Reese Witherspoon said in a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar that filming a sex scene at 19 years old for the 1996 thriller “Fear” was not “a particularly great experience.” Directed by James Foley, “Fear” stars Witherspoon as a teenager who falls for a sinister young man played by Mark Wahlberg. One of the film’s buzziest scenes centers on Witherspoon’s character having an orgasm on a rollercoaster while being pleasured by Mark Wahlberg’s character.
“I didn’t have control over it,” Witherspoon said about filming the sex scene, adding that she requested a stunt double be used for the below-the-waist shots. “It wasn’t explicit in the script that that’s what was going to happen, so that was something that I think the director thought of on his own and then asked me on set if I would do it, and I said no. It wasn’t a particularly great experience.”
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“I’m certainly not traumatized or anything by it, but it was formative,” Witherspoon added. “It made me understand where my place was in the pecking order of filmmaking. I think it’s another one of those stories that made me want to be an agent for change and someone who maybe can be in a better leadership position to tell stories from a female perspective instead of from the male gaze.”
Prioritizing the female gaze has become a calling card of Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine, which has backed high-profile projects centered on female leads such as “Gone Girl,” “Wild,” “Big Little Lies,” “Where the Crawdads Sing” and recent Emmy nominee “Daisy Jones & the Six.”
Elsewhere in her Harper’s interview, Witherspoon remembered losing out on desired leading roles in “Clueless” and Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet.”
“Oh my God, I wanted to do ‘Romeo + Juliet’ so badly, so badly,” Witherspoon said. “Of course, Claire Danes was amazing, but it was devastating to me that I didn’t get it after screen tests and getting really close.”
Next up for Witherspoon is a return to “The Morning Show,” her Apple TV+ drama series that is premiering a third season this September.
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