ACTING HER AGE
From Gossip Girl to marriage, motherhood and even starting a website, Blake Lively has firm thoughts about the realities of staying young
People always like the idea of staying young forever,” Blake Lively says. “It’s about looking young forever and feeling young forever.”
She’s telling me all about her new flick The Age of Adaline (her first onscreen appearance since Gossip Girl, the show she fronted about a group of privileged teens in New York, ended in 2012). In Age, she plays a woman who stops ageing at 29 due to phenomenal events after a car crash. For almost 100 years. What a gift! Maybe.
“This is a story where a woman does stay young forever and you really see the heartbreak in that,” Lively says. “You see the joy and all the incredible things she gets to experience, but you also see how tragic that would be if one person was granted that wish. You see the multiple loves of her life happen and then go on without her; her daughter growing old and being in her final days.”
I ask whether Lively, 27, could handle not ageing, what with having her mug plastered on 3m-tall movie screens and billboards over Sunset Blvd. And no one seems to worry about a stray stress line more than an actor. “Oh, I’d hate that,” she says without skipping a beat. “I love getting older – every year I appreciate it. Well, not all of it. But if I didn’t age an extra year more than my family, I wouldn’t be able to stand it.”
Lively has added more strings to her bow in the past year – entrepreneur and mother are two. For a long time she seemed to be cast as the “hot girl” rather than someone with any grit. But towards the end of GG, she took a couple of roles that showed a different side – a drug addict alongside Ben Affleck in The Town (2010); the polyamorous dream girl in Oliver Stone’s Savages (2012). It looked as if, post-Serena van der Woodsen, a serious acting career beckoned.
Then she met Ryan Reynolds on the set of 2011’s The Green Lantern and fell in love. They moved to Bedford, New York, and secretly got engaged in June 2012, before tying the knot that September.
Last year, Lively launched her lifestyle website Preserve and we began to see a whole other side to her.
“Most of us are entrepreneurs these days. To me, it was a worthy thing that started as something I could do for my friends and loved ones. What I would have done in my own personal community – to explore and share – is a great passion of mine, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I open it up and share with (other) people?’”
Lively says she started the site because she’s “hungry for experience”.
She stresses the site isn’t about her, but somewhere to “preserve” the art and creations that are already out there.
Eliis Jones (Michiel Huisman) and Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) in
The Age of Adaline.