Reese Witherspoon: Ava Phillippe Is Like Another Mother to 4-Year-Old Tennessee

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Big news from Reese Witherspoon: The actress is a totally devoted mom. OK, so you probably knew that already—have you seen the snaps Witherspoon posts of her adorable squad? During a chat with Southern Living for the September 2017 issue, the star opened up about her family (and their fur babies), fashion, and making waves in the film industry

On the cover, the actress wears a vibrant blue dress emblazoned with magnolias ($195; draperjames.com) that she and her Draper James brand specifically created for Southern Living.

Southern Living Reese Witherspoon Cover
Courtesy Southern Living

Witherspoon dished on the way her kids—Ava, 17; Deacon, 13; Tennessee, 4—interact in the cover story. "Ava is like another parent to Tennessee, like his other mother," she tells the mag of her oldest and youngest children. "I think sometimes he even gets confused—he told Ava 'Happy Mother’s Day!'" 

"And Tennessee is just sort of like Deacon’s protégé. He follows his older brother around the house all day," she adds. Aw!

And if you really want to know Witherspoon's inner circle, you'll have to familiarize yourself with her dogs. The actress has three: There's the German Shepherd named Nashville, the French bulldog named Pepper, and a Chocolate Lab named Hank Williams.

Sense a theme? Witherspoon may be just a touch homesick for her Southern hometown. But, she's also partial to the playwright Tennessee Williams.

Southern Living Reese Witherspoon Cover
Reese Witherspoon / Instagram

Of course, in addition to being a supermom, Witherspoon is a force in the film industry. She formed her own production company, Pacific Standard, with the goal of creating stronger female roles in film. And, Witherspoon's own path to stardom was paved with inspiration from other women.

She shared with Southern Living: "Watching other women who talked like me on film was really formative for my acting career. When Holly Hunter spoke like a woman from Georgia in Broadcast News, she didn't change her voice or her accent for the role. I was like: 'oh, you can do this in your own voice.'"

VIDEO: Reese Witherspoon Created a Magnolia Dress for Southern Living

Another major inspiration? Dolly Parton. "I remember being 5 years old, and my PE teacher at Harding Academy asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said, 'I want to be Dolly Parton,'" Reese recalled. "I was dead serious, no laughing." Girl, same.

RELATED: Reese Witherspoon’s Sunniest Street Style Looks

Head to southernliving.com to read Reese Witherspoon's full cover story.

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