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How Reese Witherspoon Brought Female Inclusion Behind The Scenes Of Where The Crawdads Sing

Over the past decade, Reese Witherspoon has transitioned from being solely an actress to a building larger producer role in her own Hello Sunshine company. As a producer, the Legally Blonde actress isn’t only working more behind the scenes, she’s been ushering in more inclusion of female perspectives with her projects like Gone Girl, Big Little Lies and The Morning Show. On the subject of her latest film, Where The Crawdads Sing, its leads gushed about Witherspoon's involvement on the project and what it brought to their experience on the movie. 

Daisy Edgar-Jones is a 24-year-old actress who plays Kya in the film and has recently begun to make a name for herself with her performances in Normal People, Fresh and Under the Banner of Heaven. While speaking to CinemaBlend about Reese Witherspoon, the actress shared what the producer brought to the thriller. In her words: 

It was just really exciting as well, because with Hello Sunshine, a huge amount of what they want to do is put complicated women at the forefront of their stories. And, this is a story about female empowerment and to be on that set where most of our HODs, our heads of department, were women in leadership roles was just really exciting and it felt so perfect for Kya and that story, you know?

Reese Witherspoon has made it somewhat of a mission of hers to employ more women in film with Hello Sunshine, and that doesn’t just go for the actresses in front of the camera. Where The Crawdads Sing, the movie adapted from Delia Owens’ bestselling book, not only involved the author, but it also features an adapted screenplay by Lucy Alibar and direction by Olivia Newman, who spoke with our ReelBlend podcast about the making of the film

Additionally, it has a female cinematographer in Polly Morgan, production design by Sue Chan, art direction by Kirby Feagan and all sorts of behind-the-scenes women within its production. It's a break from the norm, especially on a high-profile project like this one. Taylor John Smith, who plays Kya’s first love Tate, shared his own experience on Where The Crawdads Sing with Reese Witherspoon:  

I think she basically made everything so perfect for us that we didn't have to think about too much other than our characters. She's great at picking the perfect people for their jobs, whether it's the set deck or the costume designer or our dialect coach and finding [director Olivia Newman] and seeing her approach to it. She got all these like amazing, incredible women together and she kind of let’s you go play and do the easy work while she takes care of like the big, heavy pieces. So just having her on board and knowing that she was gonna make this film such a loyal adaptation to the book really took a lot of the pressure and the worry off of me. So, we could just show up and play.

The 2022 movie release is already turning heads too ahead of its opening weekend with an impressive $2.3 million in Thursday night showtimes. This is ahead of an estimated $16 million debut weekend, per Box Office Pro, which forecasts the new release will perform behind bigger releases Thor: Love and Thunder and Minions: Rise of Gru

Although the reviews overall are mixed on Where The Crawdads Sing, audiences so far are connecting with the film, with its Rotten Tomatoes audience score at 93% against the critics 35%. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Taylor Swift wrote an original song for the movie after falling in love with the popular novel. Where The Crawdads Sing is playing in theaters now. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.