Reese Witherspoon once faced extreme panic attacks before ‘Wild’ filming


Nearly seven years after Wild arrived on big screens,  recalled how her role affected her mental health. She particularly noted that her anxiety lingered for about three weeks while preparing for the film.

In a new interview with Tracee Ellis Ross for Interview magazine, Reese Witherspoon recalled how scared she was to do the film.

“I had hypnosis, I was so scared. I was having panic attacks for three weeks before I started,” she said, before adding that the role changed her ultimately.

The 2014 film is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. The main character starts a journey on the Pacific Crest Trail after getting divorced.

She noted that the film consisted of nudity, sexuality, and drug use. Although she was okay with that, the fact that Witherspoon acted on camera alone made things worse.

“I hadn’t ever been alone in scenes for days and days. There were probably 25 days of the shoot where I had no other actor opposite me,” she said. “It was just me and a camera and a backpack. I was like, ‘Is this going to be so boring?’”

How the book also affected Reese Witherspoon

Apart from the movie, the book itself brought changes to the 45-year-old actress.

Witherspoon described the book as “something beautiful” since it spoke for all the women and encourage them to save themselves.

She said that, in the film, no one was there for her character. Although she ended up with no one to lean on at the end of the story, her character finally found the happiness she always wanted.

The role eventually led her to score a nod from Oscars. After the big break, she earned more roles on The Morning Show, Big Little Lies, and Little Fires Everywhere, among others.

In addition, she started working behind the camera to become a producer.

When asked if she would be able to work like how she did on Wild, Witherspoon said that the idea remains blurry to her.

These days, Witherspoon began taking care of herself even more. On Friday, she shared a tip on how to have a summer body.

“Here are my tips on how to have the perfect summer body: 1. Have a body. That’s it. That’s the tip,” she wrote. Reese Witherspoon then spread body positivity even more to her colleagues who noticed the screenshots of her Twitter thread.

Featured image courtesy of Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Kim Yue

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Kim Yue

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