Time she gets up
First thing she does in the
“Coffee and water, and I’ll take a
quick look at my emails. Then Jill,
my spouse, and I feed the dog,
the cat, the guinea pigs. We’ve got
the animal kingdom.”
Place she can be most
“Airplanes. Nobody’s talking to
you, and you’re not expected at
Skill she’s still working on
“Being a better listener. I come
from a family of seven other
children—I was the middle child.
If you wanted to not eat a gizzard
or neck for dinner, you best be
heard right away. Now, I have to
be mindful about telling myself
to listen more. Because—and
especially when you step into bigger roles—if you say something
too quickly and don’t listen,
it shuts down conversation.”
Last thing she does at night
“I try to [turn off] all the technology and grab a magazine, or
something, to read.”
Time she goes to bed
Between 10 and 10: 30 p.m.
HOW HELLO SUNSHINE FOUNDER REESE
WITHERSPOON GETS THINGS DONE
WAKING UP: I have a 6-year-old who likes to
have milk at 6 o’clock every morning, so from
6 a.m. to 7 a.m., he drinks milk, and my husband [CAA agent Jim Toth] and I drink coffee.
We talk and catch up on the news—Jim
likes to hear it, I like to read it. After that, I
work out for an hour, then go to work.
MOBILIZING: Assuming I’m not on a set
somewhere acting, or traveling for, say, a shoot
for [her clothing company] Draper James or
Elizabeth Arden [she’s a brand collaborator], I’ll
go to the Hello Sunshine office or a meeting
related to something we’re developing. I quit
driving a year ago. My husband said, “Babe,
you’re a terrible driver. Get someone to do
that for you.” And it’s great because that’s the
time I now spend catching up on phone calls
or texts. I’ve deliberately stripped away a lot of
the layers of people who silo you off as an
actor. That changed when I started producing:
I’m putting my money into this; this is
my sweat equity, all the equity I have. If you
have a problem, call me directly.
SOCIALIZING: It occurs to me at about
6 o’clock that I should probably do something fun at 7: 30. I have two girlfriends who
are good at that, and thank God because
I’d have no life. I can’t get groups of people
on vacation either. That’s not my thing. I’m
okay with that.
WINDING DOWN: I get home around 5: 30
or 6 for family dinner—that’s important to me.
I hear what the kids [she also has a 19-year-old
daughter, Ava, and a 15-year-old son, Deacon,
from her first marriage, to Ryan Phillippe] are
doing and how they’re feeling. I put my 6-year-
old to bed at 8, and then I read for two hours.
Or I’ll watch a TV show. I love The Crown,
Queer Eye, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Oh,
and the latest Chris Rock special on Netflix. He
does this great bit about being brutally honest
with your children. I feel like I’m constantly
counteracting pressure from the parents who
want to make the lives of their kids golden and
magical at all moments! Guess what, kids?
You’re going to be disappointed and uncomfortable once in a while. I remember Ava crying
in bed in third grade—she was on JV basketball
and she was the only kid on the team who
didn’t score. I said, “Aves, maybe you’re
bad at basketball.” She thought that was mean.
I said, “Mean or true? ’Cause, guess what?
Your mom’s bad at basketball, too.”
—As told to Mary Kaye Schilling