Tag: reese witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon Career Milestones

Reese Witherspoon Career Milestones

Birth Name: Reese Witherspoon
Birth Date: March 22nd, 1976
Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon has created the kind of unforgettable characters that connect with critics and audiences alike, making her one of Hollywood’s most sought after actresses.

Her extraordinary performance as June Carter Cash opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the Twentieth Century Fox drama Walk the Line, earned her the 2006 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, a BAFTA, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, New York Film Critics Award, Broadcast Film Critics Award, People’s Choice Award – and 11 additional honors.

Since 2007, Witherspoon currently serves as Avon’s Global Ambassador and Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women representing a company with a conscience and strong rights for women’s empowerment. Witherspoon strongly supports the passage of the International Violence Against Women’s Act, which creates a comprehensive approach to combat violence.

Although low key about her ongoing charity work, Witherspoon has been active on behalf of the Rape Treatment Center at the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Save the Children. She currently serves on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, with whom she has been involved for many years, raising money and awareness for their many programs. Last year, she went to New Orleans with a group of women to open the first “Freedom School” there, and they have since endowed thirteen more community centers in the area.

She was recently seen in How Do You Know, a romantic comedy centered on the love triangle between professional softball player Lisa Jorgenson, a corporate executive and a major league pitcher. Directed by Academy Award winning writer-director James L. Brooks, Witherspoon starred alongside Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.

Previously, Witherspoon starred in Monsters vs. Aliens. She voiced the role of Susan Murphy, who becomes the 49-foot tall Ginormica after the Earth is hit by a meteorite. She is rounded up and taken to a secret facility where she meets other monsters. In a desperate attempt to save the planet from impending destruction from outer space, the President asks this motley crew to help.

Before that, she starred opposite Vince Vaughn in New Line’s hit comedy Four Christmases. The film follows a couple as they struggle to visit their four divorced parents for Christmas and the antics that ensue. To date, the film has grossed $156 million worldwide. Witherspoon was nominated for a 2009 Kids Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress.

Her illustrious career began when at the age of 14, she hoped to be an extra in Robert Mulligan’s coming-of-age drama, The Man in the Moon, and unexpectedly landed the lead. Previous films include the ensemble thriller, Rendition, directed by Gavin Hood, whose previous effort Tsotsi, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. With a cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, Peter Saarsgard and Alan Arkin, the film premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival; as a spirit who refuses to accept her death in the romantic comedy, Just Like Heaven, and as one of the most indelible characters in English literature, the social climbing Becky Sharpe in Mira Nair’s revisionist take on the Thackery novel, Vanity Fair. She capture the hearts of girls everywhere with her endearing performance as Elle Woods in the surprise hit Legally Blonde and again two years later as both producer and star in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, in which Elle Woods takes on Washington politics in defense of her beloved Chihuahua, Bruiser.

Additional film projects include Sweet Home Alabama, which was the largest opening at the time for a female-driven romantic comedy; and Election as the indelible Tracy Flick, whose mere existence torments her teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick). Directed by Alexander Payne, this brilliantly reviewed satirically edged comedy earned Witherspoon a Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

In addition, Witherspoon starred in Sony Pictures’ teen cult classic Cruel Intentions in which she played the object of focus for an upper east side step-siblings’ wicked games; Pleasantville, written and directed by Gary Ross, in which Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire played modern-day siblings who find themselves trapped in the wholesome world of a 1950’s sitcom. In 1995, Witherspoon starred opposite Mark Wahlberg in the pulpy thriller, Fear, and received rave reviews for her performance in the independent feature, Freeway, a wildly conceived modern version of “Little Red Riding Hood” produced by Oliver Stone, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and aired to record-breaking numbers on HBO.

Witherspoon’s production company, Type A Films, in addition to producing Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde and Four Christmases produced the modern fairy tale Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy.

