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Reese Witherspoon: 'Turning 40 was liberating'

Filmmaker and businesswoman Reese Witherspoon rejects "the idea that women have to stay in one life."

Reese Witherspoon enjoys the confidence that growing older has given her.

The Legally Blonde actress opened up to The Edit about how liberated she felt turning 40 and her passion for bringing broader female roles to TV and movie screens. But while she acknowledges it is hard for actresses in Hollywood over the age of 25, she also enjoys the confidence that comes with getting older.

“(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," the actress shared, adding that this is what attracted her to Big Little Lies character Madeline. “What I liked about Madeline is that she’s over 40 and she does not give a f**k what people think."

The 41-year old has enjoyed an award-winning career, collecting an Academy Award for 2005 movie Walk the Line, but she recognised great roles for older actresses were scarce and in 2012, she launched production company Pacific Standard, successfully bringing Gone Girl and Wild to the big screen in a bid to broaden the limited portrayals available for actresses.

“There’s a deep need to see women in a more complex way; I’m tired of seeing them as the wives and mothers and girlfriends. Women are not good or bad, they’re every colour of the human experience," the mother of three sighed.

Busy Reese, who also has three children; Ava, 17, Deacon, 13 with ex-partner Ryan Phillipe, and Tennessee, four, with husband Jim Toth, recently launched her fashion and lifestyle brand Draper James in the U.K. and she admits she experienced some opposition to running a business that wasn't film-related, but rejects "the idea that women have to stay in one life."

"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.”

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