Reese Witherspoon is the cover model of Vogue’s October issue, and in the magazine she’s showing a side of herself the public has rarely seen.
In her interview, Witherspoon talks about playing a drug addict in upcoming Sheryl Strayed Biopic Wild , her decision to produce but pass up the leading role in upcoming David Fincher thriller Gone Girl , and her desire to shed the “good girl” image that her many rom-com roles have left her with.
The actress insists, “I’m a complex human being.
I have many different shades.”
Witherspoon, who was dubbed “America’s Sweetheart” years ago after starring in Legally Blonde and other sugary-sweet comedies, says that perception has limited the roles she is offered.
The actress recalls having a famous director refuse to meet with her because she was “Southern and sweet and huge.” She says, “I was like ‘All right, back to the drawing board.’” Witherspoon notes that one of the benefits of having her own production company, Pacific Standard, is that she can create for herself the kinds of roles others won’t give her.
She says of her decision to take on Strayed’s memoir about battling heroin addiction, “I just didn’t want to hear, ‘Oh we don’t want to see Reese have sex…Oh can we not have any profanity?’” As it happens, the role required Witherspoon to both shoot graphic sex scenes and learn to properly inject drugs.
Witherspoon says that she and Strayed bonded over past experiences, noting that, “So many of the things that Cheryl goes through in the book I’ve been through.” She continues, “I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced.
I haven’t lost my mother, but my mother’s mother died in a very similar way, of an aneurysm very suddenly.” Witherspoon says that she was on the shortlist to play Amy Dunne in Gone Girl , but decided the role wasn’t right for her after learning that Fincher wanted someone “cool and unapproachable.” The actress says, “Whatever I am, I’m not that.” The part ended up going to Rosamund Pike.