When Reese Witherspoon starred on the HBO hit Big Little Lies, she played Madeline, a strong-willed alpha mother on the pursuit of perfection. The personalities of Madeline and her fellow Monterey moms Celeste, Jane, and Renata (played by Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern), could not be more different, but even so, the actress saw a piece of herself in each of them.
Witherspoon revealed in an interview with Net-a-Porter.com's digital magazine, The Edit, that she identifies with not just Madeline, but all four of the main female characters—yes, even Celeste!
“When I read [the book], I felt a little like Renata because I was a working mom. I felt a little like Madeline because I’d been divorced, married, and had other kids. I didn’t feel the Celeste experience as much, but I’ve known many, many women in domestic-violence situations. I felt like I had been Jane, because I was the youngest mom at school and the other [mothers] rallied around me and got me everything from a pediatrician to registered at schools. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them," she said.
VIDEO: Nicole Kidman Has Some Pretty Bad News for Big Little Lies Fans
She might have felt like Jane when the other mothers supported her, but Witherspoon told The Edit that she is taking it upon herself to be that source of encouragement for her mini-me daughter Ava and her sons.
"I always tell my kids: you can’t be anybody else. Someone’s always going to be thinner, or richer, or better at their job,” Witherspoon said. “You can only be the best version of yourself, so that’s what you should strive for—the best version of you.”
Whether you identify with all four Monterey moms like Witherspoon, or you have your favorites (take our quiz here if you aren't sure which mom is most like you), Witherspoon's advice does seem worth taking.
To see The Edit's full interview with Reese Witherspoon, go to net-a-porter.com or download the free Edit app at the App Store and Google Play.