“I didn’t understand what homosexuality was. 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.” she continued.
Witherspoon then opened up about how creating Little Fires Everywhere forced her to reflect on her upbringing, referring to it as "that great experience of being able to look at a time that was actually 30 years ago and think: 'I was a teenager then. 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?'"
Since her early days, Witherspoon's worldview has expanded greatly, leading her to confront her family about why she was never told. And according to Witherspoon, said conversation inspired a line said by her character Elena in the series, set in 1990s Ohio.
"We incorporated some of the conversation I had with my grandmother afterward," she revealed. "She said: 'Homosexuality is very rare, Reese. That’s not a thing that happens very often.' And we put it in the script... Elena says it because that’s what was said to me in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1994."
However, she has come along way since her early days, and has become somewhat of an activist for the LGBTQI+ community, by giving representation in projects from her Hello Sunshine production company, including Little Fires Everywhere, which features two LGBTQ characters.
If you haven't already, check out the Little Fires Everywhere trailer below.