Reese Witherspoon credits her children with ''inspiring'' her to speak out on social issues.

The 'Big Little Lies' star is mother to three kids - Ava, 21, and Deacon, 16, whom she has with her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, and seven-year-old Tennessee, with her spouse Jim Toth - and has said she has learned to use her ''position of influence'' to talk about inequality and prejudice because she doesn't want her children to pick up damaging viewpoints from somewhere else.

During an episode of 'The Drew Barrymore Show', fellow actress and show host Drew said: ''What I really appreciate is that you are addressing social issues. You are addressing race, women's equalities, Time's Up. You are also really an advocate while you are finding these important things that are happening in our society and addressing them as well.''

And Reese replied: ''Well, I have a lot of inspiration from having two teenagers in my house. Somewhere I read, 'If you're not talking about race and class and wealth and equality and social issue with your children they are talking about it with someone else.' That hit me very profoundly because this is the world they are inheriting. If we don't take our positions of influence, whatever your influence is ... you have the power to influence thoughts and ideas.''

The 44-year-old actress also credits books with helping her form her own view of the world, because she has been able to learn about people who have ''lived a completely different experience'' to her simply by reading.

She added: ''That's why I love books as well. Books have changed my life by going absolutely nowhere. I grew up in Nashville and I just lost myself in a book. I felt like I could see the world, I could see other people's opinions, I could see where people lived a completely different experience than me.

''I always say books are the antidote to bigotry and small thinking, it's about being expansive. I feel really blessed to have these kids in my life and to have all the children of the world out there, the Greta Thunbergs and Parkland kids, just really inspiring us to do more and create a better world.''