Meg Ryan Responds to Tabloid Stories About Her "Unrecognizable" Looks

The star just returned to acting after a long hiatus.

After first coming to fame in the '80s with roles in As the World TurnsTop Gun, and When Harry Met Sally…, Meg Ryan starred in several movies, including the classic rom-coms Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail throughout the '90s and 2000s. But by the 2010s, the star was taking on fewer parts, and she took a hiatus from acting beginning in 2015.

Over the years that Ryan rarely appeared in public, she was sometimes deemed "unrecognizable" by tabloids and social media users whenever she emerged. Outlets and fans have also debated whether she's had plastic surgery and what kind. Now, after making her return to the big screen, the 62-year-old actor is speaking out about critical coverage of her appearance.

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"I can't pay attention to it. I just can't," Ryan told Glamour of the tabloid articles about her. "It's not worth it. Of course that would hurt someone's feelings, but there are so many more interesting things to think about. Meanness and hatred are just so stupid."

In the same interview, Ryan talked about aging—something that was once scary to her but no longer is. "Our culture is so obsessed with youth. As an old person now, I love my age. I love where I'm at," she said. "Aging is not that terrifying. We're all doing it. I wish someone had told me earlier, 'Just relax. It is what it is. Don't pay attention to the obstacles.'"

The star said that her confidence has increased as she's gotten older, as well. "There's a time in your teens and 20s where you're trying on personalities to figure out who you are, who to be," Ryan explained. "With age, you get to a place where you say what you mean without thinking about how it's going to land. You just say what you want."

Meg Ryan at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Ryan previously spoke out about beauty standards in a 2015 interview with Porter (via Entertainment Tonight), dismissing the gossip about her looks as not important.

"I don't pay a lot of attention frankly," she said. "There's a lot of hatred in the world today, it's so easy to judge. Imagine being a hater, how stupid! My women friends are not sitting around talking about… well, sometimes there are conversations like that, but the people I value talk about kids growing up, what kind of world they are going into, what we are eating, what we are breathing." She also said that she loved the age she was at the time, 54. "We get stuck in these conversations about looks and hair color and our roots," Ryan continued. "It's interesting and funny for five minutes, but it's not that interesting."

Ryan recently returned to the big screen—and the public appearances that come with it—after eight years away for the romance What Happens Later, which she also directs and co-wrote. Her last movie before this was the 2015 drama Ithaca, which she also starred in and was her directorial debut.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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