One of Reese Witherspoon's early breakout roles was playing competitive, brown-noser Tracy Flick in Election. It turns out in real life, Witherspoon wasn't too different from her big screen alter ego.
"Having kids made me clearer about who I was as a woman. I just wanted to exhibit good qualities for my daughter. I was a little competitive before I had kids — probably really competitive, to be honest," Witherspoon told Elle in a recent interview. "It really made me let go of that."
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Witherspoon had her first child, daughter Ava, when she was 23. She also has a 9-year-old son, Deacon, and a 1-year-old son, Tennessee. Having children, the Oscar winner said, gave her direction. "Somebody was saying to me the other day, 'Oh, people get less interesting when they have kids.' I just don't think that's true," Witherspoon said. "I feel like I was so confused before I had kids, I almost got in my own way."
Although Witherspoon says she's less competitive these days, she's just as busy as ever. In addition to starring in films, most recently in the indie Mud, she is also producing movies under her Pacific Standard production company (which, appropriately, was formerly called Type A Films). Witherspoon's company is next producing the highly anticipated film adaptation of the hit literary thriller Gone Girl.
"I started noticing a couple years ago that I wasn't seeing women as the stars of movies," she said. "I'm seeing them as the guys' girlfriends, or so-and-so's wife. I just thought: God, if I don't start buckling down and start producing some movies, what's my daughter going to see in the movies?"