Drink a beer and do it anyway: Reese Witherspoon's confidence motto

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Anna Brech
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Is confidence innate or learnt? Neither, says Reese Witherspoon - you just have to get on and do it

From glowing Insta-holiday snaps to flawless contoured skin, a lot of us feel the pressure to be perfect these days. 

So, it comes as a relief to hear that actor and all-round Hollywood legend Reese Witherspoon adopts a more freestyle approach to life.

In an exclusive extract from her new book published in the The Sunday Times today, Witherspoon reveals the secrets to her success.

And a lot of it seems to come down to an ad lib, fake-it-til-you-make-it approach. 

 The actor says that she was so nervous about playing Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter in the 2005 biopic Walk The Line that “I thought I was going to throw up every single time I shot a scene where I sang”. 

“But I just drank a beer and did it anyway,” she says. “And it all worked out OK.”

It did indeed; Witherspoon went onto land an Oscar for her role.

“A lot of key moments in life are like that,” she says. “You can be nervous. Just drink a beer and do it anyway.”

Reese Witherspoon with her mum, Betty, after winning her Oscar

Witherspoon, who runs her own production company, also says that she’s a fan of baggage in life: both real and metaphorical.

“Life is messy, but I like the mess,” she says. “Whenever I see lifestyle magazines where everything’s so clean, I wonder, ‘Where’s all the junk?’”

This mentality came to the fore just before Witherspoon got married to her second husband, talent agent Jim Toth, in 2011 (she was previously married to actor Ryan Philippe)

As she got dressed in her Nashville farm, where the wedding took place, the actor recalls her best friend telling her, “you only get married for the second time once”.

“I burst out laughing,” she says. “But my eyes teared up, too. Because it was true. Life isn’t about perfection. There is no rule book. Life has many different chapters, and every chapter deserves celebrating.”

Amen to that.

Read more of the extract over at The Sunday Times. Reese Witherspoon’s life guide, Whiskey in a Teacup, is out now.

Images: Getty 


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.