Reese Witherspoon Says Ryan Phillippe Divorce Was Responsible for Her Career Missteps
By Zach Seemayer
In 2006, Reese Witherspoon took home the Best Actress Oscar for her performance as June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line. Months later, her seven-year marriage to actor Ryan Phillippe began to fall apart, and in November of that year, the couple filed for divorce.
In a 60 Minutes interview with Charlie Rose, which aired Sunday, Witherspoon explained how the unraveling of her marriage was responsible for what she saw as her subsequent career slump.
"That was a tough year that followed," Witherspoon recalled. "I spent a few years just trying to feel better. You can't really be very creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs."
Witherspoon and Phillippe share two children, 15-year-old daughter Ava and 11-year-old son Deacon. The stars cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for their divorce, although the split occurred in the wake of rumors that Phillippe had an affair with actress Abbie Cornish. Phillippe and Cornish dated for nearly three years after his marriage to Witherspoon ended.
After her divorce, Witherspoon appeared in a series of critically panned box office disappointments including the 2008 holiday comedy Four Christmases, the 2010 romantic comedy How Do You Know, and the 2012 action comedy This Means War.
"I was floundering career-wise because I wasn't making things I was passionate about, I was just kind of working," Witherspoon revealed. "And it was really clear that audiences weren't responding to anything that I was putting out there."
Then, in 2012, Witherspoon decided to start making her own films. Working with experienced producer Bruna Papandrea, the two created Pacific Standard. Under that banner, Witherspoon co-produced Gone Girl and Wild, which she stars in. Both films got some love from the Golden Globes this year, with Rosamund Pike and Witherspoon being nominated for Best Actress In A Drama Film for their roles in Gone Girl and Wild respectively.
"I'm at a point in my life where I could make 20 more movies," Witherspoon told Rose. "But I want to make 20 more movies that matter to me."