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Career

'I'm done with worrying' Reese Witherspoon has had a reality check

''In the end it all works out. Really!''

It's a good thing Reese Witherspoon is a morning person.
For most of us, just pulling on clean clothes and getting out the door on time in the morning is an achievement, but for Reese, it sounds almost impossible.
Of course, she's best known for her acting, but the Louisiana native is also a producer, runs her own media brand, operates a highly successful book club, heads up her clothing line Draper James and is 'storyteller-in-chief' for cosmetic brand Elizabeth Arden.
Oh, and she's a doting mum to Ava and Deacon (16), her children with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe (45), and Tennessee (7), her son with second husband Jim Toth (49).
"Let's be real," she says, when asked how on earth she balances it all.
"Every working mother is still figuring these things out. But, honestly, I think women who are incredibly busy are the most productive people in the world. If I ever needed something done, I would ask the busiest woman I know.
"But my biggest priority is my kids. They're getting older now − my daughter is in college, my older son is in high school and my youngest is in first grade – so I have more free time than I used to. I try to get home for dinner at least four nights a week."
Reese's kids Tennessee, Ava and Deacon are her pride and joy
Reese, who is currently starring in Apple TV's The Morning Show with pal Jennifer Aniston, shares a famously close bond with 20-year-old Ava – as well as a seriously strong gene pool.
Ava also seems to have inherited her parents' creativity, boasting an impressive artistic talent that she frequently shares on social media.
With Ava now in college at UC Berkeley, Reese doesn't get to spend as much time with her daughter as she used to, although Ava, along with Reese's own mum Betty, is still one of the first people the actress calls when she wakes up in the morning.
"It's weird when your children go away to college," Reese nods.
"It's hard. I might have gone to her empty room, laid down on her bed and cried."
Their special relationship, Reese says, is thanks to the fact the she had Ava when she was only 23 years old.
"I've been a mum since 1999," she tells."I got pregnant with Ava when I was 22; I delivered when I was 23. To be totally honest, it was scary. I was scared. I didn't know what it was going to do to my job or my career… [but] I wouldn't change a thing.
"There's nothing like the love I have for my daughter. We share every emotion with each other, our hopes, our dreams… we can talk for hours!
"I think the way Ava and I are most alike [now] is in our strong opinions and our empathy. From the time that she could speak, Ava has always had her own ideas, and I love
to watch her express herself."

Since turning to producing her own projects, Reese's own moral compass is evident in all of her roles – from Big Little Lies through to The Morning Show, and the upcoming miniseries Little Fires Everywhere, which she's co-producing with Scandal star Kerry Washington (42), the theme of strong, real women runs through them all.
Thanks to the boom of streaming platforms and the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, never before have there been so many avenues for fierce female storytelling, and it's a climate Reese is finding exceptionally satisfying.
"I've found with the emergence of streaming, we're getting much more diverse storytelling," she says, adding that the fact roles have moved away from "being someone's wife or girlfriend" is a bonus.
It's also planted the seed for two of her fabulous female friendships with fellow A-listers and co-stars Nicole Kidman (52) and Jennifer (50) to blossom.
"I've always valued closeness with women over the idea of men desiring whatever persona I was putting out into the world," the 43-year-old says.
"I'm a really optimistic person, and I find it so fulfilling to have great female partnerships. Whether I'm working with Kerry or Nicole or Jennifer, it's so fun to collaborate with these women. I'm just enjoying this time in my career. It's a thrill to go to work."
She continues, "In my early 20s I used to worry a lot. I was worried about being a good mum. I was worried about being a good actress. I was worried about whether or not people respected me... or if I was kind enough or doing enough.
"But in the end it all works out. Really! So, if there's one thing I could tell young Reese, I would tell her not to worry. And then I'd give her a big hug."

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