As a former showgirl in the new season of Netflix’s lady wrestling comedy Glow, Geena Davis strips down to a skimpy costume and sings “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore.” It might as well be her theme song. At 63, her life is better than ever. “I’m loving it,” she exclusively tells Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now, of being a sexagenarian. “I’m weirdly excited about it.”
You can’t blame her for being psyched. In addition to her roles in Glow and Jessica Chastain’s upcoming action flick Eve, she’ll soon receive her second Oscar — the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — for her groundbreaking work with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
“This is a turning point in our culture,” says Geena, who founded the organization after she noticed the lack of female characters onscreen when her teenage daughter was a toddler.
Although she’s tall at six feet, Geena hasn’t always stood up for herself. Earlier in her life, “I felt the value I could bring to a relationship was in profoundly taking care of the other person,” says the three-time divorcée. “I finally figured out I didn’t want to be a caretaker. Getting to that point took years.”
She’s currently enduring a prolonged and painful split from Reza Jarrahy, the father of 17-year-old daughter Alizeh and 15-year-old twin sons Kian and Kaiis. “She’s drained by it all and wants it to stop,” an insider tells Closer. “Geena’s a strong-minded woman with definite ideas on how to raise her kids and live her life. She won’t compromise her values, so that’s tough for the men in her life.”
Still, Geena’s focused on being the best mother she possibly can be to her children. “She’s surprisingly strict, but loving and playful,” says the insider. “She’s very present and involved in everything they do.”
Geena has excelled at playing take-charge characters in tales of female empowerment. “I had an enormous epiphany after Thelma & Louise came out,” she says of the classic 1991 revenge flick. “Women wanted to really talk to me very intensely about their reaction to the movie and how it changed their lives,” she previously told Entertainment Weekly.
She enjoyed a transformative experience of her own when she learned how to play baseball for 1992’s A League of Their Own. “I considered myself quite unathletic, but the coaches started saying, ‘You have some real untapped ability,’” she recalls to Closer.
Then in 1997, at 41, she took up archery. “I worked very, very hard, and only two years later, I qualified as a semifinalist for the Olympic trials,” she says proudly. “That was the culmination of a big change in my life.”
These days, Geena’s right on target, professionally and personally. “I’ve learned to own my life,” she says. “It gets better as time goes by, and it’s particularly important for women to own their power and realize they can do things the way they want and really believe in themselves.”
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