Actress Reese Witherspoon is loving life as a 40-year-old.

The Oscar winner celebrated her milestone birthday in March, hosting a star-studded birthday party where she sang Sweet Home Alabama with Keith Urban, before being treated to a private performance by Taylor Swift.

Now Reese is back in full-on work mode, finding projects for the Pacific Standard production company she runs with her partner Bruna Papandrea, and she is delighted to be so busy as she heads into her next decade.

"I'm in a really great place," she told "I'm thrilled to be doing what I do, which is tell stories in this world, and starting a new business, which is a great challenge for me, but it's also incredibly exciting."

One project Reese is really sinking her teeth into is Big Little Lies, a comedy series she is producing for premium U.S. cable network HBO, based on the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name.

"I'm working with great women whom I love and respect; Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz," she smiled. "I'm having great time! I mean, I have to say, this 40 thing is not so bad!"

Reese also took the time to explain why she decided to establish Pacific Standard with Bruna, revealing she found the material she was being sent as an actress uninspiring.

"I started looking to books as source material because I saw the movies that were coming down the pipeline, and the characters that women were playing were really lackluster," she said.

Reese has already achieved great success as a producer, with her 2014 film Wild under her belt, as well as hit adaptation Gone Girl.

"I love stories; I love complex, dynamic women who aren't necessarily likable, but they actually have so many different dimensions," she explained. "And I think that's how women really are, and I think that's how they want to see themselves represented on screen."


PHOTO: Ivan Nikolov/

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