Aging is not easy in Hollywood, particularly for women, as youth is prized in the entertainment industry far more than it should be. The 64 year-old Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, however, is loving getting older, as she “feels better” than ever with age.
Davis explained to Closer Weekly that while working on the television series “Commander In Chief” in 2005, she learned a valuable lesson from her costar, Polly Bergen.
“She was in her 80s at the time,” Davis said of Bergen. “She was a firecracker who used salty language and I was so shocked! Polly said, ‘Oh, honey, when you get to my age you just don’t give a [damn] anymore!’”
Davis explained that growing up in Massachusetts, she “was raised to be such a demure, polite child…So, it’s been my life’s work to become more authentic.”
A major part of this journey has been doing the things that make her happy.
“It’s been my motto that if a person can do it, I can do it,” Davis said. “It’s kind of ambitious, but I really believe there are no limits on what we can do and learn no matter what age we are.”
Davis has been shattering stereotypes of what aging means for over twenty years. She took up archery at 41 and even became a semi-finalist for the 2000 Olympic trials. She then became a mother for the first time at 46, when she gave birth to daughter Alizeh. Two years later, she had twins Kian and Kaiis.
“In my case, I became a parent at exactly the right time,” she explained.
For Davis, the best part about aging has been that she feels she has gotten wiser and more in touch with herself over time.
“I honestly feel that every year has gotten better,” she said. “I like how I look better every year. I feel better.”
Davis wishes that older women were portrayed more fully in media. That’s why The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has teamed up with the incontinence protection brand TENA to look at the ways women over 50 are portrayed on-screen.
“So often they are stereotyped as being cranky, unattractive and dowdy — not the vital, thriving people that we are,” Davis said. “It’s a lifelong challenge to own your life and be in charge of your destiny.”