Kit Steinkellner
February 04, 2015 1:38 pm

If sexism in Hollywood is a fire-breathing dragon, then Reese Witherspoon is our knight in shining armor, sitting astride her gallant steed, sword poised and ready to draw blood.

Witherspoon established her own production company Pacific Standard in 2013 with the goal of producing films that star powerful women. Her first two films out of the gate Wild (which Witherspoon stars in) and Gone Girl prove that Pacific Standard has the brains, heart, intentions, and muscle to meet its goal head on and change Hollywood for the better.

At the Oscar Nominee Luncheon this week Witherspoon spoke to reporters about her decision to start Pacific Standard and explained how seeing a handful of her favorite actresses all fighting over a “crappy” role made her decide to do something about the Hollywood gender status quo. “I set out with the idea that I wanted to develop material that has strong female leads. I wanted to make movies about what I want to put out into the world — put some good into the world,” Witherspoon explained at the luncheon.

You’d be hard-pressed to find two better roles for women in film this year than Cheryl Strayed in Wild and Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. For those that haven’t read the books/seen the movies, Wild is the story of Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon portraying the real-life author) who hikes the 1000+ miles of the Pacific Crest Trail while dealing with the loss of her mother. Gone Girl is an addictive mystery that explores the unsettling underbelly of love and marriage with Rosamund Pike playing one of the most badass ladies to hit the screen in FOREVER. It should 100% be mentioned that both Pike and Witherspoon received Oscar nominations in the Best Actress category — seems like Pacific Standard is already achieving its goal of producing more top-notch roles for women.

Witherspoon full-body believes in making movies that feature thrilling women, and she is doing everything she can to make this aspiration a reality for herself and for all the women of Hollywood. “We deserve better,” she told reporters. “It’s great to speak up, but what I really think is you’ve got to do something.”

Here’s to more Hollywood heavyweights coming forward and creating amazing opportunities for women in the industry. As Witherspoon says, we, as women, deserve better. Kudos to Reese for going out and creating the opportunities she thought were missing, it’s a mighty inspiring choice. We can’t wait to see what Pacific Standard does next.

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