Reese Witherspoon: There Is No ‘Legally Blonde 3’ Without Jennifer Coolidge

Coolidge said last year she has yet to be contacted to reprise her role of manicurist Paulette Bonafonté.
Jennifer Coolidge and Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde"
Jennifer Coolidge and Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde"

Reese Witherspoon knows there is no Elle Woods without the perfect manicurist-turned-bestie Paulette Bonafonté.

The “Legally Blonde” icon gushed over two-time co-star Jennifer Coolidge, who played Paulette in both franchise installments thus far.

“There is no ‘Legally Blonde 3’ without Jennifer Coolidge,” Witherspoon told Entertainment Tonight, despite Coolidge previously revealing in October 2022 she had yet to be contacted to reprise her role.

Witherspoon continued of the “White Lotus” Emmy winner, “I’m beyond myself about Jennifer Coolidge. She deserves every one of those flowers she is receiving right now. And she’s just one of those people who is so naturally gifted and funny and that you can just tell people love her, because she gets up there and everybody’s like, ‘I love her,’ but she’s just done a lot of good work in our business for so long, that it’s really nice to see her getting this incredible moment.”

“Legally Blonde 3” is being written by Mindy Kaling and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” co-creator Dan Goor. Kaling teased that the third film centered around the Harvard Law School alum would question would Elle Woods would be doing at age 42 versus 22, telling Time magazine that she would never want Elle Woods to “be canceled or become a Karen.”

Similar decades-later revivals like “And Just Like That” and “Top Gun: Maverick” have served as inspirations, or sometimes, what-not-to-do’s for “Legally Blonde 3.”

“We don’t want to be responsible for ruining what’s basically Reese’s ‘Avengers’ franchise,” Kaling said of Witherspoon’s iconic role.

Witherspoon added, “I feel like these characters are my friends, so I safeguard them. I would never make the subpar, mediocre version of their story.”

And Kaling confirmed that Coolidge’s character would “1,000 percent” return for the third installment, even if Coolidge’s agent has been contacted yet.

“[She] is just someone who all writers would kill to write for,” Kaling said. “She is so funny. She elevates any material and she is just like… She can just do a glance, it is just hilarious. And so as a writer, it’s the jackpot. Especially in that character, her character, [beautician] Paulette, is so funny and their dynamic is so funny. It’s been really great. She [has] a very juicy story in this one. That’s all I can say, and by the way, Elle has a very juicy story. The two of them, seeing what they look like now after 20 years, is really fun.”

Coolidge stated that while she knows “nothing” about the film, she is “of course” interested.

“I mean I don’t know if they wanted to surprise me or something, because I hear about it a lot,” Coolidge told Entertainment Tonight. “I heard that Mindy has this amazing version of our next round, but I haven’t seen it. I don’t have the call yet.”

She added, “‘Legally Blonde’? Why not? Reese and Mindy!”

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