Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon covers Glamour‘s “Women of the Year” issue and opens up about family life with husband Jim Toth and her three children: daughter Ava, 16, and sons Deacon, 12, and Tennessee, 3.
On her priorities: “My family comes first. I haven’t made a movie probably in a year and a half. I’m focusing on my business, but also I want to spend time with my teenage daughter. It’s terrifying that my oldest child is about to leave. I can’t imagine not sitting at the foot of her bed, saying, ‘So what happened at school today?’ “
On raising a healthy teen: “Look, you do the best you can. But it’s hard. When I find things egregiously misrepresentative of women, I’ll make a point to say to my son, “Turn that off. I don’t want to see women behave that way. And I don’t want to see men treat those women that way.” You hope you’re saying the right things—but also, as a kid becomes a teenager, you feel like there’s a ticking clock for you to tell them everything they need to know. My kids make me laugh every day. And they’re so supportive. As I get older, they understand those things I worried about—the guilt of being gone—in a way that’s so healing for me, when they say, “Mom, we know you love what you do. We love to watch you do what you do.”
On her ‘village’: “My husband is my biggest supporter on earth. He encourages me to put myself out in the world in ways that feel scary, and he’s like, “I’m always gonna catch you. I’m always gonna be there for you.” My supportive mother and family. Honey, it’s such a village.”
On her hit movie Legally Blonde: “I was debating whether to do Legally Blonde, and I saw this interview with Gloria Steinem about how important Goldie Hawn’s role in Private Benjamin was for women; by the end of the movie, the character socked her fiancé in the face at the altar because he didn’t understand who she’d become through her journey. I was like, “I feel like Gloria Steinem told me to do Legally Blonde. That’s how Elle Woods is too!” She starts out thinking she’s gonna follow a man, but in the end she’s like, “I don’t need you.”
For more from Reese, go to Glamour…