How Meg Ryan Rediscovered Life Outside Hollywood's Spotlight

Rom-Com queen Meg Ryan reveals why she decided to take a break from Hollywood. Now she’s back!

It’s been nearly eight years since Meg Ryan’s last film appearance, and a whole 15 years since she graced a major studio production.

The “tingle.” That’s how Meg Ryan’s daughter, Daisy, describes the warm feeling she gets from a heartwarming movie. 

“It’s the cutest thing,” says the multi-talented writer, director, and actress, in the cover story for PEOPLE. 

“That feeling at the end that just makes you feel your heart open.”

READ ALSO: ‘What Happens Later’ Trailer: Meg Ryan’s Rom-Com Comeback with David Duchovny

The romcom queen, Meg Ryan.
Meg Ryan/Photo via Instagram @megryan

Hollywood Hiatus

Ryan’s significant hiatus from the glamor of Hollywood is quite an unexpected twist. 

Especially for someone who once ruled the box office throughout the ’80s and ’90s. She is also the quintessential leading lady of romantic comedies. 

“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 reveals to People magazine in an exclusive interview.

For her, it’s nice to view it as a job, not a lifestyle, and that perspective suits her well.

Showbiz Comeback

Ryan is making her return to the rom-com genre, the very category that propelled her to iconic status.

This time, she’s not just the star, but also the director. Her upcoming film, What Happens Later (an independent feature with a SAG-AFTRA waiver), is set to hit theaters this November. 

READ ALSO: Stars Unite: George Clooney And Hollywood A-Listers Pledge $150 Million To Stop Actors’ Strike

In the film, Ryan portrays a woman who serendipitously reunites with an old flame (played by David Duchovny) at an airport when all flights are grounded due to a snowstorm.

“The essence of it is these two people who are stuck together,” she shares with the magazine. 

“I just love that idea that we’re held in a space, even if it feels conflicted, maybe for reasons that heal them.” 

Meg will also direct the movie What Happens Later.
Photo via Instagram @megryan

Throughout the production, which she calls “magical,” Ryan, alongside Duchovny, takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride between two people.

This raised the question: 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,” Ryan states.

Beloved Classics

Does Meg Ryan now believe that everything happens for a reason? 

She reflects on the late Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed many of her classic romantic comedies. 

“In retrospect I feel it’s true, yeah,” she nods.

“The movies I did with Nora had an operative thing about kismet, like destiny and fate. And there’s something really comforting about that.” 

Mark your calendars for November 3, as What Happens Later will be lighting up the silver screen. 

The poster of What Happens Later, posted on Meg Ryan's Instagram.
The poster of What Happens Later/Photo via Instagram @megryan

Banner photo via Instagram @megryan.

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