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This Means War or spy against spy

This Means War or spy against spy

This Means War is about two of the world’s top spies who’ve been partners and best friends for many years. Through a series of circumstances even they couldn’t anticipate, they fall in love with the same woman,” says producer-screenwriter Simon Kinberg. “FDR and Tuck decide they’re both going to date Lauren and see which one she chooses. As each begins to fall for Lauren, they get increasingly competitive and employ their spy tactics and techniques to sabotage each other. Lauren, who just wanted to find the right guy, has no idea that FDR and Tuck are waging war for her love.”

The “spy against spy” storyline – what happens when two best friends who have incredible skill sets turn on each other – is integral to the film’s humor and action. At the same time, director McG wanted these bigger than life situations to be relatable.

“We wanted to present that in a way that felt very credible,” says the Charlie’s Angels and Terminator: Salvation helmer. “We weren’t interested in making a spoof. And I liked taking advantage of Tuck’s and FDR’s ‘Alpha’ characteristics. I would ask, if James Bond encountered [Mission: Impossible protagonist] Ethan Hunt, would they have a great deal of respect for each other? Of course they would. But would one ever acquiesce to the other? No way. Each man recognizes the skill of the other but at the end of the day, each is betting on himself. And that is a great engine for a movie.”

This Means War or spy against spy

“It’s every woman’s fantasy to have two unbelievably hot, sexy guys battling over you,” says Witherspoon. “Lauren doesn’t know that Tuck and FDR are secret agents for the CIA. THIS MEANS WAR is almost like two different movies. My character’s in a comedy and Chris’ and Tom’s are in a big action film.”

Witherspoon also appreciated the two sides of Lauren. “At work, Lauren is the most decisive woman in the world, but in her personal life, she’s very indecisive. I think a lot of people can relate to her feeling of, ‘Am I picking the right guy for me.'”

It’s a tough choice, to be sure, because her suitors are handsome, smart, romantic…and the world’s greatest secret agents. For generations, movie audiences have been entertained and beguiled by the thrills, chills and sex appeal of super spies. “With FDR and Tuck, we were going for the classic movie special agent,” says McG. “What’s sexy about that world is it’s life and death; it’s international; and it’s the antithesis of what most people experience in their everyday lives. I think we all want to travel around the world, go to exotic locations, drive fancy cars, fire guns, and be romantically irresistible. We’re having fun with that, and FDR and Tuck are incredibly proficient in that world. But when it comes to affairs of the heart, they’re just like everyone else. Clueless.”

For the character of FDR, the filmmakers were looking for what McG calls a “rogue – somebody who was lovable, even while possessing supreme self-confidence. And when it comes to that kind of energy, someone who embodies that magical mix, Chris Pine is the heavyweight champ.”

Pine has become one of Hollywood’s hottest stars with his critical and box office success portraying the young James T. Kirk in Star Trek, and an inexperienced train conductor in the heart pounding drama Unstoppable. Pine describes FDR as “a consumer of all things – of fine whiskey, good cigars, nice suits, fast cars, and beautiful ladies. Not necessarily in that order. He enjoys being a spy. He’s the guy who would have watched James Bond movies as a kid and said, ‘I want to do that.’ There’s not a lot of brooding or complication in FDR’s life.”

“Tuck, however, comes from a more serious school of espionage,” Pine continues. “Tuck is complicated, interesting, and internal. He’s the spy existentialist while FDR enjoys the bacchanalian universe of being a spy. The infuriatingly talented Tom Hardy plays Tuck. Tom is super charismatic and handsome as all hell and he brings a complicated nature and an English sensibility to his role.”

The filmmakers’ long search to cast the role of Tuck ended when they saw Hardy’s performance in the box office hit Inception. “Tom had everything we wanted,” recalls Kinberg. “His sense of humor had a much different tone than Chris’. Tom has an aura of danger, which we really wanted for Tuck. He was very physical, conveyed the character’s complexities, and was perfect for the role.”

