Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon says her arrest last year for disorderly conduct has helped to redefine her in the public mind.
"I think it was a moment where people realized that I wasn't exactly what they thought I was," she said at a news conference Monday in London for a film festival screening of her new film, "Wild."
"I guess maybe we all like to define people by the way the media presents them, and I think that I showed I have a complexity that people didn't know about," Witherspoon said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's part of human nature. I made a mistake. We all make mistakes. The best you can do is say sorry and learn from it and move on."
Witherspoon, 38, was arrested in Atlanta in April 2013 along with her husband, talent agent Jim Toth, who was charged with driving under the influence. The actress was handcuffed after arguing with the arresting officer and refusing to stay in the car. A police video shows Witherspoon claiming to be pregnant, though she was not, and yelling at the officer, "You're about to find out who I am!" The couple was briefly jailed and released on bond. Witherspoon issued a public apology. The actress later told "Good Morning America" she and Toth had drunk too much wine that night.
The incident, however, showed a different side of Witherspoon, who says in the new issue of Vogue that an unnamed director once refused her for a role because he had stereotyped her as too "Southern and sweet."
"I'm a complex human being," she told the magazine. "I have many different shades."
In "Wild," Witherspoon shows another shade of her acting. In the film, she portrays a woman with a history of reckless behavior, including heroin addiction, who hopes to turn her life around by embarking on an 1,100-mile solo hike. The movie is scheduled to open Dec. 5.