Motherhood changed everything for Meg Ryan. "I really recalibrated things when I became a mom," Meg, who has a son, Jack, 26, and a daughter, Daisy. "I felt like I got truer as a person. I’m more myself," the 56-year-old exclusively revealed to Closer.

Now, Meg — who has reunited romantically with musician-painter John Mellencamp — also feels more inspired at work. "I never really defined myself as an actor," she admitted at the recent Bentonville Film Festival. "I think at heart I’m a writer. So that was a natural progression for me." And it led her to directing.

She made her big-screen debut with 2015’s World War II drama Ithaca (co-starring Jack), and now she’s working on a new film "about a publishing company in New York," she says. "It’s very fast-talking, a real throwback movie."

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Ithaca reunited Meg with one of her favorite people: frequent co-star Tom Hanks. "He’s so smart, fun, funny, and generous," Meg raves. "He’s [even] better than you think." So, too, is the new phase of Meg’s life, in which she’s creating her own material. "I got tired of waiting to be chosen," she says. "When you’re an actor, you’re a cog. When you produce, you understand the other gears. I’m in first gear now."

That's not all Meg has to look forward to. As Closer Weekly previously reported, she could be getting married at the end of this year! "Next fall looks like the most likely time," an insider revealed, noting that John, 66, actually first proposed to Meg back in 2013. Since then, he has done so repeatedly. "He poured his heart out and told Meg he’d be lost without her," says the insider. "That really resonated with her."

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