Actress and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon has been named an honouree of the Wall Street Journal’s 2017 Innovator Awards.
The Wild star has been recognised with the publication’s Entertainment Innovator prize for her mission to develop more female-focused projects via her new production firm Hello Sunshine, and her Draper James lifestyle brand, among other endeavours.
Wall Street Journal Magazine bosses announced the news via Twitter on Wednesday (01Nov17), when they shared an image of the Oscar winner as the cover girl for their new The Innovators Issue.
“Wow! I’m so excited to share this honor w/ (with) some incredible artists, architects & thinkers,” Reese responded online. “Today is a new day for women in film. @WSJMag”.
In the accompanying article, Reese admits she has always strived to be the best at her craft, and is convinced she would have become a top medic if her acting career hadn’t become a success.
“I was never going to be an actor who lives in their car because their dream was so big,” admitted the former Stanford University student. “(If acting didn’t work) I would have gone from Stanford to medical school and become a surgeon. Right now, I’d probably be the premier surgeon and pediatric cardiologist at Vanderbilt University.
“What? I’m just being honest. I’m ambitious, and I’m over hiding that.”
Reese’s determination to get a job done and her confidence in her own abilities is something the mother-of-three’s close friends have long admired.
“Of all the nasty words I’ve heard that are used to describe women, the one that has the ugliest connotations is ambition,” shared Laura Dern, who co-starred with Witherspoon in 2014 biopic Wild and recent hit TV drama Big Little Lies. “I don’t know why that’s declared conniving for women, because I’m constantly inspired by Reese’s ambition. You have a dream? She makes it happen.”
Nicole Kidman, who also featured in Big Little Lies, is also in awe of her pal’s drive.
“A lot of women procrastinate or say, ‘I’ll do something.’ But Reese is a doer,” Nicole gushed. “I always say to her, ‘You don’t understand how rare this is!’ To her, it’s like, ‘Yeah, now what?’ She can do it all standing on her head.”
Despite all the high praise, Reese, 41, admits she’s only recently felt comfortable showing confidence in her talents, and now she proudly makes sure everyone she’s dealing with knows it.
“I know I’m good at things,” she said. “And I’m over being bashful about it. Do basketball players have to sit there and act coy? Tell me something: Does LeBron James twiddle his thumbs and say, ‘Jeez, I’m kind of great at shooting, and I guess I’m OK at dribbling and passing’? No, he’s like, ‘I’m amazing! I rock!’ I wish more actresses had that kind of bravado.”