While she may not be the wild Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Reese Witherspoon certainly loved playing her character on-screen.
Speaking with Net-A-Porter’s weekly digital magazine, The EDIT, the 41-year-old actress, producer and businesswoman opens up about identifying with the “Big Little Liars” characters from her hit HBO show, feeling liberated in her forties, and representing multifaceted women in film.
“What I liked about Madeline is that she’s over 40 and she does not give a f*** what people think,” Witherspoon says about her popular TV role. “She has no filter, she doesn’t suffer fools, she’s not interested in hearing people’s silly conversations.”
Addressing her connection to the other characters, Witherspoon, who had her daughter Ava at 24, says, “When I read it, I felt a little like Renata because I was a working mom. I felt a little like Madeline because I’d been divorced, married and had other kids. I felt like I had been Jane because I was the youngest mom at school and the other [mothers] rallied around me and got me everything from a pediatrician to registered at schools.”
Since turning the big 4-0 last year, Witherspoon says she feels completely liberated. “[After 40] you know who you are, who your friends are, what you want to accomplish and what you don’t care about. It’s liberating not having to worry so much about what other people think of you.”
Since becoming an actress, Witherspoon has gone on to create her own Southern-inspired Draper James clothing line and production company, Pacific Studios. “My mother was very ambitious,” she explains. “She worked a lot of different jobs. My goal [is that] we’ll get to a place where, when [people call our daughters] ambitious, they’ll say, ‘Yes, so what?'”
“I really reject the idea that women have to stay in one life,” the actress tells the magazine. “People have said, ‘You can’t start a company; just stay being an actress.’ Why are women supposed to be one thing? Nobody thinks Robert De Niro is stepping outside [his boundaries by] owning hotels and restaurants. Life happens in chapters. You have to think, what am I going to do next?”
To see The EDIT’s full interview with Reese Witherspoon go to Net-A-Porter or download the free EDIT app at the App Store and Google Play.