Reese Witherspoon doesn’t see herself as America’s sweetheart.
“I certainly didn’t self-identify as anyone’s sweetheart. I’m friendly, but I don’t think I’m sweet. I’m honest,” the 38-year-old told the January issue of Glamour.
While the answer may surprise those who were drawn to the actress because of her bubbly roles in films like “Legally Blonde” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” Witherspoon has never shied away from rougher roles like those in the upcoming movies “Inherent Vice” and, in particular, “Wild.”
In the film, based on the memoir of the same name, the actress plays writer Cheryl Strayed, who hikes the thousand-mile Pacific Crest Trail alone, trying to heal and find herself.
“I was scared of the really emotional scenes,” Witherspoon said. “I was scared of the sexuality. I was scared of the grittiness and of being bare on-screen. It’s not just about having no makeup on your face, like I did in the film; it’s about not being conscious of how you’re perceived, allowing yourself to be broken, the way [Cheryl Strayed] did so fearlessly in the book.”
That struggle is one that Witherspoon can relate to, since it took the mother of three until her 30s to finally figure out what made her happy.
“I don’t think I realized [in my 20s] that no one else makes you whole. You have to take responsibility for your own happiness,” she said. “That took me until I was about 31 to know. It wasn’t easy to realize, Oh wait, I am purely responsible [for my life] — no relationship, no children, no nothing is going to make you a happy person. Every day you have to choose to find and cultivate your own happiness.”
“Wild” comes to theaters on Nov. 5.