Not only did she bring Elle Woods to life (which we will forever be grateful for) but she’s also done so much to combat sexism in her industry! Remember when she wasn’t satisfied with the shallow roles available to women, so she created her own freaking production company called Hello Sunshine?! Boss babe, for real.
So it broke my heart when I heard her talking on the We Are Supported By podcast about the sexism she’s faced.
“We were in ballgowns, and they stuck our heads on, and Jessica was holding an iron, and I was holding a vacuum cleaner. The whole thing was so offensive that I burst into tears.”
Even though the actor said the magazine apologized, the damage was done. “I’m not even talking about 10 years ago. I’m talking about 2015, when we decided, okay, we’re going to be entrepreneurial, take a swing, invest our own money, our own time, our own reputation, and try to do something that George Clooney has done, Robert De Niro has done — and we’re getting lampooned for it. That message to little girls is: ‘If you’ve had success in one area, you can’t have success in another.'”
Despite the media putting her down for starting a business, she hopes to see more women in ownership positions in the future.
Reese revealed that when she started Hello Sunshine, she told herself, “I’m going to self-fund this company because I want to own this company.” She wanted to tell stories but only had experience as an actor. “Nobody was encouraging us to be directors or writers because nobody was out there…I’m from Nashville, Tennessee. How was I ever going to do that?”
To no one’s surprise, Reese ended up turning Hello Sunshine into a wildly successful company that produced women-led hits like Little Fires Everywhere, Big Little Lies, and Gone Girl. In fact, she recently sold it for nearly $1 billion!
“Starting to value women as creators, being able to tell their own stories in their own voices, I found my purpose,” she said. “I didn’t know what my purpose was — and your purpose changes too. You get older, and your purpose keeps changing. You have to keep iterating. You have to keep progressing.”
“You have to look at new media and go, ‘Wait, is there a place for me to stand in a position of leadership here?’ Because I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I actually know a lot of stuff, and I really want to be helpful to the next generation of women, to my own generation of women who haven’t been well-served by our business,” she concluded.
Props to Reese for crying it out, then kicking some major ass for all women, everywhere! We love you!
Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!