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Reese Witherspoon says a kindergarten teacher predicted her career

How an early educator — and a little bit of Dolly Parton — forecasted Witherspoon's career.
/ Source: TODAY

It's unclear whether Reese Witherspoon's career as an actor was written in the stars, but it was certainly forecasted early on.

The star of "The Morning Show" revealed on Hoda & Jenna that it was an early educator who recognized she would be an actor.

"My kindergarten teacher — she was my PE teacher Patty Wright, who's still at my school...She called my mom and said, 'Your daughter's an actress'," Witherspoon, 46, said. "My mom was like, 'What are you talking about? I'm a nurse, her dad's a doctor. What are you talking about?'"

Witherspoon's teacher had good reason to believe this.

"She said, 'She will not stop singing Dolly Parton songs to all the kindergarteners and they are not listening. And she won't play with anybody she just wants to perform'," Witherspoon said. "And so it was actually really beautiful to be seen by one of your teachers like that and my mom got me in acting classes after that."

Though when it came to Hollywood, the actor and mom of three shared she didn't always "feel seen."

"I had to pay my dues. I did the work behind the scenes too," she said. "In high school I worked as a production assistant, because I wanted to know all sides of the business and I think it's important to pay your dues. To that end, I didn't always feel like I had an agency or ability to effect change."

As Witherspoon worked her way to the top, she realized many of the parts for women "weren't good enough" and wanted that to change.

"I really think that when I was seeing a problem for me and lack of opportunities for me, I realized that was across the board for all of my actress friends," Witherspoon said, explaining that is why she her launched her media brand "Hello Sunshine".

Witherspoon is on a mission to change the narrative of women in media.

"You just see a wider range of the female experience when women are the authors of their own stories," Witherspoon said.