The Reese Witherspoon-starrer Wild, in theaters now, boasts one of the finest screen performances of the year and tells a tale of courage and rebirth that has to be seen (or read) to be believed.Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) and written by novelist/screenwriter Nick Hornby, who adapted Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of the same name, the film tells the tale of Strayed (Witherspoon), a woman who’s hit rock bottom. She’s divorced, her cherished mother (Laura Dern) passed away, and the lost soul has thrown years of her life away on heroin and sex with strangers. To break her self-destructive cycle and heal, she decides to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail solo. Along the way, she discovers the fearless warrior that her mother knew was inside her all along.
Oscar winner Witherspoon has garnered plenty of awards buzz for her gutsy performance, earning SAG and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.
“By far, this is the hardest movie I’ve ever made in my life,” said Witherspoon. “I didn't hike a thousand miles, of course, but it was a different kind of physical rigor. I’d run up a hill with a 45-pound backpack on, and they’d say, 'Wait, that backpack doesn't look heavy enough. Put this 65-pound backpack on and run up the hill nine or ten times.' We literally didn’t stop shooting in those remote locations — we wouldn't break for lunch, we’d just eat snacks. No bathroom breaks. It was crazy, but it was so wonderful. It was complete immersion, and I’ve never felt closer to a crew. We literally pulled each other up the mountains and carried each others’ equipment.”
In a Daily Beast exclusive, watch a behind-the-scenes video on the making of Wild, and adapting Strayed’s book for the screen.