On a back lot of Universal Studios in California, Reese Witherspoon is laughing with extras and dancing to Beyoncé's "Love on Top," and—not surprisingly—charming everyone along the way. But this is no act: as the cover star of InStyle's May issue, available on newsstands and for digital download April 17, Witherspoon is just being herself.
The issue, in which she wears a dress and belt by Fendi and a ring by Stephanie Kantis, marks the 39-year-old’s fourth appearance on our cover. A lot has changed since she first graced our pages in October 2002: she’s gotten remarried; now has three beautiful children; and—oh, yeah—won an Oscar (for 2005’s Walk the Line). So has success changed the star? Not at all, says longtime makeup artist Molly R. Stern, who was at our shoot. “Reese truly enjoys what she does,” Stern tells us. “It’s always fun to be around her.”
And who wouldn’t love to be around a self-professed spitfire with a love of high fashion? Witherspoon brought some covetable accessories from her own closet to the set, including houndstooth Dior pumps and a classic Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane duffel. We also got a sneak peek at her latest obsession: the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, sure to make an appearance as of one of the actress’s many Instagram #bookclub picks ($10; barnesandnoble.com).
To read the conversation the actress had with acclaimed author (and fellow Southerner) Fannie Flagg, including how she believes she came into her own, pick up the May issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download April 17.