Priding her position as an ‘A list’ actress and boasting a dazzling array of awards, Reese
Witherspoon is doubtlessly one of the most respected actresses of today. At ÉCU we
particularly admire Witherspoon for her producing and acting role in the co-funded
production company Pacific Standard: a platform advocating greater visibility of female-led
filmmaking.
But like many Hollywood stars, Witherspoon sowed the seeds for her illustrious career at the age of just seven, when she starred in a flower shop advert, before later abandoning her English Literature degree to pursue her acting passion. Since then the breadth of characters and styles tackled by the star has continued to entertain and the enthral a diverse spectatorship for decades. From her debut performances in television series to providing voiceovers for animation films, Witherspoon went on to truly make her stamp on the international cinema scene with her roles in dozens of box-office hit romantic comedies,
such as Pleasantville, Legally Blonde and the crime thriller Freeway. Yet her acting
talent and predilection extends beyond this typecast. In 2005, Witherspoon’s role as the
June Carter in the biographical film Walk the Line was praised as her most astonishing
performance to date: bringing her a BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award.
Witherspoon’s active involvement in promoting the representation and equality of female
figures in the film industry is also testament to her determination and ambition. Through
Pacific Standard and her multimedia company Hello Sunshine, the star aims to bring “different, dynamic women’’ to the forefront of modern filmmaking, whether that is on-set or behind the scenes. The dramas Gone Girl and Wild are two of the most critically-acclaimed feminist sensations produced by Witherspoon. The latter is a celebration of female resilience, in which she was commended for her moving portrayal of the biopic protagonist, who, struck by tragedy embarks on a solo journey of healing.

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