Sharon Stone, Alfre Woodard, and Jane Fonda are living proof that your post-50 years are what you make of them. From Fonda's 15th Golden Globe nomination last year and Woodard and Stone's leap into the world of Marvel, these women have been working hard to break through the age barriers in Hollywood by changing the game.
The following are excerpts from the June/July issue of the AARP The Magazine cover story featuring Jane Fonda, Alfre Woodard, and Sharon Stone, available in homes today and online now at www.aarp.org/magazine/.
On embracing aging:
Sharon Stone: "I frankly think aging is a great thing, and we're lucky when we get to do it because, particularly in our generation, we've lost so many people to so many different things."
Alfre Woodard: "I don't want to put an expiration date on showing my jiggly legs at the beach, or say, 'I'm over 50. I shouldn't wear this.' No, this is my 63-year-old butt, and I am free and happy. It has earned its freedom!"
Jane Fonda: "Here's what I say about aging: It's really scary when you're looking at it from the outside. When you're inside it, it's not scary at all. You feel better."
On changing their game in Hollywood:
Sharon Stone: "I've stopped questioning everything, and that gives me a lot more room to breathe. I think it's just getting comfortable in your self – in everything, but certainly the work."
Alfre Woodard: "What people are calling my gift is my ability to surrender what is there for absolutely everybody. What we call our talent. We surrender to different talents. And that's the decision."
Jane Fonda: "Last year I thought, 'I can't very well leave the business now and never come back. Maybe I should find out what's up.' So I went into therapy and got an acting coach."
Sharon Stone Quotes
On her health after a near-fatal stroke and subsequent cerebral hemorrhage:
"Just being alive is pretty exciting."
On recovering from her career low point:
"It was all about consistency, about keeping your cool, having a plan and doing that plan every day," says Stone. "I didn't have enough stamina to hit a home run. In the game of life, you just have to be able to hit single after single after single."
On finding a boyfriend:
"Obviously it's pretty easy to get a date. But to me, my life is so full. I don't want to take time out to just go on a date, or to just have sex with a stranger. At this point, I get more satisfaction—physically, spiritually, emotionally—from a smile, a laugh, a warm conversation or a really sexy look," she says. "You know the way a man can look at you? Where you know he really sees you? I don't want to be with someone unless it's like that."
On the unexpected blessings of adoption:
"I can get cranky," Stone confesses. "I'm not sure that passing along my disposition would have been my greatest gift."
Alfre Woodard Quotes
On the intangibles that have come into focus with age:
"You're a mess in the first act, going on instinct and bravado," she says. "I'm better now at all the things you can't touch with your hands. I'm more discerning. My joy is deeper and less shakable. My craft is really fine-tuned."
On how she feels being older:
"It's that, 'you're only as old as you feel,'" says Woodard, who recalled being dumbfounded as she listened to classmates at her 15-year high school reunion talking as if their best years were over. "People had just recently turned 30 and were already complaining about their knees and saying things like, 'At our age…' 'At your age' what? I'm a friend of [actor-director] Norman Lloyd, who, for God's sake, is 101 and playing tennis and has a beautiful girlfriend-companion. Age is what you decide you want it to be. I am still in motion here."
Jane Fonda Quotes
On the unexpected joy of age:
"If you'd told me when I was 20 or 30 that I'd be happier at 70, I would have said to you, 'You're out of your mind.'"
On the naivete of her younger self:
"At 20, I was so old—I was cynical, hopeless, drifting through life. Same at 30. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't know who I was."
On what led her to change her life on the day before her 59th birthday:
"I thought, 'Holy cow—in one year, I'll be 60. I probably won't live much past 90. That means next year will be the beginning of my third act."