By Anne Raso
Reese Witherspoon: Always A Class Act!
Reese Witherspoon is a class act—and that opinion comes not only from her Hollywood contemporaries and legions of fans, but from people who have met her from all walks of life. She has a kind word for everyone and is known to always be on the up-and-up in a crazy and sometimes corrupt business. Her fashion sense is impeccable, as demonstrated by her one-shouldered Audrey Hepburn-inspired Zac Posen black crepe gown worn to the recent Golden Globes.
The petite blonde turned heads as she walked down the red carpet with pregnant pal Eva Longoria and wowed reporters backstage with her spot-on impression of her A Wrinkle In Time co-star, Oprah Winfrey. (It probably took both a good pal like Reese and a company as magical as Disney to get Oprah back in front of a movie camera since 2013’s The Butler!) Reese seems to be one of Lady O’s staunchest supporters and seems to take a lot of the same causes—especially women’s rights—to heart.
Witherspoon very quietly lives out her personal life as quietly as possible although is occasionally spotted out and about by the LA and NYC paparazzi. It has always been important to her to keep her three children as down-to-earth and humble as possible and has always been a hands-on mom rather than letting nannies tend to their needs. Although 41-year-old Witherspoon grew as the daughter of an affluent New Orleans doctor, she was taught to not think that she was better than anyone else.
Her entry into Hollywood’s mainstream was not easy as she recently admitted that a director sexually assaulted her at the age of 16. Witherspoon’s determination to succeed and dedication to being the best that she could be at her craft—citing Meryl Streep as a main influence—landed her the role of Elle in Legally Blonde, and at that point the sky was the limit. This savvy lady is now a director and a writer with her own production company—and can be as selective as she wants regarding screen roles.
Witherspoon has been married to talent agent Jim Toth for almost seven years and cites “totally zoning out” from Hollywood for at least a week at a time as a key to keeping her marriage working (this includes both vacations and staycations). She encourages independence in her kids and her doppelganger 18-year-old daughter Ava Phillippe has taken on pizza joint jobs in Hollywood suburbs for spending cash.
The blonde Hollywood jack-of-all-trades addressed a room of young women at the Glamour ‘s Women Of The Year Gala in Carnegie Hall a couple of years ago and encouraged them to be ambitious—and to not consider it a selfish act. She revealed, “Ambition is simply a drive inside of you—it’s having a curiosity or a new idea and the desire to pursue it…and when your ambition pays off, I encourage you to give your sisters a little goose out the door by helping to nurture their ambitions.”
Not surprisingly, Witherspoon plans on turning women’s life stories into film and TV projects and employing as many women as possible in their productions.