Though Hardy seemed to become an overnight sensation with his breakthrough work in Inception, he has also turned in much lauded performances in the recent dramas Warrior; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bronson, and RocknRolla. So his role in THIS MEANS WAR, a big comedy-action film, was a substantial departure from his earlier work. “Tom is an actor who loves challenges,” observes Kinberg. “He had done heavy drama and action, so I think the challenge of playing THIS MEANS WAR’s humor and fun is what drew him in.”

Hardy concurs the film presented a very different kind of opportunity than his previous work. “Comedy, in itself, is not an easy thing to do,” he explains. “I thought it was going to be a walk in the park, but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m very grateful for the experience.” Hardy was also drawn by the opportunity to play opposite Witherspoon. “Working with Reese was like a master class in the comedy genre for me.”

Joining Witherspoon, Pine and Hardy in the starring cast are Til Schweiger and Chelsea Handler. Schweiger, one of Germany’s biggest movie stars and film directors, portrays Heinrich, a menacing international arms dealer who seeks revenge against FDR and Tuck for causing his brother’s death. Best known to U.S. audiences for his memorable turn as Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz in the Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Schweiger says that while his character figures in some of THIS MEANS WAR’s enormous set pieces, there’s much more to it than high-powered action. “Most of the film is about fun, friendship and trust,” he notes.

Starring as Lauren’s best friend Trish, is inimitable talk show host, comedienne actor, and author Chelsea Handler. Trish is a wife and mother whose mission in life is to offer frank and explicit opinions on her single friend’s love life. “Trish is basically me, but married,” says the famously single Handler. “Trish is not the best advisor, but Lauren needs her to provide a jolt of energy. “‘Listen,’ Trish tells Lauren, ‘you better get out there and do the things every woman wants to do! So get the party started, Chaka Khan’ (who’s not in the movie, by the way).”

Says Witherspoon: “Everybody has one of those crazy friends who does wacky things and lives vicariously through their dating friends. I’ve known Chelsea for a while, and it was fun that we got to make this movie together. She’s just perfect person for the role.”

Related Link: Read Full Production Notes for This Means War >>

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Water for Elephants: Romantic notion of what circus life

Water for Elephants: Romantic notion of what circus life

In realizing Francis Lawrence’s vision of circus life during the Great Depression, the director and his design chiefs worked to merge the rigorously authentic with the hauntingly romantic. “Everyone that came on board this movie loved the era and loved the circus,” notes Lawrence. “We wanted ‘Water for Elephants’ to be real and genuine, but we also wanted to convey a very romantic notion of what circus life was like in the 1930s.”

The principal set was constructed in Piru, California. The Southern California location was chosen for its close proximity to the exotic animals required by the story, as well as for its access to railroad cars and tracks. The company also filmed in various other Southern California locations, including the Twentieth Century Fox backlot, which was home to a glorious circus parade. The production also made a quick stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to make use of some period trains.

The physical layout of the massive Piru-based production encompassed tents for the big top, a menagerie, a tent for the “Coochie Girls,” a star tent for Marlena, and several other smaller tents. The largest tent – the Big Top – measured 160-feet by 100-feet; its bleachers could hold up to 800 people. “One of our goals [in creating the fictional Benzini Bros. Circus] was to create our own version of a backlot where we would have complete freedom to shoot wherever we wanted and have lots of depth and authenticity,”

Water for Elephants: Romantic notion of what circus life

Lawrence explains. “But we built our circus just as a second rate circus would have built theirs, back in its day. The tents were put up with the same rigging; the train cars were outfitted with the appropriate accessories; the costumes were all period-authentic; and the casting for our circus employees was top notch. All of these elements came together to create a beautiful, authentic atmosphere that inspired us. It was like time traveling to the ‘30s, every morning.”

