The Oscar winner, 38, is once again earning Academy Awards buzz – this time for her raw performance in the upcoming drama Wild, which scored a standing ovation following its premiere Monday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. (PEOPLE called it before the fest started!)
Playing author Cheryl Strayed, who wrote the best-selling memoir upon which the film is based, Witherspoon is vulnerable and completely stripped-down – especially in one intense sex scene.
So what did her husband Jim Toth think of the bold scene?
"He's always very supportive," she told PEOPLE on the red carpet at the film's premiere. "I'm very lucky to have a supportive husband."
The real challenge, she says, wasn't baring all – it was going bare-faced.
"Oh, I'm Southern – I like some makeup!" she said with a laugh. "It wasn't easy."
Wild hits theaters Dec. 5.