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I really don’t know when Reese Witherspoon has time to, like, sleep. She has her own hyper-successful production company, has been acting in movies since she was 14 years old, is a producer, reads tons of books for her book club, has a successful clothing company, *and* is a mother to three children. Oh, also, according to Forbes, she is literally the world’s richest actress, NBD.
Reese…what’s your secret???
Throughout the span of her highly impressive career, the actor has morphed from a teenage movie star (Fear is the greatest film of our time, FACT) into an Academy Award–winning powerhouse and renowned Hollywood producer—and she’s been making a ton of cash along the way.
Much of that comes from last year’s sale of Hello Sunshine, her mega-successful production company that’s behind shows like Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere, and The Morning Show. The company was founded in 2016, so of course Reese had some substantial earnings in her pocket at that point. I mean, she’s been acting in TV and movies for about three decades, taking home multimillion-dollar paychecks for movies like Walk the Line and Sweet Home Alabama.
So if you’re in the mood to feel *very* broke, here’s a breakdown of exactly how much $$$ Reese has made throughout her career and what her total net worth is now as the world’s highest-paid actress. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
How much does Reese Witherspoon make for starring in movies?
K, so Reese has been in ~the business~ for....well, forever lol. The 1996 masterpiece Fear is obvs one of her most important movies to date, *and* just so happened to be one of her first. That said, she’s also been in classics like Legally Blonde, Election, and Cruel Intentions. Plus, she won an Oscar for Walk the Line, so, yah, she's pretty freakin talented lol. And we haven’t even discussed her TV career (more on that incoming, DW).
According to Parade, Reese made $250,000 for her role in Cruel Intentions in 1999. But a few years later, she was making about 60 times as much (AKA $15 million if you’re also bad at math) for Legally Blonde 2. There doesn’t appear to be any public info about exactly how much she was paid for the first Legally Blonde movie in 2001, but it’s a safe bet that she negotiated a much higher payday for the sequel considering the first movie was such a success.
Her role in Sweet Home Alabama earned her a slightly smaller payday of just a cool $12.5 million, which would legit make me want to punch the air if it weren't for the fact that Reese is truly just so likable 😭. Parade reported that $15 million ultimately became her standard salary request as she took roles in movies like Four Christmases and Walk the Line. CBS News bolstered that intel in 2007 by confirming that the actor was typically getting paid between $15 and $20 million per movie role at the time.
^Me @ Reese’s bank account. A-ny-way!!
Let’s talk about Big Little Lies and The Morning Show
Alright, brace yourself, folks! Reese reportedly made $1 million PER! EPISODE! for the second season of Big Little Lies, according to Forbes. There are a total of seven episodes in the season, which means she made *dusts off kindergarten math* a total of $7 million.
BRB, screaming, crying, and throwing up. But, hey, if I were Reese, I’d be smiling too!
TBH though, her Big Little Lies payday is legit nothing compared to what she got for The Morning Show. Per Forbes, she and fellow producer/actor Jennifer Aniston earned $1.2 million for each of the show's 10 episodes, AKA a total of $12 million!!!
I don't even wanna know how much disposable income is between these two 😭:
But wait! There's more lol. Little Fires Everywhere, which Reese starred in and produced, reportedly made both her and Kerry Washington $1.1 million per episode—and with an eight-episode run, that’s close to $9 million each. No words, just 💸💸💸.
How much does Reese make from her production company, Hello Sunshine?
Would it shock you to know that Reese is also mega-successful behind the scenes as well? In August 2021, a Blackstone-backed media company purchased a majority stake in her production company, Hello Sunshine. According to Forbes, the deal valued Hello Sunshine at a very casual $900 million. Reese herself was expected to collect an estimated $120 million (after taxes) from the sale. Cool-cool-cool.
She even shared an Instagram post about the epic accomplishment, and wrote, “I started @HelloSunshine to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film, and social platforms. Today, we’re taking a huge step forward by partnering with @blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful, and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally.”
Hello Sunshine is all about telling female-driven stories via film, TV, books, and other mediums. So it’s no surprise that it’s been behind projects like Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, and the recent film adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing.
Don’t Forget About Draper James
Draper James is a clothing brand and lifestyle VIBE founded by Reese (with some help in the form of $$$ from outside investors). Unclear what kinda profit she’s making from the brand, but it seems to be doing well? ON THAT NOTE, if anyone wants to buy me this cozy embroidered sweatshirt dress as a cute lil gift…feel free.
So, What’s Reese’s Total Net Worth?
According to Forbes, that’d be $400 million. Which is huuuuuge! BRB, I’ll just be here mazing out the Starbucks gift card my grandma gave me.
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