Reese Witherspoon has revealed she has missed out on parts for being “too short” and for seeming “too smart”, and said she once cried “ugly tears” for three days after losing a role.
The Big Little Lies star, 43, opened up to fans in a lengthy Instagram post about rejection.
She told her 19 million followers that while many stories on the site are about success, it was “important to remember that rejection or failure can really be a great help in our lives”.
Witherspoon wrote: “When I first started as an actor, I went on an audition for a part that i wanted more than ANYTHING.
“This was an incredible movie with a huge male movie star as the lead.
“I had 3 callbacks, then a screen test and one day my agent called and said, ‘You didn’t get the part, the lead actor liked working with the other actress more.’
“Oh boy, did I cry. Ugly tears. For 3 whole days.
“But I recovered. And I got a different job.
“It wasn’t the same and I never watched that movie (!) but I learned so much from that experience.”
The star went on: “Over the years, I lost as many parts as I got.
“I was always considered TOO something.
“Too short. Too feisty. Too energetic. I once got told I seemed too smart to play a young female character.
“I’m not gonna lie, sometimes all the rejection would hurt my feelings, I would take it personally.
“I definitely cried in the shower a lot in my 20’s.”
Witherspoon said what she didn’t know then was that “rejection teaches you perseverance and how to get tough”.
“And you also learn … not every path is right for you,” she added.
“My friend @kerrywashington always says ‘Rejection is God’s protection.’
“You are on a path that is made for YOU. Sometimes the universe is protecting you from a bad job or a toxic relationship.
“So remember next time you fail at something or someone leaves you heartbroken…. let yourself be sad, grieve what didn’t happen for a minute but move ON. Better things are waiting for you.”