Reese Witherspoon shares rare behind-the-scenes photos to celebrate Legally Blonde's 20th anniversary

20 years after the classic film, and not much has changed

Actress Reese Witherspoon acts in a scene from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Pictures'' comedy "Legally Blonde."
(Image credit: Tracy Bennett/MGM Pictures)

It’s officially been 20 years since Reese Witherspoon took over our screens (and hearts) as the bubbly Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. In honor of the film’s milestone anniversary, Reese took to social media to share some rare throwback photos from behind the scenes. 

Now that we also have a release date for Legally Blonde 3, relive some throwbacks from the first film below.

The Morning Show actress has been feeling nostalgic as she’s taken to social media to share throwback pictures to celebrate her 10 year wedding anniversary recently too. Now it's all about her time on the Legally Blonde set, however.

“Omigod you guys ….#LegallyBlonde premiered 20 years ago TODAY! Time flies when you're busy using legal jargon in your everyday life,” she captioned the Instagram post.

If you pay close attention to the photos though, you may notice that some of them are not like the others. The first photo features her character’s iconic pink style that was featured throughout the movie, including one of the best summer dresses we’ve seen. A couple of photos featured were not seen in the final cut of the 2001 film. In one photo we can see Reese’s character, Elle, in an embrace with actor Luke Wilson’s character, Emmett, which implies that this was taken from one of the film’s alternate endings. The other never-before-seen photo features Elle and a blonde Vivian (played by Selma Blair) handing out pamphlets.

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A New York Times interview with screenwriter Karen McCullah confirmed that multiple alternate endings had been filmed, including one that flashed to a year later with Elle and Vivian promoting their latest project together. The ending was based on a manuscript written by Amanda Brown--the author of the novel by the same title.

“Elle and Vivian were good friends, and Vivian’s now blonde,” she told the Times. “They had started the Blond Legal Defence Club and were handing out fliers in the quad because that was the ending in Amanda’s manuscript.”

The photo with Elle and Emmett comes from another proposed ending that screenwriter Kristen Smith revealed didn’t test as well during initial screenings.

“One of the versions ended with Emmett and Elle kissing,” she described. “We screened the movie two or three times, and every time people didn’t want to end it with a kiss. They thought it wasn’t a story about [Elle] getting a boyfriend, which was really cool to have people say that.”

Actress Reese Witherspoon films a scene on the set of "Legally Blonde" October 21, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA.

(Image credit: Eric Ford/Online USA)

 Though it's been two decades since the movie’s initial release, to this day, Reese still considers her character to be the “role of a lifetime” praising the decades of fan-created memes, graduation caps, and Halloween costumes that have resulted from the film. 

“But truly... playing Elle Woods was the role of a lifetime and I'm so honored to have been a part of sharing her story with you all. Every meme, graduation cap, musical number, Halloween costume and bend & snap has brought me so much JOY over these past two decades! I wonder...what will Elle do next?” she wrote.

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.