What is Reese Witherspoon doing? A question you don’t have to ask. We know what Reese Witherspoon is doing. And so she is still a specialty among Hollywood actresses who started their careers in romantic comedies at the turn of the millennium. At some point there are no role offers and then the questions pile up: “What is XY actually doing? Long time no see…”
Reese Witherspoon, on the other hand, is probably more present than ever – in front of and behind the camera. Born in 1976 in New Orleans, “new Meg Ryan” took acting lessons at the age of 7 and got her first leading role in The Man In The Moon after an open casting where she actually auditioned for a supporting role. In the late 1990s, Witherspoon made her big break in films like Pleasantville, Ice cold angels, Election or – unforgettable – as prospective lawyer Elle Woods in the cult comedy Naturally blond.
Even then, Witherspoon, who was tellingly nicknamed “Little Type A” in her childhood for her many talents, was far-sighted enough not to rest on her acting praise and founded her own production company Type A Films. A knowledge that would later benefit her: After her Oscar for performance as June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line Witherspoon had a multi-year career dip and founded a new production company called Pacific Standard in 2012. Her goal: to tell the stories about strong female characters that she missed in Hollywood. She celebrated her comeback in 2014 in a specially produced film The big trip – wild.
Since then, Reese Witherspoon has become an indispensable producer in Hollywood. In the streaming age, she produces films as well as successful and critically acclaimed series such as Big Little Lies and the IMDb has an impressive number of future productions, including an adaptation of Delia Owens’ bestseller The song of the crayfish, a live-action film adaptation of Tinker Bell, the little fairy from the Peter Pan universe, the new work by Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki) and – Rejoice! – Naturally blonde 3.
Reese Witherspoon’s films in stream:
Naturally Blonde 2 (2003)
Reese Witherspoon first appeared as a producer in 2003: after the overwhelming international success of Naturally blond needed a sequel. As a producer, she secured a say (the dog march, for example, was her own idea) and received an impressive fee of 15 million US dollars. In the film, Elle Woods, now a seasoned lawyer, takes a stand against a cosmetics company that uses its laboratory for animal experiments. Indeed Naturally blonde 2 couldn’t match the success of the original and also failed the critics. Witherspoon was so disappointed with the project that she resolved never to work on a sequel again (a resolution she recently broke: she’s currently working on Sing 2).
Available on: To rent and buy on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Sony
Next, Reese Witherspoon got involved in a modern fairy tale: Mark Palanskys Penelope tells of a young girl (Christina Ricci) who is born with a pig’s nose through the curse of a jealous witch. Witherspoon plays a confident courier driver who befriends Penelope. The result is a lovingly crafted little film that fortunately never declares the pig’s nose itself a catastrophe. The problem is rather the over-cautious parents who lock their daughter up for fear of the world.
Available on: For lending and buying on video buses and max cathedrals
Naturally Blond 3 – Now It Goes Twice Further (2009)
In 2003 they wanted to try again with the Elle Woods franchise, but got Reese Witherspoon only on board as a producer, no longer as an actress. Instead, the film, a direct-to-DVD production, tells of Woods’ twin cousins attending the same private school that their famous relative once went to. There they mess with the headmistress and scheming classmates. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much left of the originality of the debut – teen comedy off according to scheme F. But hey! For completionists that has to be the case before the new sequel with Elle Woods himself is finally released next year.
