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Laura Linney Interview For The Big C

Laura Linney's Secret to Aging Is in Attitude

Hollywood may come up notoriously short with roles for women over 40, but not for Laura Linney. Though she's been a working actress since the early '90s, her career took off after crossing the middle-age threshold six years ago.

Now she's tackling mortality in The Big C, Showtime's new comedy about a 42-year-old woman with incurable cancer. In a New York Times Magazine profile, she says her own grappling with aging, mortality, and the deaths of friends — including Natasha Richardson, who died suddenly just months before she was offered the part — drew her to the dark comedy.

All that introspection is paying off. She's learned to appreciate aging by reframing her thoughts. Whenever she wants to complain, she remembers friends who've died and imagines them "taking me by my shoulders and shaking me: 'Snap out of it!'"

Aging is a privilege, she says, one that "a lot of people don't get."


Image Source: WireImage
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jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
She is absolutely right. When you're young, like most people on this board, death is not something you think about very much. You lose a parent or a grandparent, someone who is older, and you grieve, but I don't think it makes you evaluate your own blessings. You lose a friend or a peer your age or younger, it hits you like a ton of bricks. In my work, I see women younger than I am dealing with a cancer diagnosis all of the time, and I can tell you, it makes me appreciate my healthy body and every day that I have. I think if more people did that, the world would be a much kinder place. It makes you realize how petty some of the things we get upset about really are. When I get pissy about something, it doesn't take much to bring me back to reality. I don't thing she is saying "aging better than the alternative", she is saying, enjoy your life, and don't take for granted your blessings...be grateful for life ITSELF.
bryseana bryseana 5 years
She is absolutely right about it being a privilege. Everyday is precious. My friend passed away two months ago from cancer. She was only 35. She was a very optimistic person who enjoyed life to the fullest. Even on her really sick days she was upbeat. She had the same attitude before she was diagnosed. She was an inspiration to me.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
I think Laura's attitude is positive. Viewing aging as a privilege seems to make it special, I think. My personal attitude on aging is: I'm getting older AND BETTER. So far, I think I'm living up to it, if I do say so myself! ;) :)
stephley stephley 5 years
It’s a helpful realization, but still kind of negative (“This is better than being dead…”). ‘I love what I’m doing’, ‘I’m learning new things’, ‘I’m successfully applying what I’ve learned’, ‘I can’t get enough of the people I love’ – much more exciting reasons to keep getting up in the morning.
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