20 Best Reese Witherspoon Quotes About Ambition, Friendship & Powerful, Strong Women

Hollywood’s southern sweetheart is turning it up a notch.

best Reese Witherspoon quotes empowering quotes about strength

Reese Witherspoon is an actress, producer, entrepreneur, mother, and activist who went from leading lady to inspiring women. Everyone is obsessing over her recent hit show Big Little Lies, and it’s time for the world to obsess over Reese too!

Reese Witherspoon is currently the third highest paid actress in the world, but her journey to getting there was a long one.

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When Witherspoon was 14, she booked her first lead role in a feature film on accident. She went to an open casting call to play a small role in The Man in the Moon, but was cast as the lead instead.

But her real breakthrough came in 1999 when she was in Cruel Intentions opposite Ryan Phillippe, who she was dating at the time and married three months after the movie came out. While doing press for the film, Witherspoon was also pregnant with their daughter, Ava (who looks exactly like her). Surprisingly though, Witherspoon almost didn’t accept the role in the Cruel Intentions because her character didn’t have enough depth —​ so she worked with the director to rewrite her lines to create a multifaceted character who she would want to play.


Soon after, Reese Witherspoon played the role of Tracy Flick, an ambitious high school student running for school president, in the film Election. Although her performance was widely praised and helped her earn her first Golden Globe nomination, Witherspoon claimed that it was difficult for her to book roles after. Since Tracy Flick is such an extreme character and she played her so well, people believed that Witherspoon must be similar to Flick and were hesitant to work with her.

Reese Witherspoon reached a turning point in her career when she landed the role of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who tries to win her ex-boyfriend back by becoming a law student and following him to Harvard Law School in the hit movie, Legally Blonde. This performance led to her receiving her second Golden Globe Best Actress nomination and her first MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.

Then, in 2005, Reese Witherspoon portrayed June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s second wife, in Walk the Line and won her first Academy Award for Best Actress. About a year later, she went through a divorce from Ryan Phillippe, and in turn took a break from working as much and mainly did romantic films such as How Do You Know, Water for Elephants, and This Means War.

Witherspoon's career slump came to an end in 2012 when she started taking on gritty roles in darker films like Mud and Devil’s Knot. Around that time, she started her own production company with the hopes of making films centered around strong female roles. She produced an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl but was not featured in the film. However, she adapted Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild and played the role of Strayed on her 1,000 mile journey on the Pacific Coast Trail, earning her a second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.


In 2016, She and Nicole Kidman adapted Liane Moriarty’s novel Big Little Lies into a miniseries for HBO starring herself and Kidman, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, and Zoë Kravitz. Big Little Lies went on to win eight Emmy Awards for the first season.

Reese Witherspoon is currently working on adapting more books from “Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club” into movies, like Little Fires Everywhere and Daisy Jones & The Six, that tell stories about strong women and their life experiences.

Aside from her notable film projects, Witherspoon is a passionate activist trying to make a difference. She was responsible for leading the Time’s Up movement that gained a lot of media attention at the 2018 Golden Globes. She was also an early supporter of the #MeToo and #AskHerMore movements.

At Elle’s 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration, Witherspoon bravely spoke out about how she was assaulted by a director when she was 16. She has also created a mentorship program geared towards young women who want to be filmmakers.


Reese Witherspoon is doing amazing things and I can't wait to see how she changes the world. Listening to Reese Witherspoon's best quotes about strength can help you feel inspired and empowered to make a difference and be the best person you can be. Let's dive into the best Reese Witherspoon quotes to reflect on:

1. Speak up.

best Reese Witherspoon quotes empowering quotes about strength

"I encourage women to step up. Don’t wait for somebody to ask you." — Reese Witherspoon


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2. Be ambitious.

“I’m trying to take the stigma off the word [ambitious] so we encourage more little girls to be ambitious, because I do think that’s how society will change.” — Reese Witherspoon

3. Tell important stories.

“As an artist, I feel more strongly than ever that my job on earth is to tell the stories of the invisibles, and women have been invisible on film for a long time.” — Reese Witherspoon

4. Be your own hero.

“This idea that we are our own saviors, our own heroes. That’s hard, but also incredibly uplifting.” — Reese Witherspoon


5. Channel perfectionist energy.

best Reese Witherspoon quotes empowering quotes about strength

“I don’t believe in perfection. I don’t think there is such a thing. But the energy of wanting things to be great is perfectionist energy.” — Reese Witherspoon

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6. Believe in your truth.

"I got a role in this movie called Freeway playing this really angry, aggressive, violent young woman who believed wholeheartedly in the truth. I had such satisfaction afterward, and I thought, That's what I want to do." — Reese Witherspoon

7. You better work.

“All we can do to create change is work hard. That’s my advice: Just do what you do well.” — Reese Witherspoon

8. You are good enough.

“All those things that you’re worried about are not important. You’re going to be OK. Better than OK. You’re going to be great. Spend less time tearing yourself apart, worrying if you’re good enough. You are good enough. And you’re going to meet amazing people in your life who will help you and love you.” — Reese Witherspoon

9. Don't waste your time.

“I’ve realized that life is too short to spend my time with anybody who doesn’t appreciate me, treat me with respect or bring value to the relationship.” — Reese Witherspoon


10. Be responsible for change.

best Reese Witherspoon quotes empowering quotes about strength

“I do believe that if you want to change the world, you have to be responsible for it.” — Reese Witherspoon

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11. Yes, you can.

“If you’re one of those people who has that little voice in the back of her mind saying, ‘Maybe I could do [fill in the blank],’ don’t tell it to be quiet. Give it a little room to grow, and try to find an environment it can grow in.” — Reese Witherspoon


12. Love fully.

"There's no bad consequence to loving fully, with all your heart. You always gain by giving love." — Reese Witherspoon

13. Recognize your privilege.

“Another thing I think about a lot is how it feels to be a minority woman in America, so rarely seeing yourself onscreen, and it’s unconscionable. When I asked Mindy Kaling, ‘Don’t you ever get exhausted by always having to create your own roles?’ she said, ‘Reese, I’ve never had anything that I didn’t create for myself.’ I thought, Wow, I feel like a jerk for asking that; I used to have parts that just showed up for me. I can’t imagine how hard it is to write your own parts and simultaneously have to change people’s perceptions of what a woman of color is in today’s society.” — Reese Witherspoon

14. Your happiness is important.

“I spent a lot of my 20s just trying to make other people happy, rather than trying to figure out if doing that made me happy.” — Reese Witherspoon

15. Embrace your quirks.

best Reese Witherspoon quotes empowering quotes about strength


“When you finally accept that you're a complete dork, your life gets easier. No sense in trying to be cool.” — Reese Witherspoon

16. Rely on your gal pals.

"I don’t know what I would have done so many times in my life if I hadn’t had my girlfriends.” — Reese Witherspoon


17. Live your best life.

"Many people worry so much about managing their careers, but rarely spend half that much energy managing their LIVES. I want to make my life, not just my job, the best it can be. The rest will work itself out.” — Reese Witherspoon

18. Know what you deserve.

"Everybody needs love. Everyone deserves it." — Reese Witherspoon

19. Be confident.

"Confidence is everything in this business." — Reese Witherspoon

20. Ambition is sexy.

best Reese Witherspoon quotes empowering quotes about strength


“Run away from a man who can’t handle your ambition. Run. So many men think ambition is awesome and sexy!” — Reese Witherspoon

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Jaycee Levin is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology, and relationship topics.