Reese Witherspoon Sings “Random Phrase” Christmas

Reese Witherspoon brought some holiday cheer to Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center!

The actress, who’s earning awards season buzz for her starring role in Wild, appeared on The Tonight Show Tuesday and sang Christmas carols with host Jimmy Fallon. “That sounds great,” she told him.

These weren’t ordinary songs, however. Fallon wanted to do “random phrase carols,” which meant that he and Witherspoon would select a popular tune and then sing it using new lyrics written on cue cards. “Do I have to go first?” the actress asked. Ever the gentleman, Fallon offered to do the honors for her.

Fallon performed an unusual song about a “small old man” to the familiar tune of “Jingle Bells.” The actress, 38, struggled to remember the melody—and hit the right notes—while singing “Silent Night.”

The stars’ caroling ended with a duet inspired by “Deck the Halls.” (Don’t count on an official album!)

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Witherspoon was on NBC’s late-night show to promote Wild, adapted from Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir of the same name. “It’s a true story. It really happened,” the Oscar winner told Fallon. “Her mother died and she got divorced and she just fell apart. She decided she was going to walk 1,000 miles from the Mohave desert to the border of Washington. And she did it all by herself—totally alone—for 94 days.”

For Witherspoon, braving the elements on set was especially challenging.

VIDEO: Reese Witherspoon discusses the challenges of making Wild

“I’m not a big camper. I only went backpacking once when I was in seventh grade. I somehow managed to get Larry Underwood to carry my backpack for me, because I promised him I would kiss him behind the tents,” the Nashville-raised actress recalled. “That was my only experience ever backpacking, so I never carried a backpack before. So, when I had to actually do it on this movie, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s heavy. That must have been really hard for Larry!’ He had to carry his and mine. He was a good guy.”

Carrying a backpack in Wild wasn’t easy for the 5-foot-1 star. “I did fall over a few times,” she admitted.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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