Monday, May. 08, 2006

Reese Witherspoon

I made two films with Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. In the first one, I played a high-powered lawyer who becomes her boyfriend. In the second one, I played a boyfriend — the high-powered lawyer part didn't seem to figure so much — who's becoming her husband. Although she had made some pretty good films before that, including Pleasantville and Election, Reese wasn't really a household name until she played Elle Woods. And of course, she hadn't yet won her Oscar for playing June Carter in Walk the Line. But you could sort of tell she had a future.

There is something in Reese's face and expression that reminds me of certain great athletes I've met. It is friendly and open, yet in their eyes there is the gleam of the competitor. This is not to be confused with cockiness. That would be a waste of time and energy. It is the look of someone with the will to win. The will to work hard. Sure, there is nothing wrong with coming in second. It's just that it's not what's right for them. As a mother, as a wife, as a filmmaker, Reese, who has only just turned 30, gets the job done. Quietly. With decency.

Mostly I just liked being around her. When people ask me what it was like to work with her, I say, "I was always on my best behavior around her." I wonder if that's why she was so good as June Carter. Reese has the same air of responsibility.

I met her mother one time on the set. I'll be damned if she didn't have the same look in her eyes.

Wilson can next be seen in Hoot, and later this summer will star in My Super Ex-Girlfriend