Comedian Leanne Morgan on Filming Her First Movie Role With ‘Living Doll’ Reese Witherspoon (Exclusive)

During the pandemic, comedian Leanne Morgan shared at-home tips to keep you in good spirits. “I was making videos on the back porch telling everyone, ‘Everything’s going to be okay,’ talking about making chicken pot pie and jelly salad,'” Morgan says.

And one of the fans who followed her joy was Reese Witherspoon. “She texted me and said, ‘Keep going Leanne. I really think you’re helping people feel better,’ Morgan tells PEOPLE. (The interview was conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike.)

The two — both born in Tennessee (Morgan lives in Knoxville with her husband, Chuck) — became friends. “She’s a living doll,” beams Morgan.

When Witherspoon was looking for someone to play her older sister in an upcoming comedy with Will Ferrell You are cordially invited, she thought of Morgan. “She suggested me for the part,” says Morgan, whose comedy special I am Every woman debuted on Netflix earlier this year. (Her 2017 special, So deliciousit has more than 50 million views on YouTube.) “That little thing believes in me.”

Leanne Morgan in her 2023 Netflix special “I’m Every Woman.”


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Morgan, who has been doing standup since her three grown children were babies, has found new success — and material — as a menopausal grandmother (“I’m tickled that this is happening at this point in my life. I feel like I’m just starting out at 57 year.”)

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Film sets, however, were new to her. “I didn’t know anything,” Morgan says of arriving on the Atlanta set in June (filming was completed before the SAG-AFTRA strike began). “One of my good friends, who’s a comedian, said, ‘Leanne, there’s going to be a piece of tape on the floor. Go to that piece of tape and then say your sentence.’ I didn’t even know that!”

Portrait of Leanne Morgan ceded by pr

Comedian Leanne Morgan.


But Morgan, who has had four failed sitcoms over the years, says she loved the whole movie experience. “Everyone at that thing wanted to see me well,” she says. “They were precious. They answered my questions. They were so sweet and encouraging. I fell in love with everyone on that set, from the masters who cooked, to the little PAs. I could squeeze every one of them. Everything is so exciting. I hope I can do more!”

For more on Leanne Morgan, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday or subscribe here.

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