Witherspoon: I became independent at 18
Reese Witherspoon began to "look inward" when she welcomed her first child into the world.
The 38-year-old actress has been acting since the early 90s, which is one of the reasons why she grew up so quickly. She also married Ryan Phillippe in 1999 and gave birth to their first child, Ava, later that year, with her brother Deacon joining the family four years later.
"This idea that we are our own saviours, our own heroes, that’s hard, but also incredibly uplifting. I think I realised, probably in my twenties, that there’s no going home, do you know what I’m saying?" she told the UK edition of Harper's Bazaar magazine.
"Well, maybe when I was 18. I was like, 'My parents can’t pay for me to have a life or go to college.' Whatever I was going to do in my life, I had to do it myself. Then when I had a little girl at 22, I was even more determined to, I don’t know... I went from just surviving to, 'Who do I want to be for this other person?... You kind of look inward."
That doesn't mean everything has been easy for Reese though. She and Ryan split in 2006 and she is now married to Jim Toth, who she has two-year-old son Tennessee with.
The actress is now fully focused on her career and is tipped for Oscars glory with her new flick Wild, which is the story of Cheryl Strayed who trekked 1,100 miles on her own to get over personal problems.
It marks several firsts for Reese, who shot sex and drug-taking scenes for the flick. The nude sequences terrified her so much she refused to look ahead at the schedule so she didn't know when they were coming.
"[They were] like, three per cent of the movie, but it took up a tremendous amount of fear in my mind because it's daunting," she said.
"And I'd prepare on the way to work. Sometimes I was just terrified. Like a cat on a raft… 'You can't make me do it.'"
Reese, who helped produce the movie, was determined to get the project to screen and even told Cheryl she'd make it happen if she wasn't the star, explaining that "ego is the death of all creativity".
Much of the book it's based on deals with Cheryl losing her mother. This led to Reese having some conversations with her mom Betty, whose mother passed away when she was 20. It wasn't something they had ever discussed before and the actress believes the power of Wild is shown by the fact it made Betty open up.
"The day I shot the scene where Cheryl’s mother dies, I called my mom and said, 'This is going to be hard, but I have to ask you some questions if that’s OK,' and she let me. I think it’s the first time she had any way of talking about that time in her life. I don’t know if anybody had ever asked her what it felt like," she explained.
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