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Reese Witherspoon Hopes You Won't Stereotype Her Because of Her Looks

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Alexi Lubomirski

To put it simply, we think Reese Witherspoon has the dream job.

But the actress, currently earning Oscar buzz for her dramatic turn on the big screen in Wild, isn’t necessarily gushing about her line of work.

“I think about backing out of everything. I get to the beginning and I m like, ‘I do not want to make this movie,’ ” she tells Harper’s Bazaar U.K. in its January issue. “I’ve never had an experience where I was like, ‘I can’t wait to start.’ ”

Adds Witherspoon of taking on dramas: “I don’t know why. It’s always going to require something that doesn’t feel good, some sort of challenge or emotional gutting. It’s not a fun space to live in a lot of the time.”

That’s why she enjoys making comedies. “It’s much easier,” she says, “thinking of what rhymes with truck.”

One difficulty of Wild was playing author Cheryl Strayed, who struggled with heroin addiction. “I’ve never done drugs,” Witherspoon says, “so I was really confused.”

When it comes to the roles she does take on, Witherspoon, 38, wants to speak out against the Hollywood stereotypes that come along with her blond hair and southern smile.

“Don’t put me in that box. Or any box, for that matter,” she says. “People are complex, on-screen and off. Can’t we do justice to that?”

And that’s why it’s no surprise she’s a vocal champion for female actors portraying complex people.

“It wasn’t as if there was a lack of roles being offered to me. It was the dynamic aspect of playing a really interesting, complicated person that was not readily available,” she recalls. “Honestly, I don’t know a woman who isn’t complicated. It’s strange that you don’t see many complicated women on film; complicated meaning complex, I should say.”

Reese Witherspoon on Harper’s Bazaar U.K.
Alexi Lubomirski

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