Reese Witherspoon Says Books Offer "Better Spectrum of the Female Experience" Than Film, TV

Considering the success of 'Big Little Lies,' Witherspoon emphasized the authenticity of its depiction of women dealing with serious issues in their private lives.
Sean Gallagher/Comedy Central
Reese Witherspoon on 'The Daily Show'

Ahead of the season two premiere of HBO's Big Little Lies, Reese Witherspoon dropped into The Daily Show to chat with host Trevor Noah about the show's highly anticipated return. 

First off, Noah mentioned the fact that Big Little Lies "started in a way very few people could have predicted," pointing out that it became a story of domestic abuse. "What does the show owe its success to?" he asked the actress. Witherspoon emphasized that it portrays "how women really feel" and explores serious issues in their private lives, all from a woman's perspective.

She went on to say that Big Little Lies talks about different waves of feminism and how people respond in unique ways to a loved one being involved in a crime. The show goes deep into the question: "What is a mother's love?" which Witherspoon highlighted as being significant.

Of Meryl Streep's involvement in season two, Noah asked his guest if she takes everything to another level. Witherspoon described the experience of working with Streep as a "master class." 

Speaking about Witherspoon's production company Hello Sunshine, Noah identified her mandate for the company as being "stories for everyone." Witherspoon talked about her dissatisfaction with the typical roles for women, specifically noting that if a role wasn't good enough for her or her friends, then it wasn't good enough for her daughter to watch it.

"I just decided to do it myself," she said, adding that she reads several books a month to consider them for film adaptations. "There's a better spectrum of the female experience than what we're seeing in film and television," Witherspoon concluded. (Hello Sunshine now offers a book club, called Reese's Book Club.) "It's a great time to be a creator."