Leslie Mann on turning 40

Leslie Mann, star of This Is 40 and Knocked Up, talks to Psychologies about her experience of turning 40.

Despite being told it’s all downhill after you reach 40, a recent Psychologies reader survey told us that you generally feel comfortable about getting older. Although you were initially concerned about your body image, work and biological clock as you approached this age, around 80 per cent of readers have had major life-changing revelations since. It seems turning 40 isn’t nearly as bad as it’s made out to be. Actress Leslie Mann talks to us about her own experience of turning 40, the theme of her recent comedy, This Is 40.

Is turning 40 as tricky as it’s made out to be? I guess I was a little worried when I was nearing my 40th birthday, but I don’t think it’s as hard as everyone says it is. I’m in better shape and I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I’m doing everything that I want to be doing and I feel smarter and wiser, more compassionate, more understanding of people’s struggles and my own. I know myself a lot better and I give myself more of a break than I used to.  I’d never want to go back to being in my twenties or thirties.

What do you think has been your most difficult decade? Thirty was harder. It was like I didn't exist; I was a slave to my children and felt so guilty being away from them. I just lost myself completely, so I kind of had my breakdown at 30. Now I’m 40, I just feel I have a better understanding of things. My kids need me that little bit less. I have time to do what I want to do, and I'm being allowed a creative outlet.

Have you personally found your age has created any problems for your career? My age doesn’t feel like it’s causing me any real problems. I felt that more when I was 27. There was more urgency then. I had this terrible agent who would tell me I was too old.  I finally got rid of him when I was 35.


‘This Is 40’ is available to buy on Blu-ray and DVD – both with Ultraviolet™–  and Digital Download on 24 June 2013.