Southern Living - Reese Witherspoon cover
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When we think Reese Witherspoon, we often think of the Southern girl next door who stole our hearts in Sweet Home Alabama, Walk The Line, and Legally Blonde. As it turns out, it's true that art imitates life, at least when it coes to Witherspoon, as anyone who reads the September issue of Southern Living, on newsstands Friday, Aug. 21, will soon find out.

Jenna Bush Hager, who interviewed Witherspoon for the cover story, describes the actress as “the new Southern woman," saying, “…[Witherspoon] is her own person—even more outspoken and charming than [her] characters and more petite in real life, too … She’s opinionated with a fiery sense of humor and friendly disposition.”

Southern Living - Reese Witherspoon 3
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The dedicated mother of three says she tries to take after her parents (and her grandparents) when deciding how to best raise her own children. “[My grandparents] were strict but incredibly loving," she says. "That’s a big thing I learned from my grandmother—to spend time with your kids and listen to their dreams.”

When it comes to being a working mom, Witherspoon says she pulls inspiration from how her mother raised her. “There are some sacrifices you make, and it hurts your heart sometimes, but my kids tell me they’re proud of what I’ve accomplished, and that just means everything," she says. "I grew up with a working mom, and I have so much respect for the things she did as a nurse and a teacher. I would never begrudge her that.”

Southern Living - Reese Witherspoon
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As for her parenting style, Witherspoon told Southern Living that her kids know when she’s serious because she get “really Southern” -- not something fans usually get to see. “Early on, someone said, 'Well, you’re never gonna get a job with an accent like that,'' she recalls. "I learned to change it up, but it’s like a pair of slippers that I put on when I’m at home.”

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For more from Witherspoon, head over to, and pick up the September issue, on newsstands Aug. 21.

Related Video: Go Behind the Scenes with Reese Witherspoon at Her InStyle Cover Shoot