On August 2nd, a public announcement revealed that the majority of the shares of the production company Hello Sunshine — which was founded by Reese Witherspoon — have been bought by a new company linked to the Blackstone group, led by former Disney executives. Reese Witherspoon and other existing investors will, however, retain a percentage in the business.
Forbes magazine estimates that after this deal, Reese Witherspoon has become the richest actress in the world. The magazine values the actress at about 336 million euros. After the deal announced on August 2nd, Hello Sunshine is valued at about 756 million euros.
It has been a while since Witherspoon stood out in “Elections”, “Strange Liaisons”, “Legally Blonde”, “Vanity Fair” or “Walk the Line”. Since 2006, the actress has also been a producer, as she was in “Penelope,” “Wild” or “Gone Girl”, among other projects.
In 2012, together with Bruna Papandrea, she founded the production company Pacific Standard, which was the merger of two existing companies. Later, Pacific Standard became a subsidiary of Hello Sunshine – a production company founded in 2016, and which has been responsible for many of Reese Witherspoon’s successful projects in recent years.
They created “Big Little Lies” for HBO, “The Morning Show” for Apple TV+ and “Little Fires Everywhere” for Hulu. In the pipeline are also series like “Daisy Jones & The Six” for Amazon; “The Last Thing He Told Me” for Apple TV+; or “From Scratch” for Netflix.
Born in New Orleans but raised in Nashville, the actress began her career as a teenager, when she made her debut in 1991 in “The Man in the Moon.” She has already won a Best Actress Oscar, for her role in “Walk the Line,” and two Emmys as a producer.
The decision to bet on herself as an actress, and in stories centered on female characters, has clearly worked. Witherspoon retains a percentage of at least 18 percent of the company (she sold more than half of her previous stake) and has already made profits of about 100 million euros from this business.
The rest of her fortune, explains Forbes, is tied to all the work she has done over the past three decades. Currently, he receives at least one million dollars (the equivalent of 841 thousand euros) for each episode she records for a series. In the case of “The Morning Show”, she even received more than one million euros per episode. In addition, she continues to accept offers for different advertisement commissions.
Her goal, she has confessed, is to enhance the role of women in the film and television industry. Her rise coincided with the #MeToo movement, which significantly shook up the Hollywood landscape, and led to greater equality in numbers (and relevance) for actresses, producers or filmmakers.
Many of the stories she has taken to television and film are literary adaptations by female authors. The actress and producer also created Reese’s Book Club, which already has more than two million followers, and many of the book club’s choices have become authentic bestsellers.
At the age of 45, and with a series of good choices and ambitious bets, Witherspoon is increasingly one of the most influential names in the Hollywood industry.