Hollywood actress Annette Bening was 30 when her first film, the John Candy comedy, The Great Outdoors, was released in 1988. Thirty years later, she’s still making movies — she currently stars in The Seagull, based on Anton Chekhov’s play — but she’s now been married to Warren Beatty for more than 25 years and raised four kids. And she’s still taking on new challenges in her life. “For so long, you feel like you’re teaching your children about the world, and now they’re teaching me,” Annette tells NPR.

Among the lessons she’s learned as she celebrates her 60th birthday on May 29: compassion, understanding, and patience. She says to NPR, “There’s a whole new universe opened up to me” by her oldest son, Stephen, 26, who was born a female and is now transgender. Youngest son, Ben, 23, encouraged her to take a role in the female-superhero movie Captain Marvel. “She’s thrilled this is keeping her relevant,” an insider tells Closer.

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Annette and Warren.

Still, Annette isn’t afraid to act her age. “It’s just a personal choice,” she says of her decision not to have cosmetic surgery to NPR. “I want to try to portray the age that I [am] and not get stuck in any given period of life.”

One thing never changes for Annette, however: “Having Warren and our family is just so important,” says the actress, who co-starred with her husband in 2016’s Rules Don’t Apply. “It’s always been this wonderful balance, and honestly, I don’t know how I would have managed it for years if I was just by myself bouncing from project to project.”

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Annette and her family in 2007.

Annette and Warren got married after only one year of dating on March 12, 1992. The couple instantly fell in love when he cast Annette in his 1991 film, Bugsy, and since then the duo has been taking on the world together.

Above all, Annette is “thankful,” she says. “I’m grateful for the real life I have.”

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