Entrepreneur, mother, and Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon spoke to InStyle magazine about the course of her career and being a working mother. In an industry that places an inordinate amount of pressure on actresses to embody youth, Witherspoon said that growing older had given her the confidence to be more discerning in her choices about which projects to take on and whom to work with.
In the earlier stages of her career, she explained, she was nervous about looking “foolish” and anxious about how her films would be received. She also said that as a child she wanted to be Dolly Parton when she grew up, and expressed a satisfaction in raising her children to pursue whatever their own dreams might be.
“I’m just trying to hold on, trying to make it through,” Witherspoon said in response to the infamous work-life balance question. “My older kids help with the little one. It’s nice to have a big family … My mom worked, and I think it’s good for kids to see women working and being successful. I think it’s going to make them hard workers because they see that I don’t get much sleep. But I love what I do. I want them to grow up with passion. This is the one life you get, and you have to live it to the very end.”
Witherspoon has also launched her own clothing line, Draper James. The work, she says, is different from what she’s used to – which is part of what makes it so gratifying.
“I’ve been acting for about 25 years, and I still love it, but I like the challenge of trying something else too. I find there are a lot of people talking about New York and Los Angeles, but there’s a whole world out there in between, and that’s who I like to tell stories about and make products for – people who love the life they have and have a sense of style that’s uniquely their own.”