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Reese is now head of Type A Films, a production company with a handful of movies on its plate including a pro tennis flick and "Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde." She will co-produce and star in the sequel, and she'll reportedly receive a $15 million paycheck for her efforts.

  "I wouldn't do it if I didn't love the script. It doesn't matter how much money it is."
"I would easily do the movie for the same salary that I got before," Reese insisted. "It's not terribly important. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love the script. It doesn't matter how much money it is."

"She deserves all of the money she's getting," Dempsey offered. "She's making people a lot of money, so she should get some of that money. And if it was a guy, no one would say anything about the money she's making."

"It's nice to be compensated and to be appreciated and to be acknowledged that you can open a movie," Reese, visibly uncomfortable with the subject, admitted. "I was sort of raised to not really talk about money. I would never ask somebody how much money they're making. So it feels a little bit impolite. But I suppose it's interesting to someone."

Interesting, probably, to any young girl contemplating a career in film. Candice Bergen pointed out that when she got in the game, there were no multitasking, smart-project-choosing Witherspoons to look up to. Today Reese is one "sweetheart" who has risen the bar for what an outwardly appearing "cuddly" blonde can manage with intelligence, passion for the craft and serious comedic chops.

"I think if people can be inspired by what you do [that's a good thing]," Reese said modestly. "I mean, I've certainly been inspired by a lot of people that came before me. It's infinitely helpful when I get advice or support or encouragement from them. That would be great if I could inspire somebody."




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Photo: Buena Vista Pictures


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