Jane Fonda, Sharon Stone and Alfre Woodard on Loving Aging and Getting Better at Acting
The three stars talked with AARP The Magazine about enjoying their changing careers – and beach bodies – after hitting age 50.
All three agree that relaxing about their careers actually made them improve.
“I’ve stopped questioning everything, and that gives me a lot more room to breathe,” Stone, 58, says. “I think it’s just getting comfortable in yourself – in everything – but certainly the work.”
Woodard, 63, added that her acting is completely changed since her 20s and 30s.
“You’re a mess in the first act, going on instinct and bravado,” she said. “I’m better now at all the things you can’t touch with your hands. I’m more discerning. My joy is deeper and less shakeable. My craft is really fine-tuned.”
Fonda, 78, says she had to pause, and rethink how she approaches acting.
“Last year I thought, ‘I can’t very well leave the business now and never come back. Maybe I should find out what’s up.’ So I went into therapy and got an acting coach.”
It helped that the trio realized that aging isn’t as scary as they thought it would be.
“It’s really scary when you’re looking at it from the outside,” Fonda says. “When you’re inside it, it’s not scary at all. You feel better.”
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“If you’d told me when I was 20 or 30 that I’d be happier at 70, I would’ve said to you, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ ”
“I frankly think aging is a great thing, and we’re lucky when we get to do it because, particularly in our generation, we’ve lost so many people to so many different things,” Stone adds.
And Woodard bemoaned the idea that you have to cover up your body after a certain age.
“I don’t want to put an expiration date on showing my jiggly legs at the beach, or say, ‘I’m over 50. I shouldn’t wear this.’ No, this is my 63-year-old butt, and I am free and happy. It has earned its freedom!”
“Age is what you decide you want it to be. I am still in motion here.”