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Reese Witherspoon talks rejection after being told she was “too smart” for a film role

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Hollie Richardson
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Reese Witherspoon

After sharing an inspirational quote on Instagram, Reese Witherspoon has revealed that she was once considered “too smart” and “too feisty” for a part in a movie.

Rejection is a hard pill to swallow. And yet, it’s something we endure in life on a daily basis. Just ask Big Little Lies and Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon

Yes, even the fifth highest paid female actor in Hollywood has found herself crying in the shower over rejections in her career and relationships. Witherspoon opened up about her experiences in a candid and uplifting Instagram post on Tuesday (3 September). 

She wrote: 

“So many stories on Instagram focus on success, but sometimes it’s important to remember that rejection or failure can really be a great help in our lives. 

“When I first started as an actor, I went on an audition for a part that I wanted more than ANYTHING. This was an incredible movie with a huge male movie star as the lead. I had 3 callbacks, then a screen test and one day my agent called and said, ‘You didn’t get the part, the lead actor liked working with the other actress more’.

Reese Witherspoon and her daughter Ava Phillippe.
Reese Witherspoon and her daughter Ava Phillippe.

“Oh boy, did I cry. Ugly tears. For 3 whole days. But I recovered. And I got a different job. It wasn’t the same and I never watched that movie (!) but I learned so much from that experience. Over the years, I lost as many parts as I got. I was always considered TOO something. Too short. Too feisty. Too energetic. I once got told I seemed too smart to play a young female character.

“I’m not gonna lie, sometimes all the rejection would hurt my feelings, I would take it personally. I definitely cried in the shower a lot in my 20’s. What I didn’t know then was: rejection teaches you perseverance and how to get tough. 

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“And you also learn… not every path is right for you. My friend @kerrywashington always says ‘Rejection is God’s protection’.

“You are on a path that is made for YOU. Sometimes the universe is protecting you from a bad job or a toxic relationship.

“So remember next time you fail at something or someone leaves you heartbroken…. let yourself be sad, grieve what didn’t happen for a minute but move ON. Better things are waiting for you. 📷: @abeautifulmess”

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These are definitely words worth remembering the next time you feel defeated in your personal or professional life. 

Images: Getty

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Hollie Richardson

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