The filmmakers already had been given a head start in their design work, courtesy of the sharp detail and descriptions in Sara Gruen’s novel, many of whose readers felt like they were experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of a struggling ‘30s circus. Production designer Jack Fisk, whose frequent collaborations with renowned filmmaker Terrence Malick are noted for their creations of natural, real and textured worlds; director of photography Rodrigo Prieto, whose meticulous attention to visual and dramatic detail are evident in such films as Amores Perros, Brokeback Mountain and the recent Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; and costume designer Jacqueline West, a two-time Oscar nominee, most recently for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, were instrumental in making WATER FOR ELEPHANTS’ Benzini Bros. look unlike any other fictional big screen circus.

When arriving each day at the set he had designed, Fisk shared Francis Lawrence’s feeling of having traveled through time. “There were moments when I walked into our Big Top – and with the practical lighting, the bleachers we built, and the smell of the animals – it was like going back in time. Those are moments I live for. That tent was alive.”

That realism stems in large part from Fisk’s prodigious research. He spent hours combing through books about the circuses of the era, and through tens of thousands of period photographs. “Those old black-and-white photos of the canvas tents were beautiful because they’re lit in a beautiful tungsten light, but you can see the mold, dirt, footprints, grass stains, mud and dust,” Fisk recalls. “It looks very real and tactile, and that’s what we were aiming for with our circus.”

The work of costume designer Jacqueline West was instrumental in creating the dichotomy between the circus glitter and the world outside the big top in Depression-era America. West’s designs for the principals, including August and Marlena, were vibrant with color, while the background audience wore a more muted, Depression-appropriate palette. “I wanted all the color and glitter to jump out of the circus itself, away from the more monochromatic crowd,” notes West.

Marlena’s outfits were based on those worn by 1930s film stars, as well on those that adorned real circus women of the era. “As Marlena, Reese’s outfits included a beaded evening dress and parade costume with marabou feathers made from vintage antique pieces put together in a patchwork. Her evening gowns reflect those she saw at the movies, worn by some of the period’s top stars, including Jean Harlow, Carol Lombard and Constance Bennett.”

A testament to the sets’ mix of period realism and glamour – as well as to the filmmakers’ devotion to the novel – was Sara Gruen’s reaction when she visited the set. “I was speechless,” she remembers. “You know, a few years ago, all of this was entirely in my head, and now here it is. It’s so close to what I had imagined. It’s a very surreal experience.”

From the scripting stage to pre-production, through production and the final touches of post production as “Water for Elephants” neared its worldwide release, the filmmakers endeavored to bring to life this world, its characters, and a story of a forbidden attraction that becomes a lifelong love. “People have always wanted to have their ‘day at the circus’ – a joyful moment taking them outside their everyday lives,” notes Reese Witherspoon. “I hope that’s what we’ve done here: create something that people will enjoy.” Adds Francis Lawrence: “One of the reasons I did ‘Water for Elephants’ is because it has love, wish fulfillment, redemption, magic and beauty. I hope audiences latch on to all of those things.”

Related Link: Read full production notes for Water for Elephants >>

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Reese Witherspoon struck by car

Reese Witherspoon struck by car

The actress and avid runner is resting at home after she was hit while jogging in Los Angeles.

Reese Witherspoon is nursing a quarter-sized gash on her forehead after being hit by a car in Santa Monica during a late Wednesday morning jog.

The Oscar-winning actress and avid runner, 35, was struck at an unmarked crosswalk at the intersection of 20th street and Georgina Avenue. The Walk the Line star “suffered minor injuries,” according to the police report, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

A witness at the accident site tells Us Weekly: “The driver seemed to have not seen her because of a large tree at the intersection…[Reese] was lucky, because it could have been much more serious.”

The driver, an 84-year-old woman who lives in Santa Monica, was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Witherspoon was released from the hospital by Wednesday afternoon, and is recovering at the Brentwood-area home in L.A. she shares with husband Jim Toth and her kids Ava, 11, and Deacon, 7.

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Neve Campbell wasn’t top pick for Scream

Neve Campbell wasn't top pick for Scream

Another more famous star was originally cast as the lead in the 1996 film, but had to bow out.

