Actress Reese Witherspoon feels much more at ease as she approaches her 40th birthday after confessing she was "scared of everything" in her 20s.

The Walk the Line star reaches the milestone in March (16), and while some celebrities hate the idea of ageing, Reese is thrilled about her advancing years as she feels more comfortable in her own skin.

"I'm much more open now," she told the American edition of Harper's Bazaar. "In my 20s, I was scared of everything. I didn't know what my career was. I didn't know why people liked my movies. I was wary of interacting with people. I was 25 when Legally Blonde came out, 26 for Sweet Home Alabama, and 29 for Walk the Line. And I was scared, really scared. Now I feel like a different person. It's a great thing getting older. You are who you are; you say what you mean."

This new found confidence has helped Reese become a successful producer as well as an Oscar-winning actress, having bought the rights to Wild and Gone Girl in recent years.

Both movies received Academy Award nominations, so the star is obviously doing something right, and she currently has 30 projects in development, including both TV shows and movies.

"We're reading constantly," she said of her team. "My brain hurts sometimes. (At times) I've been reading and watching movies for seven days, and I need a break."
Reese will give herself a well-earned rest to celebrate her 40th birthday with loved ones in Nashville, Tennessee.

"You know, live music, eating, kids," she smiled.

She had originally planned a more adventurous birthday, but having spent months trekking in the wilderness for Wild, Reese realized a more sedate affair would be best.

"I wanted to hike Machu Picchu," she laughed. "But then I was like, 'Wait, I did enough hiking last year!' I'm done with hiking for a minute." (CM-JR/BAZ/MT)

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PHOTO: Instagram @reesewitherspoon

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