Reese Witherspoon is one step closer to an Oprah-esque media takeover.
The actress’s media company, Hello Sunshine, announced Tuesday that it is teaming up with AT&T to launch a video-on-demand channel. According to a press release, Witherspoon will headline an unscripted series, “Shine On With Reese,” featuring interviews with prominent women including filmmaker Ava DuVernay, singer Dolly Parton and actress America Ferrera.
Hello Sunshine’s VOD channel is only the latest project in the actress’s ever-expanding empire.
Witherspoon used to recommend compelling books by women through her Instagram, but now she also does it through Reese’s Book Club. (This month’s pick is “Next Year in Havana” by Chanel Cleeton, though we wonder whether Witherspoon will include her own book, “Whiskey in a Teacup,” when it hits shelves Sept. 18.)
But you can’t really talk about Witherspoon’s book club without talking about her production company, Pacific Standard, which she co-founded with Bruna Papandrea in 2012 (the two parted ways in 2016).
Witherspoon later told the Hollywood Reporter that she started the company, now a subsidiary of Hello Sunshine, because she was frustrated with the “complete lack of interesting female leads in film.” In 2014, she brought two of the first books optioned by the company to the big screen: Gillian Flynn’s psychological thriller “Gone Girl,” and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild.”
“Gone Girl” was a box office hit; “Wild” landed Witherspoon, who starred as Strayed, her second Oscar nomination. (She won for “Walk the Line” in 2006.)
Last year, Witherspoon’s reliable book recommendations gave us HBO’s award-winning “Big Little Lies,” not to mention a forthcoming season that will star Meryl Streep. Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, her “Big Little Lies” co-producer and co-star, also optioned Lianne Moriarty’s “Truly Madly Guilty.” And there are a slew of other projects in various stages of development. Witherspoon is producing and starring alongside Kerry Washington in a limited series adaptation of Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere,” which received an eight-episode order from Hulu earlier this year.
Apple, which is priming to roll out a slate of original TV shows, has snagged three Witherspoon-produced series including “Are You Sleeping,” based on Kathleen Barber’s true-crime novel and set to star Octavia Spencer. Witherspoon will also co-produce a 10-episode comedy with “Saturday Night Live” alum Kristen Wiig, who will be the show’s lead, and will co-produce and star alongside Jennifer Aniston in a drama about a morning show.
Outside of film and TV, Witherspoon has Draper James, a lifestyle brand, which sells upscale clothing, housewares and — it was announced Monday — eyewear.
“Our goal is to bring contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home,” Witherspoon explains on the Draper James website.
And if all that wasn’t enough, Witherspoon recently confirmed, in a cheeky Instagram post, that there will be a third “Legally Blonde” movie.
Elle Woods may be lounging in her pool, but it doesn’t look like Reese Witherspoon has much downtime.