Reese Witherspoon Seemingly Admits She Blew A Chance To Play This Disney Princess Because She Couldn’t Nail The Accent: ‘It Was Bad’

Oscar-winning actor Reese Witherspoon isn’t lacking in opportunities. However, the famously wealthy actor, producer, and businesswoman once seemingly admitted that she blew a chance to voice an iconic Disney princess. Here’s what the actor said about it. 

Reese Witherspoon was originally the voice of the Disney Princess from ‘Brave’ 

Reese Witherspoon, who was originally cast a Disney Princess, in a red dress
Reese Witherspoon | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The Legally Blonde and Big Little Lies star might not seem like an immediately natural fit for Princess Merida of Disney and Pixar’s 2012 film Brave. But they nonetheless cast her as the voice of the headstrong princess in 2010. 

However, according to the movie’s producer Katherine Sarafian, Witherspoon’s strong, defiant voice is actually a great fit. 

The character, she told /Film in a 2012 interview, is “less about being Scottish and more about being a willful teenager and Reese really knows how to play willful teenagers,” Sarafian said. “She’s got that great youthful quality and when you think about her body of work, you could probably think of, ‘Oh, actually I can see it.’ 

But Sarafian said it wasn’t going to happen because Witherspoon had conflicting obligations.

“Combined with a dialogue coach and an accent, then you could really get that teen spirit in there, but unfortunately it is a long haul and schedules are really hard to align, so she had to step out,” she added. 

But that wasn’t the end of the story. 

Reese Witherspoon later admitted she couldn’t nail a Scottish accent 

Five years later, Witherspoon sat down with ITV reporter Lorraine Kelly for an interview. Further, she seemingly admitted she pulled out of Disney and Pixar’s Brave because she couldn’t get the Scottish accent right. However, she didn’t name the movie outright. 

“I tried to do a Scottish accent once,” she told Kelly, per The Scottish Sun. “It was bad. I had to quit the movie. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”

Witherspoon joked, “It’s not my finest moment.” 

Trainspotting and Finding Neverland actor Kelly Macdonald became the voice of Princess Merida instead. 

But the official explanation on Witherspoon backing out of the role remains that she had a scheduling conflict. 

Per Digital Spy, Brave co-director Mark Andrews commented on the casting change during a 2012 Q&A. 

“We did have Reese Witherspoon when we started the project and she was on for quite some time,” Andrews said. “She was getting her Scottish accent down, she was working very hard and it was sounding great but as we were continuing with the movie she had other movies lining up, so unfortunately we were unable to continue with her and had to get a replacement.” 

The replacement voice turned out to be perfect for the role 

To sum up, no harm came to either of the actors involved, or the movie. “Luckily we found Kelly Macdonald, who is Scottish and fantastic in the part,” Andrews said, according to Digital Spy. “Her voice is amazing, it has this great teenager quality. She had fun with it.”

Meanwhile, Reese Witherspoon went on to found her own company, Hello Sunshine, which focuses on female-centered content. 

So while she isn’t exactly a Disney Princess, she certainly did go on to find her own ‘Happily Ever After.’ 

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