Reese Witherspoon Says She Was Denied Stunt Double For 'Fear' Sex Scene At Age 19

The actor said shooting the scene "wasn’t a particularly great experience."

Reese Witherspoon was only 19 when she filmed the film “Fear” and its indelicate sex scene.

The 1996 film starred Mark Wahlberg as a charming high schooler who turns out to be a killer, and who sweet-talks an innocent teen, played by Witherspoon, into being fondled. Witherspoon recently shared that she first learned about the scene on set and requested a stunt double — only to be denied.

“I didn’t have control over it,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in an interview released Wednesday. “It wasn’t explicit in the script that that’s what was going to happen, so that was something that I think the director thought of on his own and then asked me on set if I would do it, and I said no.”

“It wasn’t a particularly great experience,” Witherspoon continued.

The James Foley thriller came years before Witherspoon established herself as an icon with films like “Legally Blonde” (2001) or as the powerhouse producer of award-winning projects like “Gone Girl” (2014), “Big Little Lies” (2017) and “The Morning Show” (2019).

“I’m certainly not traumatized or anything by it, but it was formative,” Witherspoon told Harper’s Bazaar in an expansive cover story about her career. “It made me understand where my place was in the pecking order of filmmaking.”

She did not accuse Wahlberg or director James Foley of criminal misconduct. Representatives for Foley did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Reese Witherspoon in 1996 at the Sydney premiere of "Fear."
Reese Witherspoon in 1996 at the Sydney premiere of "Fear."
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

“I think it’s another one of those stories that made me want to be an agent for change and someone who maybe can be in a better leadership position to tell stories from a female perspective instead of from a male gaze,” Witherspoon told Harper’s Bazaar.

Witherspoon has certainly done just that with her production company Hello Sunshine, which also financed “Wild” (2014), “Where the Crawdads Sing” (2022) and “Daisy Jones & the Six” (2023).

The actor has previously spoken out about abuse in the industry. She revealed in 2017 that she was abused earlier in her teen years — and felt “true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger ... that silence was a condition of my employment.”

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