Reese Witherspoon, one of the leading ladies in Hollywood, is adamant more women should have the “opportunity to fail” in the film industry.
The actress, 41, is one of the most bankable stars in the entertainment business, having found success with films such as ‘Legally Blonde’, ‘Walk the Line and Wild’, as well as HBO series ‘Big Little Lies’.
Apart from her busy acting career, Witherspoon also runs her own production company, Hello Sunshine. She has now explained that she doesn’t believe it is important for all female-focused projects to be big winners at the box office.
“It shouldn’t just be about financial success,” she told US Marie Claire magazine of making movies with women for women.
“We should have as many opportunities to fail as we do succeed. Because artistry is not about succeeding always. It’s about having the courage to try and put out into the world new ideas.”
Reese went on to share that she has received a lot of support from her talent agent husband Jim Toth, and her ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ co-star Oprah Winfrey, when it comes to her various ventures even though she become anxious about breaking new ground with her work.
“I see (fear) as this little creature that lives in my life all the time, and I can either pay it attention and not get anything done or I can march ahead and ignore it,” the 41-year-old said.
“Sometimes that’s not a good thing, and sometimes it is, but sometimes I just have to jump two feet into a cold pool and go, O.K., I believe in myself enough. I know I work hard. I know I can always bet on myself.”
During her interview, Reese also spoke about the Time’s Up movement, which has been initiated to fight gender inequality and sexual harassment.
“The majority of women—if they came forward—were stigmatized for reporting and in some cases lost their jobs. There was simply no reason to share your story if the results would be so punitive.
“That’s why I’ve been working very hard on an initiative called Time’s Up with more than 400 women in my industry to raise money for women to have better resources for on-the-job-harassment lawsuits in their own industries. We are trying to level the playing field for all women and men who have suffered from discrimination, harassment, and abuse.”
The star has been open about her own experiences, including being sexually assaulted by a director at the age of 16, and is hopeful that other women won’t have to experience what she went through in the future.
“The female leaders within every industry have to stand up for those who are voiceless and silent, and we have to do better to create more balanced cultures with female leadership and leadership with people of color. It’s just profoundly overdue,” she added.