During an interview with Oprah, Reese was asked for the most difficult choice she had ever had to make to “fulfil her destiny,” InStyle reports.
“For me, probably leaving an abusive relationship,” she responds. “I drew a line in the sand, and it got crossed, and my brain just switched. I couldn’t go any further. I was really young, and it was profound.”
The actress and producer says “the fact that I stood up for myself” was transformative. “People say to me that knew me then, ‘you’re a completely different person,” she tells Oprah. “I didn’t have self-esteem. I’m a different person now and it’s part of why I can stand up and say, ‘yes, I’m ambitious’, because someone tried to take that away from me before.”
It was her personal experience with domestic abuse that drew her to Big Little Lies, Vulture reports.
Witherspoon has recently opened up about the "multiple experiences" of sexual assault and harassment she has experienced throughout her career, the first by a director when she was just 16 years old.
She has proven a fierce advocate of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and was instrumental in the decision of all actresses to wear black to the Golden Globes.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.