Reese Witherspoon Was Told It Couldn't Be Done—So She Did It

Oscar-winner starts her own female-driven media company, Hello Sunshine
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2018 12:30 PM CDT
Updated Jun 2, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
Reese Witherspoon Proves People Wrong—Again
Reese Witherspoon arrives at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Santa Monica, Calif.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Reese Witherspoon says she can now attend Hollywood meetings without explaining the need for female-driven content. "Part of me is incredulous," she tells Fast Company. "I can't believe people are actually listening now." It's good timing, too, since the 42-year-old actor/producer has founded a company called Hello Sunshine that channels female talent across multiple platforms including YouTube, audiobooks, podcasts, film, and television. Among Sunshine's projects are adaptations of two novels, Karin Tanabe's The Gilded Years with TriStar/Sony Pictures and Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere for Hulu, while Witherspoon continues her unique Instagram outreach that helped inspire the company. "I love this book!" she wrote about Courtney Sullivan's novel The Engagements in 2013. "Has anyone else read?"

She also posted about two novels that her former production company, Pacific Standard, was adapting into hit films—Gone Girl and Wild—bumping sales of both. In other words, she was personally building audiences with her 12.8 million-strong Instagram account while executives said that a female-driven market didn't exist. So in 2016 she founded Hello Sunshine, a company that now has 19 employees, a filmmaking lab for young women, unique pieces of online content (like a video about synesthesia and "7 tweets to confirm people are mostly adorable"), and a book club on Audible, TechCruch notes. The success of HBO's Big Little Lies, which Witherspoon starred in and co-produced, has only confirmed her cultural status in the #MeToo age. "Fortunately," she says, "I like proving people wrong." See the full article at Fast Company. (More Reese Witherspoon stories.)

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