Reese Witherspoon admits she 'didn't understand what homosexuality was' until LA audition
In a conversation with actress Regina King for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series, Witherspoon explained how she wasn't educated about certain topics like homosexuality growing up and how this made its way into the show.
Set in the ’90s, "Little Fires Everywhere" sees Witherspoon as Elena Richardson, a Type A mother who runs a tight ship in her pristine, suburban home in Ohio. Witherspoon starred in and executive produced the show alongside Kerry Washington.
"That great experience of being able to look at a time that was actually 30 years ago and think: 'I was a teenager then,' " Witherspoon said in the video published Tuesday. "What did my mom say about sexuality, race, class? What were the things that I was told that maybe were true or not true? How was I insensitive?"
The actress then revealed that no one spoke to her about sexuality when she was a teenager.
"I didn’t understand what homosexuality was," she added. "My grandparents didn’t explain it. My parents didn’t explain it. I had to learn from somebody I met on an audition in Los Angeles."
According to Witherspoon, this aspect of her upbringing inspired a line in "Little Fires Everywhere."
"We incorporated some of the conversation I had with my grandmother afterwards, where she said, 'Homosexuality is very rare, Reese. That’s not a thing that happens very often,' " Witherspoon said. "And we put it in the script."
She added: "Elena says it because that’s what was said to me in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1994.
Contributing: Andrea Mandell