Despite taking part in one of film's best sex scenes of all time (Cruel Intentions 4-EVA), Reese Witherspoon isn't exactly known for shooting particularly provocative roles. As such, she was understandably just a little freaked out by the prospect of getting down-and-dirty for her new film, Wild.
Witherspoon stars as author Cheryl Strayed, who dabbled with drugs and promiscuity before embarking on her empowering hike through the Pacific Crest Trail. In the January issue of Harper's Bazaar UK, cover girl Witherspoon explains why that meaty material inspired her — while also causing her to "panic."
"There were small descriptions in the script," she said of the film's graphic sex scenes, "but when he [director Jean-Marc Vallée] started describing what we were going to do, that’s when I started to panic. I was like, 'Wait. What are you talking about?'
"That’s [the sex scenes], like, three percent of the movie, but it took up a tremendous amount of fear in my mind because it’s daunting," she added. "I never looked ahead at the schedule. I would wake up in the morning and say, 'What are we doing today?' And, I’d prepare on the way to work. Sometimes I was just terrified. Like a cat on a raft...'You can’t make me do it.'"
The actress also admitted that she also struggled with the film's scenes of drug abuse. "I’ve never done drugs, so I was really confused," she told the magazine. "I didn’t know what I was doing. It just required being in a really raw emotional place that didn’t feel good."
Given all the Oscar buzz, she clearly figured it all out. Here's to doing the things that scare you.
Click through for more quotes from Witherspoon's glamorous shoot.
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"[When I was 18] I was like, 'My parents can’t pay for me to have a life or go to college.' Whatever I was going to do in my life, I had to do it myself. Then when I had a little girl at 22, I was even more determined to, I don’t know...I went from just surviving to, 'Who do I want to be for this other person?'"
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The full feature appears in the January issue of Harper's Bazaar UK, on sale December 2. Also available as a digital edition.