Andie MacDowell Is Surprised By How Much She Loves Being Alone: 'I'm Not Really Looking for Anyone'

The actress, who now stars in the new horror film Ready or Not, says she enjoys being an independent woman

Andie MacDowell is the first to admit that adjusting to an empty nest once her kids left home was not an easy transition.

“It was shocking to me because I was so dependent on them filling my home. At first it was hard,” the actress, 61, tells PEOPLE. “I have this conversation with a lot of mothers who are really tight with their children and have so much pleasure and joy from caretaking. I had to learn to be an independent woman.”

Andie MacDowell
Jon Kopaloff/Getty

MacDowell, who is now starring in her first horror film Ready or Not, remains close to her children, with ex- husband model Paul Qualley: Justin, 33, a real estate agent; Rainey, 29, a singer and actress; and Margaret, 24, who stars with Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood.

For more on Andie MacDowell, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

But MacDowell says after about a year, she began to adjust to the new family dynamic and learned to enjoy it.

“I started liking it. So much so that I’m not really looking for anyone. I mean, if someone came into my life, I would be pleasantly surprised. I would be like, ‘Wow, isn’t this fantastic?’ But I’ve learned how to tap into friends, peace and quiet, and do whatever I want to do whenever I want to,” she says.

Andie MacDowell, Margaret Qualley
Andi MacDowell and Margaret Qualley. Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty

The actress, who got her big break in 1989’s Sex, Lies and Videotape, followed by hits including Green Card, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Groundhog Day, says despite all her movie success, it’s her children that make her most proud of and she’s glad they’ve become strong and independent people.

“Once they’re older, you then have to learn to let go. I’ve done my job and I’ve done my job well because my kids are all making their own choices for themselves and developing into the people that they’re supposed to be,” she says. “The most important thing that you will teach your children is to be independent.”

Ready or Not is in theaters now.

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