From the opening scene, moviegoers in 1996 were scared silly by Wes Craven’s “Scream.” After all, the character played by the most famous actor in the cast was done in before the opening credits. But that wasn’t how it was originally planned to be.

Drew Barrymore was originally cast in the lead role of Sidney Prescott, but her schedule changed unexpectedly and she wouldn’t be able to film the whole movie. It was actually her idea to switch her to the part of Casey Becker, a less time-consuming but ultimately iconic role. “The first scene was really reminiscent of [the 1979 horror movie] ‘When a Stranger Calls,'” Barrymore told Entertainment Weekly, “and it was absolutely my favorite part.”

After an exhaustive search — both Reese Witherspoon and Brittany Murphy were considered for the role — Neve Campbell, the then 23-year-old star of TV’s “Party of Five,” was cast as Sidney. Now, 14 years later, Ghostface is after her again in “Scream 4.” Click ahead to find out some other little-known facts about this horror movie franchise that just can’t be killed.

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Reese Witherspoon says she misses her privacy

Reese Witherspoon says she misses her privacy

Reese Witherspoon is mourning the loss of his privacy. The Oscar-winning actress said she sometimes found in her car crying because she can not go out in public as much as she wants.

Witherspoon said in the May issue of Vogue that although much of his life belongs to others, but she would not trade.

The 35-year-old said that everything she lost, she won ten times the life experience.

Witherspoon also said she feels blessed that his friends help provide some privacy.

His latest film, “Water for Elephants” will be released April 22.

Witherspoon plays a scrappy star circus ready to do whatever it takes to survive. Depression drama is based on the bestselling novel.

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Tron and Reese Witherspoon film open weakly

Tron and Reese Witherspoon film open weakly

“Tron: Legacy” and Witherspoon’s “How Do You Know” underperform at the box office.

“Tron: Legacy,” a costly 3D sci-fi movie that Walt Disney Co has promoted for more than three years, took the top spot at the North American box office, but with a disappointing weekend haul of $43.6 million, according to estimates issued by the company on Sunday.

Industry observers had been expecting a three-day start in the $50 million range. As openings go this year, the massively hyped sequel to an obscure 1982 movie failed to crack the top-10, and observers have said it will need to rely on strong overseas business to break even.

According to reports, the effects-laden update cost $170 million to make, and more than $100 million to market worldwide. Disney, despite being a public company, is the only studio that refuses to divulge budgets. A studio executive was not immediately available for comment.

Critics trashed the film, which has occupied the attention of two Disney studio regimes in recent years. Jeff Bridges returns to the film as a videogame developer trapped in a virtual environment called the Grid. It marks the feature directing debut of commercials veteran Joseph Kosinski.

Tron and Reese Witherspoon film open weakly

The studio, whose live-action pictures are overshadowed by the hit cartoons from its Pixar division, is looking to launch a franchise to take over from its popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. Just as the buccaneer theme-park attraction seemed an unlikely basis for a film series, so does “Tron,” which appealed only to boys. This time, the studio aimed the film at men and women of all ages.

Disney has been offering tantalizing glimpses to movie fans at the annual Comic-Con convention since 2008, and has raised the heat in recent months with cross-marketing efforts across its theme parks, consumer-products and television wings.

Also new was “Yogi Bear,” a live-action/animated update of the old television cartoon. It came in at No. 2 with $16.7 million, a few million dollars short of the expectations of its studio, Warner Bros. But the Time Warner Inc unit said it hoped the Christmas holiday would boost business among the film’s core family audience.

Meanwhile, the weekend’s other big new release, “How Do You Know,” a comedy featuring a high-priced lineup headed by Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon, was a major flop. It earned $7.6 million, falling short of modest expectations. The ranking was not immediately available. The film was released by Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony.

Related Link: Tron Legacy Movie Full Production Notes

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