Reese Witherspoon cut hair to get into character

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Robert Pattinson & Reese Witherspoon star in this 2011 film adaptation of Sara Gruen's novel about a veterinary student abandons his studies and joins a traveling circus as their vet. While here he meets and falls in love with the beautiful young star of the equestrian act (Witherspoon), and together they bond over their shared compassion for a special elephant.
April 20th, 2011

Reese Witherspoon cut her hair and dyed it white to get into character for 'Water for Elephants'.

The Oscar winning actress stars as circus performer Marlena in the new movie opposite Robert Pattinson and revealed she found it much easier to lose herself in the role after she made the changes to her appearance.

She explained: "I debated about whether or not I was going to wear a wig. Ultimately, after lots of discussion and screen-testing, I decided, 'I'm just going to cut my hair. I'm just going to dye it white. I'm just going to do it.' It was really transforming for me. I didn't even recognize myself. It's a real gift, as an actress, to have people around you, who are artisans that are the best at what they do, creating period costumes for you and set design. It's a very collaborative medium. You're only as good as the people that you collaborate with, so we were very lucky to have the best people in the business designing the film."

Reese also said she wasn't worried about the revealing costumes she wears in the film because she did so much exercise for the role.

She told Collider.com: "I was training a lot, with the circus training, riding the elephant and riding horses, so I was pretty busy. I've made a conscious effort, throughout my career, to not end up in a bathing suit in a movie, and here I was in this movie, wearing a leotard for the majority of it. It was horrifying! But, it was inspiring to have Jacqueline West design them. They're beautiful. It was a different time, when women loved their curves and enjoyed being voluptuous, and all that sort of thing. All of the costumes in the film are very flattering for women."