Reese Witherspoon has been very, very busy. Not only did she star in one of the most buzzed about TV shows of 2017, HBO’s Big Little Lies, but her production company, Pacific Standard, brought the project to fruition. In May, Draper James, the phenomenally successful clothing and accessories line Witherspoon launched in 2015, announced a collaboration with designer website Net-a-Porter—as well as a partnership with Nordstrom, which will carry exclusive pieces from the line. A new Draper James boutique in Lexington, Kentucky, recently joined a stable that already included locations in Nashville (Witherspoon’s hometown) and Dallas, and another brick-and-mortar store is set to open in Atlanta this fall. She even designed this dress exclusively for Southern Living. You can get it at Draper James for $195; draperjames.com
On top of all that, she and agent husband Jim Toth preside over a brood that includes three dogs and three kids: Ava, who’ll turn 18 this month, and Deacon, 14, (her children with actor Ryan Phillippe) and Tennessee (their son together), who’ll turn 5 this month. Though they have a house in Los Angeles, Witherspoon is also renovating a home in Nashville with the help of L.A. decorator Mark D. Sikes (he designed the Draper James stores) and Nashville-based architect Catherine Tracy Sloan. “She’s great, and I love Mark’s style because it’s fresh and young,” she says.
Witherspoon is clearly comfortable wearing a lot of different hats. When I walk into Farmshop in Santa Monica, California’s Brentwood Country Mart, where we meet for breakfast, she’s deep in conversation with Steve Kloves, whom she happened
to run into. The Austin, Texas-born Kloves adapted Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys for the big screen and wrote all but one of the Harry Potter screenplays. “I’m working on another project, and I want him to do it,” the actress explains.
When we meet, it’s just after Mother’s Day, and Witherspoon’s mom, Betty, is visiting from Nashville. That afternoon, she’ll take Betty with her for an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But first we get down to business over an herb omelet with a side of bacon. (“Oh, my—this bacon’s good!” she exclaims.) Witherspoon talks about her mission to bring complex women’s roles to film, the impetus behind Draper James, keeping her Southern accent, friendship and moms, and why she loves her hometown (food plays a big part).