Toni Collette Wasn't Fussed About Turning 50: I've Gotten to Know Myself
The Power and Mafia Mamma star opens up to PEOPLE about her big milestone birthday – and how life only gets more magical as she gets older.
As an in-demand, Emmy-winning actress, Toni Collette has plenty of things to think about during each day — Should she take this role? That role? Will fans be inspired by her new Amazon Prime Video show The Power? Will they crack up at her upcoming big-screen comedy Mafia Mamma? Where will her career take her next? But the one thing she never, ever thinks about is her age. The Aussie star has been steadily working in film and TV since her breakout role in 1994’s Muriel’s Wedding, says that when she turned 50 in November, it was no big deal. “I wasn’t fussed about the number itself,” she says. “I know a lot of people are, but I think accumulatively, over time, I’ve gotten to know myself, accept myself, love myself and all these things really enrich your life.”
Collette says that’s the real secret to aging happily. “The more you nurture your internal world, the richer your experience is of engaging with the external world. So it just makes everything deeper and more beautiful.” She adds, “Life is so magical and magnificent and I’m in a position where I’m really able to see that clearly. I’m just so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had.” Of course, getting older has hardly hurt the actress’s career. She’s currently starring in two projects at once: The Power, a small-screen adaptation of the bestselling-novel about women developing the ability to produce electricity from their fingertips, which in turn flips the patriarchal power dynamic. Collette says the series, which also stars Auli’i Cravalho and John Leguizamo, really spoke to her. “It’s such a big, beautiful fantastical idea,” she says of women no longer being afraid of anything as they go about their day. “That moment where Auli’i says she can wear both of her airpods while jogging because she knows she can protect herself … it makes me tear up. It’s so incredibly moving. We all deserve that kind of freedom.”
While she’s proud of the sci-fi drama, she says she also loved shooting Mafia Mamma, about a woman with a mundane life who inadvertently becomes the head of a crime family. “It was such a joy,” she says of making the comedy in Rome last summer. “Italy has always been one of my favorite countries. I think I’m meant to be there. I must have a had a past life there. Life just makes sense for me there.” However, when she’s not working she’s at home in Sydney with her daughter Sage, 15, and son Arlo, 12. Despite what looks like a nonstop schedule, she says she definitely takes breaks between filming projects. “I live a very balanced life!” she says with a laugh. To add to that balance, she says she makes sure she meditates every day. “I carve out time for it,” she says of the practice. “Meditation used to be something I felt that I had to do, and now it’s something I truly want to do,” she says. “It just know it makes a massive difference in my day, so that’s really important to me.” Collette, who married ex-husband Dave Galafassi in a Buddhist ceremony in 2003, is admittedly spiritual.
“I also love Reiki,” she says. “Learning to practice that was really life changing for me. I find it so calming, so relaxing. If i wake up at three, four in the morning jet-lagged, in the past it’s been impossible to get back to sleep. But now I do that and just drift off again. It’s been really great.” The actress does have a few more starring roles in the works, but she says she most excited about her upcoming directorial debut. She’s set to get behind the camera for the first time directing Writers and Lovers, based on the best-selling novel by Lily King. “I feel like I’m a good communicator,” she says. “An an insightful person and an intuitive person. And I certainly know my way around a film set. So directing really feels like a naturally progression.” She adds, “I’m also very passionate about this particular story. I feel like it’s time. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, and this is the right material, and just the right moment.”
The Power is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and Mafia Mamma hits theaters on April 14.