Women in Hollywood have been making a huge splash in the last few years. From acting to directing, writing and producing, there are a few notable women who have gone above and beyond for stories they love and authors they believe in. Learn more about some of the kickass women in the book-to-screen industry who are making a positive impact on readers and viewers everywhere.
Reese Witherspoon is no stranger to the big screen and over the past decade has done her part to take stories by women and bring them to life. Backed by her media company, Hello Sunshine, Reese has shown Hollywood the sheer strength and power of women’s stories through her numerous productions.
From her major success producing and starring in Big Little Lies to her upcoming production plans with authors like Celeste Ng and Taylor Jenkins Reid, she continues to delight book lovers with her dazzling adaptations.
Reese excited her fans as well as fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, when she announced Hello Sunshine was turning Daisy Jones & the Six into a series for Amazon.
With so many Reese Witherspoon productions on the horizon, it’s hard to choose which project we’re most excited about.
When Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon announced they’d be teaming up to bring Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng to the big screen, the book world exploded. Just when we thought Kerry’s role as Olivia Pope on Scandal was the best we’d ever get, we now get to see her in her new role, behind the camera, bringing a phenomenal story to life.
In addition to her recent collaboration with Reese Witherspoon on Little Fires Everywhere, Kerry Washington has also signed on to produce the movie version of Brit Bennett’s The Mothers. And since Brit Bennett will be writing the movie script, this is definitely a must-see.
During the summer of 2018, Kerry Washington dropped another bombshell when she announced she’d be starring in the adaptation for the breakout novel The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. Washington is excited to work with famous producer Amy Pascal in the movie based on a book she calls, “a gripping thriller set in the psychological landscape of new motherhood.”
Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why quickly became a fan favorite when it was released in 2017. Based on the book by Jay Asher, the show focuses on teen suicide, bullying and sexual assault. Behind the show was actress and singer Selena Gomez. When Gomez read the book, she knew the impact it would have on viewers. With her support, seven years after reading 13 Reasons Why, she finally got to see it come to life on-screen.
Not only did Selena work behind-the-scenes on the show but she also has become close friends with the cast. Together, they promote storytelling in all forms and are strong advocates for building a safe community where everyone’s voice can be heard.
Selena wrote on Instagram, “What 13 Reasons Why has represented was an authentic story of what every kid deals with in everyday life. The pressure, the unrealistic expectations of what they believe they should be. Whether you have read this book or not, it’s a story of what every kid does and will continue to go through – unless we keep talking about it. People are hurting and deserve to be heard. Tired of others portraying a false idea of what everyday life is. I hope 13 Reasons Why can enlighten people to what words mean when you say them.”
Oprah is one of the world’s greatest storytellers. From her own history to the life and experiences of important men and women around her, she is one of the most influential women in the world. In 2017, Oprah brought to life The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book and movie contain a strong message of hope and equality – something Oprah has always promoted throughout her career.
Almost a decade before Oprah’s adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks premiered on HBO, Oprah was busy working on another book-to-screen project: Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Toni Morrison’s work left an obvious impact on Oprah and in 1998, she got to work producing a film based on the novel. The movie went on to receive a nomination for an Academy Award and plenty of praise from critics and viewers alike.
Most recently, Oprah has been hard at work on the musical adaptation of The Color Purple. Working with Steven Spielberg, the two are now bringing the book to life as an on-screen musical. While their original adaptation in 1985 brought 11 Oscars nominations, both Winfrey and Spielberg are excited to bring the story new life once again.
Jennifer Aniston has been an icon in American media for decades. In December of 2018, the world got to see a new side of Jennifer as she helped produce the book-to-screen adaptation of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’. The New York Times bestselling YA novel sends a powerful message to young readers and we love that Aniston helped give the story an even bigger reach by bringing it to Netflix.
Playing a former beauty queen and the mother of self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean, Aniston worked alongside music icon Dolly Parton and the talented Danielle Macdonald to show the world that all body types are beautiful. We hope Jennifer Aniston continues to work on projects with positive messages like Dumplin’.