And Witherspoon is taking her own advice, every day. Five years ago, she started a production company with the intention of creating more roles for women, both onscreen and behind the scenes.
"Today, I have something like 23 projects in the works, driven by great female characters of different ages and races," she explains. "I think it’s worth noting, I self-funded my production company for years. I think there's this fallacy that because I've been an actor, people are going to hand me stuff. Nobody hands me anything. I'll wake up earlier; I'll stay up later. I will put my money where my mouth is. I have to read faster, and I respond quicker than other producers. I have to call and call and call executives until they say yes to my projects."
"I have never been on the job with so many women, ever," she continues. "Women ran the sets of the next two movies I'm appearing in. On Home Again, I was lucky enough to work with Nancy Meyers -- one of the most successful female writers, directors, and producers of our time, who has made some of my favorite movies…and her daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the 30-year-old first-time filmmaker who wrote and directed the movie."
"The second film is A Wrinkle in Time, which was written by Jennifer Lee, who wrote Frozen, and directed by Ava DuVernay, who directed the award-winning films Selma and 13th," Witherspoon adds. "Ava is making history as the first African American woman to direct a movie with a budget of over $100 million, and she is creating a world where an African American girl, Storm Reid, is the hero of a huge supernatural story about good versus evil."