Woman Crush Wednesday: Reese Witherspoon

Above: Reese Witherspoon at the premiere of 'Wild' at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Name: Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon

Birthdate: March 22, 1976

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana

Claim to fame: Her big breakout role came in 2001 when she starred as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, which catapulted her to leading-lady status.

What we can see her in next: Her latest film, Wild, is based on the best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed, tracking the author’s 1,000 mile trek along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, from the Southern Californian desert to the lush forests of Oregon. Witherspoon plays the lead role of Strayed, a woman who heads out on a journey to obtain solitude while going through a tough personal time. The film releases everywhere on December 5. 

Interesting fact: Witherspoon almost backed out of her role in Wild last minute because she was nervous for the drug and sex scenes she would have to do for the film.

Best quote: “I feel very blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children who keep me completely grounded, sane and throw up on my shoes just before I go to an awards show just so I know to keep it real.” — on her kids and staying grounded. 

Why we love her: Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2005 for her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. But since that victory, she hasn’t done much worth talking about. That is until now, her latest movie, Wild, is based off the best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed — telling the story of the author’s hike through the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in 1995. This role is supposed to serve as a mini-comeback, as she’s already started to generate some early Oscar consideration for her performance. That’s why she’s our WCW this week, because she’s always been talented, but just needed the right role to bring it out of her again. Wild is exactly that — a story about a very human heroine, completely raw, troubled, and free, which Witherspoon embodies in all facets.

We will all remember Witherspoon from the late 90’s and early 2000’s — with her roles in films like Pleasantville, Cruel Intentions, and Election putting her on the map. Then in 2001, her breakout performance as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, which earned her a spot as one of the top leading ladies in Hollywood. Of course there was her unforgettable portrayal of the late June Carter Cash — which earned her Hollywood’s most prized trophy, and required she learn how to sing and play the auto-harp. That’s right, every note sung in that movie by Witherspoon was from her own singing voice (she had to undergo intensive voice lessons for six months in order to prepare her to shoot her singing scenes in front of a live audience).

Reese Witherspoon is that bubbly blonde that we know as perfectly capable of both stealing scenes in comedies, as well as moving you in dramatic turns. Her latest, Wild, is inarguably one of her most stripped down performances to date (both literally and figuratively). So call it a comeback if you will, but Witherspoon is back, showing us that her best days are far from behind her. 

Wild releases in theatres everywhere on December 5th. 

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