By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon arrives for an interview wearing a black, form-fitting Stella McCartney cocktail dress. The newly remarried mother of two is absolutely stunning and obviously quite fit. She is here at a posh Beverly Hills hotel to discuss her latest film, “This Means War,” in which she plays the unsuspecting object of affection of two hunky guys, played by Chris Pine (“Star Trek”) and Tom Hardy (“Warrior”). They’re no ordinary Romeos, though. They play longtime friends and seasoned CIA agents, which means in their quest to win Witherspoon’s heart, the rivalry becomes both physical and technical, as they have access to the most sophisticated spy gadgetry to keep an eye on her.
McG, who helmed “Charlie’s Angels” and “Terminator Salvation,” directs this action-packed romantic comedy.
Front Row Features: Did you have fun shooting the scene in which yours and Tom’s character go out on a date and end up playing an intense round of paintball?
Reese Witherspoon: Yes. It was fun to shoot, although it’s hard because it was our first day of shooting, and I didn’t really know Tom very well. I had to shoot him in the crotch too, which is a good icebreaker as it turns out.
Front Row Features: You have a girl-next-door image from a lot of your films, but in this one you’re more sexual. Was that part of the appeal of the material, showing this sexy side of you?
Witherspoon: (She laughs.) It’s all McG’s fault—his cajoling, his constant texting (and) writing.
Front Row Features: Since you’re now married, what kind of artistic stretch did you have to make to play a single girl dating two hot guys?
Witherspoon: Well, I was a single girl when I made the movie, so it wasn’t a stretch. It wasn’t hard job to do. It was made very easy because of McG’s enthusiasm (and) by having two amazing men in this movie that are very talented actors and very funny in their own right, and having (co-star) Chelsea Handler, who is uncontrollable and a genius.
Front Row Features: Was it fun playing the object of two guys’ affection?
Witherspoon: Sure, yeah.
Front Row Features: This all starts when your character posts an ad on an online dating site. What’s your take on Internet dating? Would you really date two guys at one time? Do you have any dating tips for guys?
Witherspoon: (She chuckles.) I don’t have any recommendations for a guy, but for a girl, a lot of people Internet date. That’s what the commercials say, right, that one in five people meet other online.
Front Row Features: Where are you supposed to meet someone?
Front Row Features: How do you decide what movies you’re going to do? Whom do you consult?
Witherspoon: Do I have a decision guru? Well, I consult Chelsea about most decisions in my life.
Front Row Features: Speaking of Chelsea, her irreverent style of comedy precedes her. Can you talk about getting to know her?
Witherspoon: I first met her at a party, maybe at someone’s house, and I was terrified of her, but I thought she was brilliant. I think I said that to her, “I love your show.’” I saw her show in an airport once and I was literally mesmerized. I was like, “You’re just brilliant off the top of your head, a comedic genius.” But at the same time, being a person in the public eye I was terrified of her. I think she said something like, “I’m just harmless.” So, when we came around to ideas about whom would play my best friend character in this, we agreed it should be Chelsea. He pitched it first, and I was like, “Of course. Chelsea Handler is brilliant.” We were just lucky that she wanted to do it.
Front Row Features: What was it like working with her?
Witherspoon: What really endears you to Chelsea’s character is that first scene where I say, “I think I’m going to move away. I feel really bad,” and she says, “I would miss you.” It was so sweet and tender. She’s just a very loyal friend.
Front Row Features: Did you guys rehearse or go out drinking together to get that chemistry?
Witherspoon: Oh yeah, drinking a lot. (She laughs.)
Front Row Features: Out of all the dates your character goes on, what was the most fun to shoot?
Witherspoon: I would say, and probably I think Tom would agree, the trapeze scene. He practiced for at least a month ahead of time. He rehearsed a lot, and he’d wake up super early in the morning. He had a trapeze installed in his hotel room. He did a great job. We’re very proud of him.
Front Row Features: You got to do some action in this and it looked fun. Was it and would you like to do it again?
Witherspoon: It was really fun. I wish I could’ve done more. I kept saying to McG, “Give me the gun. Think of a scene where I can do the guns.”
Front Row Features: By the way, how is marriage treating you?
Witherspoon: Great. Thank you for asking.