Meg Ryan says her nearly decade-long absence in Hollywood was an active choice for the actress, who wanted to have a life beyond the cameras.
In a cover story for People magazine tied to her new romcom What Happens Later, the director and actress spoke about her eight-year hiatus from the screen and what about her latest film drew her back to acting.
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Speaking to her own eight-year hiatus from Hollywood, Ryan said it was really about seeing work as work, and wanting to focus on other elements of her life. “It’s nice to think of it as a job and not a lifestyle. And that is a great way of navigating it for me,” she explained.
Part of that break was about focusing on her role as a mother to son Jack, now 31, with ex-husband Dennis Quaid and her 18-year-old daughter Daisy, whom she adopted in 2006. “I took a giant break because I felt like there’s just so many other parts of my experience as a human being I wanted to develop,” she continued.
The last time Ryan was near a big screen was with her 2015 directorial debut, Ithaca. She returns to the directors chair in What Happens Later, while starring opposite David Duchovny.
The film, which was granted an interim agreement by SAG-AFTRA last week allowing the actors to promote the movie, follows two exes who become stranded in an airport overnight alone together after their flights are delayed. Ryan describes it as a “little roller-coaster ride between these two people, and it asks the question in a way: Will they or won’t they end up together?”
“These are people who broke one another’s hearts way back when. And I think what they gained is that they have gratitude for that,” she told People. “The essence of it is these two people who are stuck together. I just love that idea that we’re held in a space, even if it feels conflicted, maybe for reasons that heal them.”
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