Reese Witherspoon Took a Year-long Break After Portraying This Character

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Reese Witherspoon’s Hollywood career has spanned over 3 decades. The actress and producer has won an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Golden Globes. Forbes declared her the world’s richest actress in 2021 with an estimated net worth of $400 million (although now she is allegedly the 3rd richest). Yet, despite her outrageously impressive success, Witherspoon once had to take a break from acting because she couldn’t find roles. The reason? She was too good as one of her characters.

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Ashton Kutcher Adores Reese Witherspoon as an Actress

While sitting down alongside Ashton Kutcher in a Variety interview, the two actors discussed their new romcom Your Place or Mine. Witherspoon stars with Kutcher and also serves as producer for the film. The two began to reminisce over their respect for each other’s careers. Kutcher mentioned how great Witherspoon was in Election. The 1999 political romcom starred Witherspoon as the overachieving, backstabbing Tracy Flick, who tries to get elected as student body president. Matthew Broderick co-starred as Jim McAllister, Flick’s high school teacher and lusty affair partner.

“I thought that that film was extraordinary, that you were extraordinary in it,” said Kutcher.

“A lot of people thought that I was that character. So, I didn’t get jobs for a whole year afterward. Because people thought I was like her,” Witherspoon revealed.

The idea that Reese Witherspoon would have been typecast so far into her career is confounding. By 1999, she’d already starred in films like Cruel Intentions, Pleasantville, Freeway, and The Man In the Moon. She’d shown her range and it was far beyond Tracy Flick’s devious nature. But as it was, Witherspoon was too convincing.

Watch Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick in 1999 Cult Classic Election

“I had to go on a whole campaign across Hollywood,” Witherspoon explained. She added that she had to “go to cast directors and studios to go like, ‘No, no, no, I promise you, I was playing a character!’”

Kutcher is sincere when he says that he thought Witherspoon was amazing as Tracy Flick.

“And then I remember seeing Legally Blonde,” he said, “and the juxtaposition of those characters…and then Sweet Home Alabama. And then Walk the Line, where it was like, a staggering performance.”

Clearly, Reese Witherspoon is not Tracy Flick, nor is she limited to playing the character. She’s a phenomenal actress! A testament to her craft, Election garnered Witherspoon her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.

Reese Will Return as Tracy Flick in Forthcoming Sequel

But on that note, she’s also returning to play Tracy Flick again in the forthcoming indie sequel Tracy Flick Can’t Win. Last December, Entertainment Weekly announced that the sequel is set to release this coming summer on Paramount+. Like Election, Tracy Flick Can’t Win is based on a Tom Perotta novel and will also feature a screen adaptation and directed by Alexander Payne. However, while the 90s film centered on Tracy Flick as a teenager, she is now returning as a 40-something high school assistant principal who’s aiming to become the new principal.

Since The Morning Show went on hiatus (it’s returning soon for season 3), Reese Witherspoon has certainly had her hands full. In addition to starring in Your Place or Mine, she has five more movies in various stages of production. Those include Legally Blonde 3, an untitled comedy featuring her and Will Ferrell, Wish List, Tinker Bell, and a TV series called Tiny Trailblazers.

Read More: Reese Witherspoon Says ‘Legally Blonde 3’ Needs Jennifer Coolidge

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