Strayed, now 45, wrote what became a best-selling book “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.”
Witherspoon, 38, reportedly jumped at the role and is already generating some Oscar buzz. She looks gaunt in the trailer, and must have lost a lot of weight to play the character.
In the movie, Strayed is devastated by the loss of her mother, at 45, to lung cancer. She was 22 at the time and still in college.
Although she is portrayed as a troubled heroin user trying to get her head on straight, Strayed in real life is accomplished.
She grew up in McGregor, Minn., where she was cheerleader, homecoming queen and ran on the track team. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a bachelors degree in fine arts and women’s studies.
In 2002, she earned earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing from Syracuse University.
Her first book, “Torch,” a novel, was published in 2006 to positive reviews. “Wild” was published in 2012, also to critical acclaim. In fact, Witherspoon optioned it for a movie before it was even published, according to The Portland Mercury.
In between books, Strayed traveled around the country and had essays published in The Washington Post magazine, The New York Times magazine and Vogue and Allure magazines.
How she was able to work in heroin addiction and a troubled period in her life in between all that achievement is an interesting question.
She was 26 when she set out on her journey.
Nonetheless, the story of her trek is compelling, and Witherspoon has great moments of angst and introspection, judging from the trailer.
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