What is Reese Witherspoon?

    The Legally Blonde 1 & 2 beauty queen (She has won at least a dozen child and then celebrity beauty honors.) is much more then “just another pretty face.” You’d think she was an intense “I,” but she’s not that at all. It’s her acting you are seeing. Read on and mark the clues I give in my comments on her profile to see her DISC and her motives profile. The answers will be in the next eLetter.

    Reese started out as an “army brat” to an MD father (military surgeon specializing in ear, nose and throat) and a Ph.D. mother (pediatric nursing). She spent the first four years of her life in Germany. Soon after her family moved back to the States, she began modeling and at the “ripe old age” of 11, she won a beauty contest at a ten-state talent fair. She stared in her first movie at the age of 14 (The Man in the Moon). Within 2 years, she stared in two more movies (“Jack the Bear” and “A Far Off Place”).

    Even after her stardom, college called and she started at Stanford as an English literature major (I did mention she is not just “another pretty face?”). Stardom soon called again and she was soon staring besides Mark Wahlberg (Fear, 1996) and Kiefer Sutherland (Freeway, 1996). Four movies later she had her breakaway role in Legally Blonde (2001) and started winning all kinds of beauty, sexiest, and “on the rise” types of awards (E! 2002 “Entertainer of the Year,” “Favorite Female Film Star” by People Magazine (2004), one of the 100 Sexist Women in the World in 2005 and 2006, etc.).

    Her acting has been rewarded numerous times. She is one of only 13 actresses to win an Academy Award (as Johnny Cash’s wife in “Walk the Line”), a BAFTA Award, Critic’s Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. From 1996 to 2012 she had been in a dozen movies, personally earning over $120 million.

    I say she in not an intense “I?” She sure seemed to be an intense an “I” in her roles in Legally Blonde I and II. I say its mostly acting or playing out being the brainiac from Stanford (which she is) in the movies. But, if you look closer at who Reese really is, you see another very different profile. Here goes:

    • She had the discipline to say “no” to opportunities to act in the movies “Scream” (1996) and “Urban Legend (1998). I suspect its because they didn’t give the image she wanted to portray.

    • She has been loyal and has had the same business agent for over 20 years.

    • She had the chance to be in the movie “Cape Fear” (1991) along side Robert De Niro, Directed by Martin Scorsese. She supposedly didn’t know who they were until hearing about them from the person next to her on the plane on the way to the audition. She was so nervous that she blew the audition.

    • She collects antique linens and is crazy about old embroidery.

    • All of her bride’s maids at her first wedding were family members, except for her best friend, who was also a bride’s maid.
    • She remains close to both her parents, even after they separated when she was 20 years old.
    • Her favorite movies are Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Overboard (1987). Both are romantic comedies with families, daughters as central roles, and a little family drama.
    • She wore the same dress at an awards dinner (for the Golden Globe Awards in 2006) as did Kirsten Dunst (for the Golden Globe Awards in 2003).
    • ShewashitbyacarwhileridingherbicycleinSeptember 2011 and has a scare to prove it. She chooses to hide the scar on her forehead with her bangs instead of getting plastic surgery.
    • She most certainly is a romantic herself, releasing 80 white doves at her wedding soon after saying her wedding vowels to her second husband, Jim Toth.
    • She was arrested for disorderly conduct in April 2013 in Atlanta after her husband, Jim Toth, was arrested for suspicion of DWI. She apologized numerous times afterwards.
    • Quotes attributed to her include:
    • “We really try to maintain our privacy and never let our public persona get out of hand.”
    • “It’s nice to come home to what’s real.”
    • “I don’t think I can imagine a better guy than the one I’ve ended up with” (referring to her first husband).
    • “I was thinking about why I make movies and I know why. Life is hard. It’s nice to go escape and have a good time at the movies. If I can give people a movie about hope, love and the future, then I’ve done my job.”
    • “I just don’t see myself as the girl everybody likes. I never have been and I don’t know how to be that person.”
    • “I grew up in Tennessee. We didn’t know what Louis Vuitton was. I had to order all my prom outfits out of catalogs.”
    • “I’m proud of Election (her daughter). It couldn’t be a better time. It’s always the right time when it happens. You make it the right time.”
    • So what’s your take on her behavior and motives style? Mine is mostly “S” behavior style with a little bit of “I”. Her major motives are “Utilitarian” and “Social.” Can you find the clues?
    The Abelson Group - Dr. Michael Abelson

    About the author

    Michael Abelson, B.A., M.A., MBA, Ph.D. is an expert on interviewing, hiring, team building, retention, and leadership selection and development.

    With over 40 years of experience consulting, keynote speaking, training and using objective assessment tools, his processes and HR solutions have saved clients time, money, and from making many poor hiring decisions.

    He can be contacted at [email protected] or 979-696-2222.

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