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Producer Reese Witherspoon – “Films with women work”

From Katharina Wilhelm

Portrait of Reese Witherspoon smiling on the red carpet.  (AFP / Getty Images North America / Jerod Harris)
Ambition is not a dirty word, thinks actress and film producer Reese Witherspoon. (AFP / Getty Images North America / Jerod Harris)

In 2016, Reese Witherspoon started a film production company with the aim of creating more strong female roles. Now she is in the process of selling her media company for nearly a billion dollars and becoming one of the most powerful women in Hollywood.

Many moviegoers will know Reese Witherspoon from films like “Naturally Blonde” – as Elle Wood, a law student who was always dressed in pink. Or in the role of June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s wife in “Walk the Line”, for which she won an Oscar.

But despite this successful career, she realized that for many women in Hollywood, interesting roles would end at some point. It is a crisis, as she said at the Glamor Women of the Year Awards in 2017:

“I’ve been making films since I was 14 years old. I wanted to change something, so I asked who can I turn to? My mother, a smart southern woman, said, ‘Honey, if you want something, do it yourself! ‘”

Click here to go to Deutschlandfunk Kultur's summer of literature.  (Photo: imago / fStopImages / Malte Müller)

In 2016 she founded Pacific Standard, a film production company, secured the rights to two books: “Gone Girl” and “Wild”. Both films were great hits.

She later expanded her portfolio and Pacific Standard became a media company modeled on Oprah Winfrey. Witherspoon now produces TV series such as “The Morning Show” for Apple TV + or “Big Little Lies” for HBO under the umbrella brand Hello Sunshine.

Sometimes being angry too

Women should play the main role and be multi-layered, not just good or bad – also bad, triumphant. Just like real women.

Reese Witherspoon is not just about fulfilling her own dream, she says, but also about the next generation of women filmmakers: “I want to change something, I see these young women in our industry, I want them to have a better experience and look forward to their future. ” There is at Hello Sunshine also training programs, film classes for 13 to 18 year olds.

Reese Witherspoon sees herself clearly as a feminist – and not only fights for better jobs and prospects for women. As part of the #MeToo movement and the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, she is involved in the # Time’sUp movement, which campaigns against discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“A commodity that makes money”

Reese Witherspoon knows: No matter how good a thing is and how important it is to society, the cash register still has to ring. “Films with women work. It’s not a social project, it’s a commodity that makes money.”

The word got around – Apple and others licked their fingers for Witherspoon’s company. A company whose name is still unknown has now been awarded the contract for Hello Sunshine. Hello Sunshine was valued at $ 900 million.

Witherspoon will stay with the company and will continue to be involved in the decision-making process, making her one of the most influential filmmakers in Hollywood. This also fits her agenda, which she revealed to her female audience in 2017:

“Ambition is not a dirty word, it means believing in yourself!”



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