which Witherspoon took the stage to discuss her journey to launching Hello Sunshine in 2016. She recalled how few women-centric stories she was seeing, despite women consuming two to three of them at the time. Many times more media than men.

“After I did a lot of soul searching and complaining a lot to anyone who would listen, namely my mother, then I realized what so many people in this room felt, that if you want to fix a problem If you are, you have to be part of the solution. I would also like to say that women are always part of the solution,” she said. “We have so many people telling their stories for us. One of the biggest rules in my family is that you get to tell your own stories, and a version of this in the words of Hello Sunshine is that women get to tell their own stories.

The star also commented on holding the event amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, saying, “I’m a mother before anything else, and the Jewish lives that have been lost, the Palestinian lives that have been lost, it’s so devastating. . And I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on war or conflict in the Middle East, so I’m not going to talk about that, but I want you to know that for my team and I, our hearts Heartbroken and we just want to close our eyes and send love and light to all the people suffering right now in the world.

To kick off the day of programming, Witherspoon joined Garner and Kaling for a panel conversation moderated by AT&T Chief Marketing Officer Kellyanne Smith Kenney. The group was not able to talk specifically about their past projects due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, but talked about their entrepreneurial and philanthropic work outside of acting, as well as their friendship.

Witherspoon recalled that she talked to Kaling about working together after reading her book. why not me?And growing closer to Garner after becoming involved with a children’s charity.

“These two women are two of the first people I called when I was doing Hello Sunshine. I said, ‘Will you work with me, how can we work together?’ I introduced Mindy 17 podcasts that we’ve never done before. I said, ‘What about this where we just watch a rom-com and drink?’ Is that a podcast or like Friday night?'” Witherspoon joked. “And yes, every time I read a great book I call Jane, ‘Do you want to star in it?’ Okay, but Jen,’ I’m like, ‘I want to protect your time with your kids because I know you’re going through a lot right now and it’s a lot so is it good or not? ‘ It was about the excitement of being able to work with my dearest friends too.”

For her part, Garner remembered that “I was going through a very public, very difficult moment in my life; [Witherspoon] She was right there, and the way I needed to get through it was dance cardio and I danced cardio so hard that we broke her leg but she kept going. Kaling recalled working with Witherspoon on a film where she pitched the idea of ​​being a single woman having a child alone and Witherspoon asked her to do so.

“It’s a scary thing to start over and sometimes you need that person there. I think we look at Reese as an entertainer, he’s obviously very funny and very talented, but as a friend, the person who can tell you hard things and you believe him because You’ve been through a lot and you’ve been incredibly open about it,” Kaling said. Garner also talked about Hollywood actresses uniting for meetings at Witherspoon’s home during the Time’s Up movement: “It was the first time I sat in the same room with multiple actresses and we were at an awards show. -Were not getting ahead of others.” Show up in big dresses, where we were just sitting. We were silenced; The one place that doesn’t, the place that started the change where that can no longer happen, is Hello Sunshine.’

Witherspoon also discussed her approach to choosing her projects and said that she realized, “I’m not meant to do dark, heavy, intense, scary, gruesome, dark movies. People like to see me doing light films, and I was fine. It doesn’t put you in the cool kids club, but I don’t care, I don’t want to be in the cool kids club. I want to create optimistic things that get girls excited to be women in this world, because being a woman in this world is an amazing thing. Kaling teased that “B.J. Novak says it’s not a Mindy Kaling show unless it involves a man running around shirtless in slow motion. And you know, I’ve been so used to the male gaze my whole life that yes, I would rather look at a beautiful torso. And I want to make it available to you.”

Later in the program, Witherspoon sat down for a chat with Ross, after the two became close during the Time’s Up movement. Ross talks about her decade-long journey to launching her hair products company, Pattern Beauty, and how she finds balance in her life outside of business and her acting career.

“When you’re single and don’t have kids, you have to be really conscious about organizing what you want around you, when you want to be happy, or you just want to be in your home. Or spend all your time just working – neither works,’ Ross said. “I do not seek balance because I think it is impossible, but rather I seek harmony. So it makes sense to see how waves move: sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small. Sometimes there is more work, sometimes less.”

Witherspoon admitted that she’s working hard to find balance outside of work, explaining, “I’m a person who fills my schedule with busyness so that I feel less alone or less nervous or less anxious. , like work has always been the bomb for me. And I started realizing that this wasn’t going to work for me; about a year ago I was like, ‘I was a robot and the robot broke.'”

The star said she messaged Ross at this time and realized that between all of her work and family duties, “It’s really important to remember that you have to be the glue that holds yourself together,” she said at the time. Said, “I didn’t feel like I was taking very good care of myself and I wasn’t asking for help from other people.”

The Shine Away event was held in partnership with AT&T and also welcomed Lindsey Vonn, Kerry Walsh Jennings and authors Curtis Sittenfeld, Jasmine Guillory and Laura Dave.

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