Obsessive fandom is a regular, if unwelcome, part of the celebrity life, one that various famouses handle with varying degrees of grace or charm. Or, to put it another way: Some people punch photographers, and some people are Reese Witherspoon.
The former Tracy Flick managed to show off her top-notch human-liking skills earlier this week, during a promotional tour for A Wrinkle In Time with her fellow Mrs. W’s, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling. The trio sat down for a chat with reporter Lucy Ford, who opened her questions with the normal bout of “I love your work,” before suddenly presenting physical proof that she really, truly loves Witherspoon’s work, in the form of a 15,000 college dissertation she wrote about Legally Blonde.
There are plenty of celebrities who would have responded to Ford—who mentions repeatedly that she’s watched the film at least 800 times, and who later gushed to BBC News about how the interaction went better than she could have possibly hoped—with some sort of suspicion or worry (or at least reserved awkwardness), but not Witherspoon. Not only does she seem genuinely touched by the gesture, but she even noticed at the end of the interview, that Ford has scented the manuscript’s pages—a move straight out of the Elle Woods playbook.
Oprah, meanwhile, seemed mostly unimpressed.