“The Morning Show” star Reese Witherspoon covers the November 2019 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine photographed by Camilla Akrans and styled by Patrick Mackle.
On first meeting Jennifer Aniston: “We met on the set of Friends; I played her sister. I was 23 years old and had just had a baby. I was nursing Ava on set, and Jen just kept going, ‘You have a baby?’ I was like, ‘I know, it’s weird.’ And I remember her being like, ‘Where are you going?’ And I was like, ‘I’m pumping!’…She was so sweet to me. I was really nervous, and she was like, ‘Oh, my gosh—don’t worry about it!’ I marveled at her ability to perform in front of a live audience like that with no nerves. They would change all the lines and she was just so effortlessly affable, bubbly, and sunny. We’ve been friends ever since.”
On developing The Morning Show: “When we started, the show was just a book, and nothing had happened with Harvey Weinstein or Les Moonves yet. The Roger Ailes scandal had happened the year before. Then, in October 2017, all those stories started to break about the way women in media were treated. We decided we needed to start from square one and redevelop everything with more of a slant about the truth coming out in media and people being held accountable for their behavior.”
On depicting a nuanced portrayal of how the man feels in a “Me Too” situation in The Morning Show: “As artists, we try to find the shreds of humanity in any crisis and open people’s minds to see all sides of things. What does it mean to be a person who loses their entire life? Their family. Their career. The Me Too movement has been so emotional on all sides. I remember talking to women and holding them while they cried. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to be the spouse or the child of one of these people who was exposed. With the men, we ask, Where is the contrition? How are they supposed to behave? We deal with all of these questions as the season goes on.”
On balancing everything she is involved in: “In terms of work, Hello Sunshine is the majority of my world. It’s about storytelling for women, by women, and about getting more women behind the camera. I do meetings in the morning while I’m getting my hair and makeup done. After that, the people who run my companies take over, and I focus on acting. Acting is still my core competency. It fills my tank. But my biggest priority is to take care of my kids. They’re getting older now—my daughter is in college, my older son is in high school, and my youngest is in first grade—so I have more free time than I used to. I try to get home for dinner at least four nights a week.”
Cover: Dress by Alexander McQueen | Necklace by Tiffany & Co.
Image 1: Dress and Belt by Alexander McQueen
Image 2: Dress by Dolce & Gabbana | Earrings by Tiffany & Co.
[Photo Credit: Camilla Akrans/Harper’s Bazaar Magazine]