Reese Witherspoon flirted with billionaire status when she sold her production company, Hello Sunshine, for a whopping $900 million in August.
Speaking to InStyle, the 45-year-old actress explained that selling her company was not a decision she made lightly.
“It was two, maybe three months of negotiations on the phone all day. Calls at one o’clock in the morning,” said Witherspoon, who added, “I didn’t know a lot about private equity. I’d never sold a company in my life. I learned so much.”
The Legally Blonde star said it was very bittersweet to say goodbye to Hello Sunshine.
“I cried. I cried, and I thought about my grandma, and I cried more. I thought about all of the women who haven’t gotten these opportunities, and I just feel really lucky that I’m standing in a path that other women created for me,” Witherspoon recalled.
Hello Sunshine was more than her baby, she adds. The company helped her smash the stereotype that stories about women – and told by women — aren’t profitable or interesting.
The company has produced successful movies and television shows including Gone Girl, Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, and Little Fires Everywhere, which all put women front and center.
So, when negotiating the final sale of her company, Witherspoon says, “I was really clear about what women’s stories mean in a marketplace. So it had to be a number that signified that it’s big business because women are big business. Female audiences are big business. Female filmmakers are big business. You can’t ignore half of the population of the world and say that they don’t economically matter; they do.”
Witherspoon will still oversee day-to-day operations of Hello Sunshine, along with CEO Sarah Harden, and they both will remain significant equity holders.
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