Reese Witherspoon will never apologize for making money, even when it’s a loved one calling her out for it. In a recent interview for The HFPA in Conversation podcast, the actress recalled the infamous comment her then-husband Ryan Phillippe made during the 2002 Oscars in which he instructed her to declare the winner because “you make more money than I do.”
Reese, who was only 26 at the time, admitted the memory had completely slipped her brain, saying:
“You’re reminding me of that! I forgot that ever happened.”
But upon recollection, the Little Fires Everywhere star reflected on her original reaction to hearing the snide remark for the first time:
“But you’re right, he did say that, and no, it wasn’t scripted. He didn’t tell me he was going to say that before it happened on air. So I was a little bit flummoxed in the moment, too.”
It’s not like the Hello Sunshine founder is oblivious to her privilege, it’s the exact opposite! Reese explained the reason she’ll never be sorry for making more money than a man is because she knows that’s not the case for everyone:
“There’s so few women that make a lot of money that sometimes they’re shamed for it, and sometimes they are expected to give more and do more and be more to others in the same position that maybe a male movie star may not be expected. But I do think gender norms have changed quite a bit since that moment in 2000 or something.”
In fact, the momma of three revealed when their oldest child, Ava, was 8 she came home crying after feeling “so embarrassed” at school because her mother was one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses at the time! The 44-year-old shared:
“I said, ‘Don’t ever feel ashamed of a woman making money.’ There are women all over this world who don’t have an opportunity or an education or the ability to make money. And the more women who make more money, will give more money away, will take care of their societies, will take care of their communities, will do more with that money. So don’t ever feel bad about your mom making money, and don’t ever feel bad if you make money, and don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if its more than your partner.”
Yaaas! We couldn’t agree more!
The Legally Blonde icon concluded:
“[I have] an interesting relationship with the word power. I just hope in my lifetime, I can help more women make more money. Financial stability is freedom.”
Way to turn an annoying, out-dated comment into real motivation to work hard, relish in your successes, and inspire more women, Reese!
[Image via Reggie Collier/WENN]