The upcoming drama Wild from director Jean-Marc Vallée is offering a different type of role for Reese Witherspoon, seen here in the first photo from the film. While she is best known for taking on comedies, this drama was a true challenge for the actress, as it recreates the true-life story behind lone hiker Cheryl Strayed's novel of the same name, which recounts her personal journey throughout the wilds of Oregon.
In the summer of 1995, the novice 26-year-old hiker set out to trek the formidable Pacific Coast Trail by herself, hoping to overcome her own personal demons, which included drug use, a recent divorce, and the death of her mother. Jean-Marc Vallée recently spoke about the actress' transformation for the part, which he likened to Matthew McConaughey in the recent Dallas Buyers Club, which Vallée last directed.
The team shot in chronological order, and used only natural sunlight, banning mirrors in Reese Witherspoon's trailer. This is what he had to say about the process, speaking with EW...
She went method with the hair and no makeup. We wanted to see Reese out there, not vain at all, not concerned with her image, and she went for it. Wait until you see her in the film. It's a new Reese. Strayed was a little coquette, combing her hair every day. The more we were shooting, the more the character, and Reese, got comfortable with Mother Nature, with the wilderness."
The director then spoke about the similarities in jumping from a biopic featuring Matthew McConaughey to working with Reese Witherspoon.
"They have similar lives. They have everything and they want a challenge. They want to get out of their comfort zone, and Reese did, just like Matthew. It's impressive to witness, to see where these actors are ready to go and what they are ready to do."
The Wild shoot lasted a total of 35 days, with the crew shooting on location in Oregon.