Over 16 years ago, Reese Witherspoon took to the Academy Awards stage to accept her Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in Walk The Line alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s Johnny Cash. While looking back at her career thus far recently, the actress shared that ahead of being showered with accolades for the biopic, she wasn’t convinced she could do the singer justice.
When Reese Witherspoon was a guest on the ReThinking With Adam Grant (opens in new tab) podcast, the actress spoke about turning imposter syndrome into confidence through her experience in Hollywood over the years. When asked about the moments for her when she was afraid of trying, Witherspoon went immediately to Walk The Line, saying this:
Witherspoon said Walk the Line was especially daunting for her because it was about a real person and involved her singing and playing instruments amongst other things. She also said this:
Of course, that didn’t happen. Reese Witherspoon pushed through the discomfort and ultimately embodied June Carter in a memorable way. She continued:
The country music movie remains memorable to this day for audiences and fans of the Cash singers, but Reese Witherspoon will always remember almost giving up on the project. The actress specifically cited their first performance in front of 200 extras, which she was “terrified” to do. Despite her fear, she talked herself into it and it “all worked out,” as she put it.
Witherspoon also recalled fear popping up for 2014’s Wild, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Because it was a rare woman vs. nature story, again about a real person, she felt pressure to get it right and she pushed through not feeling good enough. It’s comforting to hear a big star like Reese Witherspoon has those “I can’t do it” moments, and her decision to go after something that scared her really paid off.
Following James Mangold’s first biopic, the actress has created her own production company in Hello Sunshine, which most recently put out From Scratch on Netflix to trending success. Witherspoon is also set to star and produce in Netflix rom-com Your Place Or Mine alongside Ashton Kutcher, which is among 2023’s movie releases.
Witherspoon will also continue Elle Woods story with Legally Blonde 3, which still has a script in the works from Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor. Let her recent words about Walk The Line remind us all to just go ahead and do the thing that scares us the most.