From a ditzy blonde college student, to a bold young woman striving for inner peace, Reese Witherspoon has certainly come a long way in her well established acting career. In 2015 Witherspoon was lucky enough to have two of her films nominated at the Oscars: Wild for her own performance in a leading role as well as Laura Dern for her supporting role, and Gone Girl for Rosamund Pike’s performance in a leading role which Witherspoon produced. When asked by Michael Keaton if she was sick of talking about Wild, she responded enthusiastically explaining that this film is like “her baby,” as she bought the book and then went on to become the first movie she had ever produced and starred in. She also explained that she bought Wild and Gone Girl to create more interesting leading roles for women.
The 2015 Oscars seemed to stand out as the year where many female actresses wanted to highlight a gender gap in the film industry. Patricia Arquette stirred up much discussion following her acceptance speech for actress in a supporting role in Boyhood, where she demanded that women were to receive equal pay to men in the film industry. This was followed by enthusiastic applause which saw the likes of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez brought to their feet in support. As well as this, Golden Globes host Amy Poehler highlighted this gender gap in creating the hashtag #AskHerMore, encouraging red carpet journalists to go beyond the question of “who are you wearing?”. The afternoon before the Oscars, Witherspoon highlighted her support for this movement, posting suggested questions on Instagram stating: “there are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let’s hear their stories! Spread the word.” Witherspoon also told broadcaster Robin Roberts, “this is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses/”
Witherspoon spreads an incredible message for young women, proving that their work is just as valid as men’s in the film industry. However she also inspires women to constantly strive for more. Witherspoon went from being not only an actress, but also a producer, subsequently teaching her more about the industry. This highlights that no matter how successful or contented a woman may be, there is always room for more.