Reese Witherspoon launched her acting career before she had kids, starring in hits like Election and Pleasantville, to name a few titles. So after Witherspoon welcomed her first child, Ava, into the world in 1999, she had to readjust a bit to life as a working mom in the entertainment business. As one can imagine, this presented a set of new challenges, especially since she was just 23 at the time. And although this period of her life is over, Reese Witherspoon opened up about breastfeeding on the set of Friends to give fans a glimpse into what it was like to nurse on the job.
Witherspoon shared her illuminating anecdote in an interview conducted by Natalie Portman for Harper's Bazaar published Monday, discussing everything from her new TV show with Jennifer Aniston to her past guest role on Friends. Yep, that's right — back in 1999 (the episode later aired in 2000), Witherspoon had a stint on the iconic '90s sitcom.
“We met on the set of Friends; I played her sister," Witherspoon told Natalie in the chat. "I was 23 years old and had just had a baby." In case you were wondering, that baby is now 20-year-old Ava, who she shares with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.
“I was nursing Ava on set, and Jen just kept going, ‘You have a baby?’ I was like, ‘I know, it’s weird....I remember her being like, ‘Where are you going?’ And I was like, ‘I’m pumping!'”
Ha! I think many parents out there will be able to relate to navigating the whole pumping thing while at work... minus a cameo from Jennifer Aniston, of course.
Although Aniston might have been surprised to see Witherspoon with a baby on-set, the Legally Blonde alum made it clear that the actor was nothing but kind during her time on the show.
"She was so sweet to me, Witherspoon told Portman. "I was really nervous, and she was like, 'Oh, my gosh—don’t worry about it!' I marveled at her ability to perform in front of a live audience like that with no nerves. They would change all the lines and she was just so effortlessly affable, bubbly, and sunny. We’ve been friends ever since."
Witherspoon, whose social media includes lots of appearances from Aniston, added to the magazine that being a busy working mom-of- three suits her. Witherspoon, mom to Ava, Deacon, 15, and Tennessee, 7 is doing the best she can as she juggles parenting with her responsibilities growing. The mom is a producer, designer, and is managing a seemingly endless stream of creative projects.
"Let’s be real. Every working mother is still figuring these things out," she said about wearing many different hats. "But, honestly, I think women who are incredibly busy are the most productive people in the world. If I ever needed something done, I would ask the busiest woman I know."
Well, the busiest woman I've ever heard of at the moment is Witherspoon herself. And I have no doubt that if she can breastfeed while starring on one of the most popular shows of all time, she can do just about anything she sets her mind to.