I had to face rejections when I came to Hollywood: Witherspoon

Updated: May 09, 2011, 09:17 AM IST

London: Reese Witherspoon had to face rejections when she first came to Hollywood, but the Oscar-winning actress says she was stubborn enough to continue.

The 35-year-old star who always wanted to be a doctor like her father, says `acting just happened to her but later realised she is good at it`, reported Daily Mail.

"You have to be focused and tough because it takes a tenacious personality to deal with rejection. When I first came here, all I heard was, `No, not right, not tall enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough`. But I didn`t really care about their opinions. I`m stubborn," she said.

Witherspoon won an Academy Award when she was 29, for her portrayal of Johnny Cash`s second wife, singer June Carter, in the 2005 biopic `Walk the Line`. She is one of those actresses who do not complain about fame and didn`t think she could relax after winning the Oscar.

"Winning the Oscar makes you feel, `Oh gosh, I have to live up to that,` and it`s difficult because as an actor you`re at the mercy of other people creating opportunities for you to work," she said.

The `Water For Elephants` star insists that the values instilled in her by her parents are the reasons people perceive her as down to earth.

"I do think it is a gift to be empathic enough to be able to play a character. I`m a very empathic person. I travel around the world, and I started thinking about what fame means, and how I can use it to help other women. My mother instilled in me a desire to give back."