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Meg Ryan talks returning to the big screen after a “really long time” with ‘What Happens Later’


Meg Ryan took a break from appearing in movies for years — not counting her face seen in a photo in Top Gun: Maverick — and to comic legend Carol Burnett, she opened up about returning to her rom-com roots with her forthcoming release, What Happens Later.

The pair chatted on the phone together in early July, ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strike, for Interview magazine about the movie that Ryan co-wrote, directed and starred in opposite David Duchovny.

“I hadn’t done a role in a really long time, but it was fun with David,” said Ryan, 61. “A lot of it was done in two shots. I’m proud of that.”

“Truly, the easiest part was acting in it,” Ryan expressed. “I want to direct again just so I can sit in the chair, because I’m sure there’s a lot of things I missed.”

The pair play ex-lovers snowed in at the airport, reminiscing about their lives together and the decades since their split.

As “perfect” as Duchovny was for the part, Ryan explained, she never “really knew” the actor personally.

“We’d only met a couple of times, maybe 20 years ago,” she recalled. “But I remembered, more than all of his other amazing work like The X-Files and Californication, him on The Larry Sanders Show. He played himself as a guest and he was so absurd and funny.”

As she worked on the script over the beginning of the pandemic, “We got to know each other over these Zoom calls and some of those conversations found their way into the script, too.”

Meg added, “I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David and I trying to tell the truth.”

What Happens Later opens in theaters October 13.

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