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If she hadn't become an actress, Reese Witherspoon would have focused on her writing career.

Reese Witherspoon Considered Another Career Before Acting

Gettyimages | Theo Wargo
By Brenda Neugent

Actress Reese Witherspoon - who won an Oscar for her role as June Carter Cash in the movie "Walk the Line" - once considered another career in the arts, and it wasn't singing, despite her Academy Award-winning turn as the country legend. In fact, Witherspoon signed onto that role without realizing that she would be singing, she told in 2019. "First of all, I didn’t know I was singing. I signed up to do the acting bit. That would have been in a completely different contract. I am just a perfectionist and totally afraid of stinking. I was just determined to get the right coaches and the right people," she said. "You think you are a good singer when you are in the car…you can sing along. But then when you go in and you actually sing into a microphone for four hours straight…"

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Reese Witherspoon's longtime love of books led to her establishing Reese's Book Club, she told Vanity Fair earlier this year.
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To be fair, Witherspoon actually did consider singing when she was young, and she knew she wanted a career in the arts. "I always knew from the time I was seven that I wanted to be a storyteller or an actor or a singer," she told Vanity Fair earlier this year. "Or a writer. I always wanted to be a writer. I think that's why I’m in awe of writers because I've tried to sit down and do it. I have ideas for stories all the time. I could never figure out how things ended. I always have ideas about how things begin but I never know how they end." Witherspoon's story, it seems, will be a happy one.

Reese Witherspoon currently stars in the Hulu series "Little Fires Everywhere."

She wrote her first book, "Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits," in 2018. The career move likely came as no surprise to anyone who knows the book-loving actress. "I get crazy in a bookstore," she told Reader's Digest in 2005. "It makes my heart beat hard because I want to buy everything. I love books." Her love inspired her to found a book club, aptly titled Reese's Book Club, which allows her to celebrate her love of all things fiction and non-fiction, although there is more behind her celebration of books.

Reese Witherspoon did not let a 2012 article in The New Yorker derail her career.
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"It's nice to highlight authors who don’t have a track record of selling a lot of books," Witherspoon said in the Vanity Fair article. "To watch what happens to them is extraordinary, and really emotional for us." Her book was in part a response to her shifting place in Hollywood. After her role in "Walk the Line," there were no other parts to match that of June Carter Cash. Witherspoon was reminded of that by the New Yorker in 2012, in an article that included her in a list of stars that were no longer stars.

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman teamed up to produce and star in the HBO series "Big Little Lies."
Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

The article - a piece about Ben Stiller that included Witherspoon in a list of "people who were big stars ten years ago [but] now are not," was a low point in her career, but Witherspoon bounced back. Encouraged by her husband, Jim Toth, Witherspoon began creating her own roles - and roles for others - by optioning works she was inspired by, including "Wild," which became a movie starring also starring Laura Dern in 2014, "Big Little Lies," which debuted on HBO in 2017, and most recently, "Little Fires Everywhere," which is currently streaming on Hulu. It stars Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

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