WATCH: Reese Witherspoon Holds a Tiny Pig, Discusses Growing up in ‘Harper’s Bazaar’

How much cuteness can you handle?

Reese Witherspoon beams on the February cover of Harper’s Bazaar, playing dress-up in designs from her own fashion line ‘Draper Jane’ in a Southern belle-inspired spread. The Legally Blonde actress reflects on her evolution from her career in her early twenties as she prepares to celebrate her fortieth birthday in March.

“In my 20s, I was scared of everything,” says Witherspoon. “I didn’t know what my career was. I didn’t know why people liked my movies. I was wary of interacting with people. I was 25 when Legally Blonde came out, 26 for Sweet Home Alabama, and 29 for Walk the Line.

“Now I feel like a different person. It’s a great thing getting older. You are who you are; you say what you mean.”

Witherspoon reveals that she quickly grew tired of female actresses clamoring over the same “terrible part” in her early career and decided that she could change things. “I certainly can’t star in all these movies,” says the actress. “I want to get a female perspective on film that would make my daughter [Ava] understand what it means to be a woman in a different way.”

Thus, she was inspired by her talent agent husband Jim Toth to produce movies on her own. “You read more books than anybody I know,” he told her. “You should just buy some of them and turn them into films.”

Currently her production company, Type A Films, has 30 projects in development, which include 25 movies and five television shows. “We’re reading constantly,” says Witherspoon. “My brain hurts sometimes.”

Watch her hold a teacup pig and chat with Laura Brown in the video at the top of the page. Her issue of Harper’s Bazaar hits newsstands on January 19.

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CREDIT: Alexi Lubomirski