Reese Witherspoon is reportedly in talks to star as Peggy Lee in an upcoming biopic about the singer. The internet is buzzing with the news and speculation is very high that she will take the part. With a studio lined up (Fox) and a director (Nora Ephron), the star and the script are the next items on the list and I think Witherspoon is perfect for the part. Why do I think Reese Witherspoon should play Peggy Lee in the upcoming movie? Here are my 5 reasons why:
The Peggy Lee biopic is Witherspoon’s baby. She is the one who negotiated with Lee’s granddaughter Holly Foster-Wells for the life rights to Lee’s story. Next she took the project to Fox 2000 and got them on board. Witherspoon is co-producing it herself with Marc Platt who produced her “Legally Blonde” film and she’s gotten Lee fan Nora Ephron to commit to directing. With that much passion about the project, who is better suited to taking on the star role with the dedication needed to pull it off?
Witherspoon is an Oscar winner. I’m not saying that an Oscar is a golden key to any role an actor wants but in this case her Oscar came for her role as June Carter-Cash in “Walk the Line” where she played another female singer of strong character. Not only did she play the role believably but she studied and captured the vocal stylings of Carter-Cash as well as her more demure stage persona and her stronger real-life persona in a well-blended portrayal that nearly stole the movie from Joaquin Phoenix who delivered a magnificent Johnny Cash. She knows what it will take to pull off another performance of an iconic star’s life.
She has the voice. While Carter-Cash sang country and Lee was a jazz and pop singer, Witherspoon has the vocal range to manage both. Obviously some training and plenty of rehearsal will go into her preparations but she has already demonstrated that she has the capability to carry a tune and pretty well in my opinion.
Witherspoon has the right look. Lee was also a slim, well-built blonde with a sultry look. While most of Witherspoon’s movies have not let her show this side of herself, we have seen her be sophisticated, down home and cute. I think we’ve only scratched the surface of what she is capable of evoking. The basic shape of the face, hair color and carriage is similar between the two women and Witherspoon will have no trouble convincing us her softer sexier side.
Peggy Lee was a workaholic, driven. Her work ethic was cited as a major contributing factor in the declining health she experienced in her later years. Witherspoon seems to have a bit of that drive herself. The drive it takes to develop as finely tuned a performance as she delivered in “Walk the Line” or the passion it takes to bring a project like this to fruition is comparable to the dedication Lee had for her work. It’s as if the two were cut from the same cloth.
I don’t think it will be long before we hear that an arrangement has been made and that Witherspoon has agreed to play the part of Peggy Lee. Ten we can sit back and wait for production to begin and the movie to premier. While there was more to Peggy Lee than just her singing, I am looking forward to hearing Witherspoon belt out a couple of tunes like “Is That All There Is?”, “Fever” and “He’s a Tramp” from Disney’s “Lady and a Tramp”. Sign the contract Reese and let’s go to the movies.