Reese Witherspoon is having one helluva year. Her terrific performance in Wild has most observers talking Oscar, and on Christmas Day she'll reunite with her Walk the Line co-star Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's latest opus, Inherent Vice.
That said, it wasn't always this peachy for the 38-year-old actress.
After Witherspoon won the Academy Award for her turn as June Carter Cash in 2005's Walk the Line, her once flourishing career hit something of a roadblock. In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, Witherspoon drew parallels between her sputtering career and the end of her marriage to actor Ryan Phillippe, which played out in the months following her big win.
"Phew, that was a tough year that followed," she told Charlie Rose. "I got divorced the next year and I spent a few years just trying to feel better."
Anyone who's ever been through a major breakup can attest that accomplishing even the most basic tasks can be difficult. Witherspoon had a career to manage, and as she told Rose, balancing her crumbling personal life and her burgeoning professional life wasn't easy.
"You know, you can't really be very creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs," she said. "I was just kind of floundering career-wise 'cause I wasn't making things I was passionate about, I was just kinda working. It was really clear the audiences weren't responding to anything I was putting out there," she added, referring to tepidly received films like How Do You Know and This Means War.
Witherspoon became especially emotional when she recalled a 2012 profile in The New Yorker that questioned her once invincible star power. "I thought I was reading a profile on another actor, and somewhere at the end it said, you know, the people who are washed up, and at the end it included me, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson," she told Rose. "It really hurt my feelings, really hurt my feelings."
Only two years after that article was published, a rejuvenated Witherspoon is getting set to hit the awards circuit with both SAG and Golden Globe nominations already in her pocket, and her second Oscar nod a virtual lock.
Welcome back, Reese. We've been expecting you.
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