Reese, Penelope, Shailene and Melissa Front ELLE's 2013 Women in Hollywood Issue

Posted Thursday October 10, 2013 11:45 AM GMT

They continue to take Hollywood by storm, and now Reese Witherspoon, Melissa McCarthy, Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley soak up the spotlight by covering ELLE magazine's 2013 Women in Hollywood issue.

During their Q&A session with the publication, the actresses sat down and discussed their stardom while also revealing where they see themselves in five years.

Check out a few highlights from the ladies' interview below. For more, be sure to visit ELLE!

Reese
On her inspiration to produce films:
"I started noticing a couple years ago that I wasn’t seeing women as the stars of movies. I’m seeing them as the guys’ girlfriends, or so-and-so’s wife. I just thought: God, if I don’t start buckling down and start producing some movies, what’s my daughter going to see in the movies?"

On her children changing her life:
"Somebody was saying to me the other day, ‘Oh, people get less interesting when they have kids.’ I just don’t think that’s true. I feel like I was so confused before I had kids, I almost got in my own way. Having kids made me clearer about who I was as a woman. I just wanted to exhibit good qualities for my daughter. I was a little competitive before I had kids- probably really competitive, to be honest. It really made me let go of that."

Melissa
On her nontraditional female comedic leads:
"A lot of times, women have had all their tools taken away (in Hollywood comedies). It’s like you’re never inappropriate, you have the greatest job, you look great, your hair is amazing, and now go be funny. And it’s like, with what? You have to fall down for us to want to watch you get back up. And it’s like they never let you watch women fall down."

On her favorite comediennes:
"I watch Julia Louis-Dreyfus on 'Veep' and she is so good, because she is playing the world’s biggest asshole narcissist, and yet you can’t take your eyes off of her. In fact, you still strangely like her and almost want to hang with her."

Penelope
On her road to stardom:
"The concept of a ‘star’ will always sound foreign and surreal to me because growing up in my country, you’re an actor, not a star."

On her favorite career advice:
"How important it is to learn to say no. You’re going to have to put a lot of your time into a project, and you have to know if it’s something you really feel connected with, because it’s not a job you can do like you press a button- no."

Shailene
On her rules in Hollywood:
"There’s nothing like walking into a meeting and people expecting me to shake hands, and you hug them. For me, a hug is to disregard all of that bulls*** and be like, This is me, Shai. This is who I am. Now let’s talk about real situations. Let’s not talk about all this surface-level stuff."

On her future plans:
"I’m so young, and I’m single, and I just want to drift. I’m just going to be a drifter. I want to do something totally different before Insurgent [the second film in the Divergent trilogy]. Maybe I’ll work in a tea shop. Or live in Amsterdam. Or be a nanny. Life experience only helps us as actors. I need new experiences to draw upon."

Photo Credit: Thomas Whiteside and NICO for ELLE

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