Reese plays the real-life Cheryl Strayed, whose bestselling memoir of the same name details the brutal solo hike Cheryl took at the age of 26 along the Pacific Crest Trail. In the movie, the character goes nude and does heroin. Reese told us what she hopes her 15-year-old daughter Ava and 11-year-old son Deacon take away from the movie.
"If they can see this film and feel, both my daughter and my son, that they don't need to be embarrassed or ashamed of themselves and that they're going to be great, no matter what on their life, I think that's a great thing to see in a film," said Reese.
In fact, it was Cheryl's candid approach to telling her story left an impression on Reese and drew her to playing a part so different from anything she's ever done before.
"Part of the book that really struck me as an important part of the story was how Cheryl addressed her own sexuality," said Reese. "She not only described these experiences but she also said, I'm not going to feel bad about them."
The Oscar winner was fiercely committed to the role. Cheryl was even on the set to help Reese with authenticity.
"The director [Dallas Buyers Club helmer Jean-Marc Vallee] would often times say cut, and he'd look at me and say, 'What do you think?', and I said, 'I think Reese is not wearing a heavy pack,'" Cheryl said with a laugh.
Wild is out now in limited release.