"I spent a few years just trying to feel better," Witherspoon says in a new interview
Between producing Gone Girl and starring in Wild, Reese Witherspoon is enjoying one of the hottest years of her career, but the Oscar winner is the first to admit that her journey has not been without a few detours.
“I spent a few years just trying to feel better … you can’t really be creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs,” Witherspoon, 38, says in a 60 Minutes interview airing Sunday on CBS.
In the mid 2000s, Witherspoon was enjoying incredible success both professionally and personally. She was a mother of two (Ava, now 15, and Deacon, now 11) and married to actor Ryan Phillippe when she won an Academy Award in 2006 for her performance in Walk the Line.
But just months later, the actress filed for divorce and her world seemingly fell apart.
While she attempted to put her private life back together, Witherspoon’s career began to suffer as well.
“I was just kind of floundering career-wise … I wasn’t making things I was passionate about,” the actress admits. “And it was really clear that audiences weren’t responding to anything I was putting out there.”
Then came a 2012 piece in The New Yorker that included her on a list of actors the article stated were no longer big stars.
“I thought I was reading, like, a profile on another actor,” Witherspoon recalls. “Then somewhere down at the end it said … ‘the people who are washed-up’ – I mean, it really hurt my feelings.”
But Witherspoon was already rebuilding her life.
“It was an amazing transformation,” her costar Laura Dern told PEOPLE of Witherspoon’s raw performance in the film. “It was very beautiful to watch and she’s truly amazing. She’s iconic.”
Witherspoon’s 60 Minutes profile will air Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT on CBS.
• With reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA