Reese and Phillippe co-presented the award for Achievement in Makeup and right before Phillippe opened the envelop to announce the winner, Witherspoon adorably asks, “let me read it, can I read it?”
Phillippe looked annoyed that Witherspoon took away his moment before rolling his eyes and handing her the envelope while saying “you make more than I do, go ahead.”
While the audience bursted out in laughter, Witherspoon made an audible wide open gasp before opening the envelope and revealing The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring won the category. Watch the moment below at around 1:45 mark.
The Legally Blonde star said she had forgotten it had ever happened and gave some insight 18 years later.
“You‘re reminding me of that!” she replied on the podcast The HFPA in Conversation. “I forgot that ever happened. But you’re right, he did say that, and no, it wasn’t scripted, and he didn’t tell me he was going to say that before it happened on air. So I was a little bit flummoxed in the moment, too.”
Witherspoon announced her split from Phillippe in 2006 citing “irreconcilable differences” after being married for 7 years.
The 44-year-old mother admitted she still doesn‘t know what led him to make the comment and brought up the increased pressure women feel when they achieve individual financial success.
“There’s so few women that make a lot of money that sometimes they’re shamed for it, and sometimes they are expected to give more and do more and be more to others in the same position that, say, a male movie star would not be expected to, and that’s just the double standard that exists in our society.”
The Oscar winner continued, “But I do think gender norms have changed quite a bit since that moment in like 2000 or something. I do think there are more women making money now, there’s more conversation around the division of domestic labor, and that men are willingly capable, and perfectly happy to do things that normally their father’s wouldn’t do when they were growing up. But I think it all goes back to the point that we need to talk. Women need to talk about money and how they make money and not feel ashamed of it.”
Witherspoon shared a similar story about how her daughter once came home from second grade in tears over a comment made about money. Witherspoon said Ava felt “so embarrassed” at the time when classmates brought up the fact that her mother was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
“I said, ‘Don’t ever feel ashamed of a woman making money.’ There are women all over this world who don’t have an opportunity or an education or the ability to make money,” said Witherspoon, who is also mom to 8-year-old son Tennessee with husband Jim Toth.
“And the more women who make more money, will give more money away, will take care of their societies, will take care of their communities, will do more with that money. So don’t ever feel bad about your mom making money, and don’t ever feel bad if you make money, and don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if its more than your partner.”
“[I have] an interesting relationship with the word power,” she continued. “I just hope in my lifetime, I can help more women make more money. Financial stability is freedom.”