- Reese Witherspoon once fired her financial adviser after he said she’d make “drastically” less money as an actress in her 40s, she told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.
- Witherspoon recalled being 37 when the adviser told her to “start saving right now” because she’d be “making drastically less money” in her 40s.
- “Basically, you’re not going to have much of a career,” she recalled him saying, adding he said, “I’m sorry to tell you, but somebody has to be honest with you.”
- The actress said she let him go but would “never forget” his words.
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“I’ll never forget,” she said. “I had a financial adviser tell me, ‘You need to start saving.'”
The actress recalled the professional’s comments, which she said he made when she was 37: “You need to start saving right now, because you’re going to be making drastically less money in your 40s. Basically, you’re not going to have much of a career.”
“And he’s apologizing, but not really. ‘I’m sorry to tell you, but somebody has to be honest with you,'” Witherspoon added.
The negative premonition set the actress, who gave birth to her third child at 37, into a frenzy.
“I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget! It put me in a panic state,” she said of the financial adviser’s words, adding that she fired him shortly thereafter.
The actress and producer, now 44, said she didn’t consider there to be an age limit on creativity.
“I believe creativity is endless,” she said. “I mean, I can get on the phone with Diane Ladd and she can talk for two hours about creativity, and everything she says is spot-on. There’s something inside artists and actors and filmmakers that’s insatiable. And if you are one of the lucky ones, as I am now, you get to put things up on their feet and see them be made. I feel really lucky every day.”
Witherspoon committed to telling stories about women – young and old – when she founded Hello Sunshine, a production company focused on female-driven projects. Carving out complex, nuanced roles for herself, she’s produced “Wild” (2014), HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” and Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.”
Though many of her projects have received positive reviews, Witherspoon said she had her fellow female creatives to thank for the company’s success, rather than the entertainment industry at large.
“I wasn’t getting calls … and I’m still not,” she said. “The phone’s not ringing. If Nicole [Kidman] and myself aren’t doing this work or Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie and Laura Dern … we’re working hard to create a surplus. We have to give each other ideas and produce for each other, because no one’s out there thinking of us first.”
Witherspoon has previously spoken up about using her platform to tell women’s stories in a way that’s grounded in reality, even if it includes topics that make people uncomfortable.
“We have to start seeing women as they really are in film. And not just in a movie theatre with a tiny budget. We need to see real women’s experience whether it involves domestic violence, whether it involves sexual assault, whether it involves motherhood or romance or infidelity or divorce,” she said at the 2017 Televisions Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
She continued: “We need to see these things because we as human beings we learn from art and what can you do if you never see it reflected? I feel like I constantly see women of incredible talent playing wives and girlfriends in thankless parts, I just had enough.”
Witherspoon said she strove to produce material that she, and other women, felt proud to work on.
“These are the kinds of things that shift consciousness,” she said.
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