The star who charmed millions with her body of work chose to step out of the limelight to reflect on life.
Once the star of many box-office hits, Meg Ryan has stayed away from the limelight for a while now. The last movie of hers My Mother's Boyfriend starring Antonio Banderas came out in 2008. However, the reason for her to stay away from the media isn't that the rom-com star fell out of grace with the audience as some might believe. She made a conscious decision to take a break from work and focus on other aspects of her life. As a young mom, she wanted to focus on a few important areas that needed quiet and self-reflection.
"You’re at a disadvantage as a young, famous person because you don’t know who’s telling you the truth. I’m not complaining — there are so many advantages to being famous — but there are fundamental disadvantages for a part of your brain, your self, your soul. My experiences were too limited," she told the NewYorkTimes.
The Sleepless in Seattle actress was married to actor Dennis Quaid between 1991 and 2000. They met while working on the 1987 sci-fi movie Innerspace, and started dating post the release of the 1988 thriller D.O.A. Three years later, they married on Valentine’s Day, and a year later they welcomed their son Jack. While everything looked good from the outside, Ryan was unhappy in her marriage.
She opened up to Oprah on her show in 2006 that she should have left at least five years before she actually did. Around the same time that her marriage was going downhill, she started dating actor Russell Crowe. She had to explain how she didn't leave her marriage for the Gladiator actor but left it because it wasn't working anymore. She was also cautious about having to give out too many details to protect her son, Jack, from the rumor mills.
She received a lot of negative press for dating her Proof of Life co-star and was jarred by the mean comments. "So this is what it feels like to be the Scarlet Woman," Ryan told W magazine via E!News in October of 2000. "I'm having that experience now!"
Years later, she got a chance to reflect on the fame and attention that happened early on and also her relationships and the marriage that she left behind. "I’d never felt like I was all that concerned with what people thought of me, but then that story never got told right,'' she said about her divorce to the New York Times.
"It’s a real gift when you know you can’t ever really manage an image or a story and you stop caring. I felt the effect like I was the bad guy or whatever the story was. But I remember letting go of needing to correct anybody. Divorce is hard. Love is hard. All those things were so personal. They weren’t for mass consumption. The complexity of a life or a marriage is never going to exist in a headline or a tabloid. That was a freeing thing to know! Though fame has become so democratized now," the When Harry met Sally actress said.
Her ex-husband Quaid was quoted by the Independent to have said that he still loves her and any anger he felt towards her is no longer there. "I'm very fond of her and we have a lot of fun. We spent 13 good years together. We had a kid together and we shared so much: she made my life," he told the Independent.
The star, who is now engaged to rocker John Mellencamp, spoke about how love is different in middle age than when it is when you are 25 or 35. "What’s great about now is that John and I are so free to have fun. Maybe that freedom is about being a million years old. But I sometimes think relationships are for aliens. Who does it? Who can do it? I don’t know how any of us ever do," she told the New York Times.