Available on: To rent and buy on Amazon and iTunes
The Big Trip – Wild (2014)
With The big trip – wild Reese Witherspoon finally established herself as a serious producer and also celebrated her comeback as an actress. In the film adaptation of the memoir, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, she plays the writer Cheryl Strayed, who after various strokes of fate begins a new phase of life by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Her past is dealt with in flashbacks during the hike. Another producer probably wouldn’t have cast Witherspoon as a former heroin addict who randomly sleeps with men. In an interview with Vulture, she stated, “I’ve never seen a movie like that Wild seen in which a woman comes out without a man, without money, without a family and without prospects, but still has a happy ending. “
Available on: To rent and buy on Amazon, iTunes, Sky Store, Google Play, Microsoft, Rakuten TV, Videoload, Maxdome, Chili and Sony
Gone Girl (2014)
In order to position itself more broadly, Reese Witherspoon secured the rights to the thriller at the same time as Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Gone Girl – The perfect victim by Gillian Flynn: Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary and at first everything looks like a kidnapping. But then her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) is suspected of murder. David Fincher’s mystery thriller, with its nerve-wracking score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, became Fincher’s most commercially successful film. And it stays in your head: Because Gone girl is the ultimate postmodern farce on a society where everyone outwardly pretends to be better than they are.
Available on: With a Netflix subscription; To rent and buy on Amazon, iTunes, Sky Store, Google Play, Microsoft, Rakuten TV, Videoload, Chili, Maxdome, Sony
Miss Bodyguard (2015)
Significantly worse cameMiss Bodyguard weg, a comedy by Anne Fletcher starring Reese Witherspoon as a policewoman, who is supposed to escort an important witness (Sofía Vergara) in the trial against a cartel boss, which leads to a joint escape across Texas. To be honest, it is quite a poor attempt at a female buddy comedy, but it still scores points thanks to the fantastic chemistry between the two leading actresses.
Available on: Subscribed to Amazon Prime Video and Joyn; For rent and purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, Videoload and Sony
Big Little Lies (2017)
With Big Little Lies Reese Witherspoon ventured into a series material for the first time and secured the rights to Liane Moriarty’s novel together with Nicole Kidman. The story, originally conceived as a miniseries, about five first-graders from a small town in California, who may be involved in a mysterious death, sparked such hype that the project was subsequently expanded to include a second season. The directors Jean-Marc Vallée and Andrea Arnold skillfully interweave black comedy and melodrama with a classic Whodunit. There was also a lot of praise for the cast – in addition to Witherspoon and Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz and (in the second season) Meryl Streep.
Available on: In the flat rates of TV Now, Sky Ticket and Sky Go; To buy on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, Rakuten TV, Videoload, Chili, Maxdome and Sony
Truth Be Told – On the trail of the truth (2019)
In November 2016, Reese Witherspoon joined forces with other companies to form the Hello Sunshine joint venture, again focusing on telling stories by and about women in cinema, television and on digital platforms. The whole thing is quite successful: six series projects with different streaming providers are currently in the making. Witherspoon also acted as executive producer Truth Be Told – On the trail of the truth, a production for Apple TV + that clings to the true crime hype. Octavia Spencer plays a podcaster investigating the case of a convicted murderer (Aaron Paul) whom she publicly portrayed as such. A winding thriller with elements of a family drama.
Available on: In the flat rate of Apple TV +
The Morning Show (2019)
Glossy Satire also appeared on Apple TV + in 2019 The Morning Show with Reese Witherspoon as the impulsive reporter and competitor of Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), the host of a popular breakfast show on US television. When her partner (Steve Carell) is accused of sexual abuse, she fights fiercely for her position. As the MeToo movement picked up speed during the production phase, the series was reworked to better reflect the debate about working conditions for women. Even if the series often only scratches the surface: How the leading actresses hang in with full force is definitely worth seeing.
Available on: In the flat rate of Apple TV +
Little fires everywhere (2020)
Reese Witherspoon is Elena Richardson, a journalist and homeowner from a clean suburb, a flawless matriarch, controlled to the ends of her hair. Her family’s life is thrown out of tune when an artist (Kerry Washington) and her daughter (Lexi Underwood) move in. The eight-part miniseries is an adaptation of Celeste Ng’s bestseller Little Fires Everywhere and connects in some ways Big Little Lies on: A small town setting, under whose well-groomed surface there is a tremendous boil. However, the focus here is less on violence than on the different socio-economic backgrounds of the characters.
Available on: With subscription from Amazon Prime Video