Reese Witherspoon thinks she’d be in a “totally different position” if she hadn’t been portrayed as “good” by the media.
The 45-year-old actress contrasted her experiences when going through her divorce from Ryan Phillippe – the father of her oldest children Ava, 21, and 17-year-old Deacon – in 2008, the same year Britney Spears split from Kevin Federline.
She noted: “My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars.”
The ‘Big Little Lies’ actress recalled how women like Britney, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan were deemed to be “bad”, while she and her friend Jennifer Garner were seen as “good”, even when she was filmed screaming at the cameras in her face, and she thinks it’s “kind of s****” the way the contrasting depictions have impacted on them all years later.
She told TIME magazine: “What if the media had decided I was something else? I would be in a totally different position.
“I want to say it’s my decisions or the career choices I made, but it felt very arbitrary. And kind of s*****.”
The Hello Sunshine producer – who also has son Tennessee, eight, with husband Jim Toth – is thankful to have a strong group of women around her and recalled a secret initiative she got involved with when Shonda Rhimes had her call 30 business leaders in Hollywood who had no women or people of colour on their boards.
She said: “One day I’ll tell you what happened. There was something about Shonda believing that I could. I was proud of myself…
“Whenever I feel discouraged, I have a group of women. We all text each other, and we’re like: Just keep going.”
Reese also reflected on what her ‘Legally Blonde’ character Elle Woods would be doing now and expressed her frustrations.
She said: “She’s hitting barriers and obstacles that she never thought she’d be hitting later in life. She reminds me of the woman at the Women’s March, holding the sign that says, I’M STILL DOING THIS S***.”