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Reese Witherspoon: Tina Fey’s Bossypants Inspired Me to Start Production Company

Reese Witherspoon and Tina Fey
Reese Witherspoon says Tina Fey's "Bossypants" inspired her to start her production company Pacific Standard; get her thoughts on women in Hollywood.

Reese Witherspoon was no doubt inspired by Cheryl Strayed's intense true adventure story, Wild. After all, Witherspoon will play the author in the book's big screen adaptation this winter. However there is another book that had just as much of an impact on the actress: Tina Fey's Bossypants. As Witherspoon explains, it was the SNL star's humorous 2011 take on her life in the Hollywood fast lane that led Witherspoon to strive for more in her own career.

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"One of the biggest inspirations for me was reading Tina's book," mom of three Witherspoon, 38, told FOX News Sunday's Chris Wallace during an interview promoting her film The Good Lie in September. "She said, 'If I can help one other woman create something in Hollywood, I've done my job.' And I hope to have that same goal: Create opportunities for other women to tell their stories."

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Indeed, one year after the release of Fey's memoir, Witherspoon put her plan into action, launching her own production company, Pacific Standard, with Australian producer Bruna Papandrea. "I'm in that phase of my life where I really think about giving back and . . . the mark I want to make in the world. Producing things on my own . . . people are starting to see a little bit more of what moves me as a human being," Witherspoon explained.

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Set to release the upcoming Wild and Don't Mess with Texas under Pacific Standard's imprint next year, Witherspoon surprised fans in October by attaching her name to the Ben Affleck thriller Gone Girl — but was completely behind the scenes as a producer. As Witherspoon explains, she's become much more selective when carving out her next industry move.

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"It's a new time for me in my career. I'm much more in charge of my life. A lot of the time that I was making films in my 20s, I was sort of looking at the material that was coming to me. And now I'm in a situation where I'm a little bit older and a little more discerning," said Witherspoon, who spent the '90s and 2000s starring in rom-coms including Legally Blonde and Election. "I get excited when I go to work. . . when I think about characters that are really going to change the way people think about marriage or what women are capable of being."

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