Academy Award® winner REESE WITHERSPOON (Susan / Ginormica) has created the kind of unforgettable characters that connect with critics and audiences alike, making her one of Hollywood’s most sought after actresses.
She could last be seen in New Line’s hit comedy “Four Christmases,” opposite Vince Vaughn. 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.
Prior to “Four Christmases,” you could see Witherspoon in 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 Sarsgaard, and Alan Arkin; the film premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. She also starred 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 Sharp, in Mira Nair’s revisionist take on the Thackeray novel, “Vanity Fair.”
Her extraordinary performance as June Carter Cash opposite Joaquin Phoenix in the 20th Century Fox bio-pic “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 and People’s Choice Award, as well as 11 additional awards.
Prior to “Walk the Line,” Witherspoon starred in many diverse projects with characters ranging from a fun-loving sorority girl to an uptight goodie-two-shoes. She captured 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 & Blonde,” in which Elle Woods takes on Washington politics in defense of her beloved Chihuahua, Bruiser.
She also headlined in “Election” as the indelible Tracy Flick, whose mere existence torments her teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick); directed by Alexander Payne, this brilliantly reviewed and satirically edged comedy earned Reese a Best Actress Award from the National Society of Film Critics, as well as a Golden Globe Nomination. Her additional film projects include “Sweet Home Alabama,” which was the largest opening at the time for a female-driven romantic comedy; Sony Pictures’ teen cult classic “Cruel Intentions,” in which she plays the object of focus for Upper East Side step-siblings’ wicked games; and “Pleasantville,” written and directed by Gary Ross, in which she and Tobey Maguire played modern-day siblings who find themselves trapped in the wholesome world of a 1950s 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.
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.
Witherspoon’s production company, Type A Films, in addition to producing “Legally Blonde 2” and “Four Christmases,” also produced the modern fairy-tale “Penelope,” starring Christina Ricci and James McAvoy.
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, as well as 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 multiple 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 13 more community centers in the area.