Goldie Hawn Made An Impact On The Film Industry For Women, And Reese Witherspoon Wants Us All To Know It

WWGD: What Would Goldie Do?

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell had what may be the most adorable joint Walk of Fame ceremony in the history of Hollywood on Thursday. Reese Witherspoon, who was speaking at the event and got pretty emotional while doing so, used the opportunity to praise Hawn for inspiring her, and for the impact she's made on the film industry for women.

"The first time I ever fell in love with a movie star, it was Goldie Hawn," Witherspoon said, who was one of three speakers including Kate Hudson and Quentin Tarantino. "Oh my gosh, I'm going to try not to cry."

Witherspoon's admiration of Hawn goes way back, and the Big Little Lies star recalls seeing Wildcats in 1986 with her father and how she used overboard@aol.com (named after Hawn and Russell's 1987 film Overboard) as her first email address.

Turns out we have Hawn — and Gloria Steinem — to thank for Witherspoon taking the role of Elle Woods in 2001's Legally Blonde. In a Bravo documentary, Steinem had described Hawn's Private Benjamin as an important film for women in the industry. After watching the 1980 classic over and over, Witherspoon took the role and hasn't looked back since.

"It just taught me that feminism comes in lots of different packages, and that a woman can be feminine and love fashion and be taken seriously in the world," Witherspoon said. "So, the next day, I called the producer, and I accepted the role of Elle Woods all because of Goldie. And Gloria."

Witherspoon also said she became a producer — and owner of her own producing company, Type A Films, in 2013 — because of Hawn. Witherspoon called out how the legend used producing to create better, more complex roles for herself, allowing for a chance to escape from the way women were portrayed in more conventional ways.

Watch Witherspoon’s full speech — and see Hawn’s reaction — here:

(H/T: Variety)