In 2003, Witherspoon followed up the success of Legally Blonde by starring in the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.
Witherspoon said about the role, "When I read Legally Blonde, I was like, 'She's from Beverly Hills, she's rich, she's in a sorority. Later that year, she starred with Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey in Andy Tennant's film Sweet Home Alabama, where she played Melanie Carmichael, a young fashion designer who intends to marry a New York politician but must return to Alabama to divorce her childhood sweetheart, from whom she has been separated for seven years.
Witherspoon regarded this as a "personal role" in that it reminded her of experiences she had when she moved from her hometown Nashville to Los Angeles.
Born in New Orleans and raised in Tennessee, she began her career as a child actress, making her professional screen debut in The Man in the Moon (1991), for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award.
Following breakout roles in Desperate Choices: To Save My Child (1992) and Jack the Bear (1993), she starred in the comedy-drama Pleasantville (1998), for which she won the Young Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Performance.
She said that it gave her "a sense of family and tradition" and taught her about "being conscientious about people's feelings, being polite, being responsible and never taking for granted what you have in your life." she was instead cast for the lead role of Dani Trant, a 14-year-old country girl who falls in love for the first time with her 17-year-old neighbor.
According to The Guardian, her performance made an early impression.She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.Witherspoon was raised as an Episcopalian, and has said she is proud of the "definitive Southern upbringing" which she received.Witherspoon owns a production company, Hello Sunshine, a clothing company Draper James, and she is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations.She serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation.Her leading role of Tracy Flick in Election (1999) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.