Sela Ward: "I'd Like to Misbehave"

Sela Ward tells MORE: "I have a wonderful underbelly that I’d like to share."

by Johanna Schneller
Photograph: Photo by: Perry Ogden

That brings up another hard question Ward is asking herself: Should she keep living in L.A.? “I’m so not sure why I’m still there,” she says. “I’m not a part of that world. Everybody’s focused on things that are so ephemeral, particularly people’s looks. And I see myself aging. I can’t play the ingenue anymore—though in my mind I can—and I’m grappling with losing that part of my identity. I’m human, I’m not immune to that, but I really don’t want to live that as I move further into my fifties, sixties and seventies. I want to focus on being happy I’m alive, not on being sad that’s all behind.”
When her son finishes high school in three years, she plans to move to the East Coast. In the meantime, “the biggest thing for me has been to try to figure out who the ‘they’ were that I was knocking myself out for, this collective ‘they’ who have keys to the kingdom that I don’t have,” Ward says. “That’s a real big thing, if you think about it. They’re all in my imagination. I think that’s the biggest gift of age: not being afraid anymore. I used to be terrified to stand up for myself, worried that I didn’t have the right to a creative voice. I’m not afraid of much anymore. Except flying. But dealing with people, no.”
And when all else fails, she’s got that salty humor. A few years ago, the director McG told Ward that she was next in line to play the villain in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle if Demi Moore didn’t take the part. Moore took it, of course, and soon appeared on the cover of People wearing a bikini. “I’ll never forget it,” Ward says. “I was 48 or 49, on a boat trip in the Caribbean. I looked at that picture and went, ‘I am never going to look like that again.’ I just got tired when I looked at the cover of that magazine.” Other actresses might have cried or booked a date with their surgeon. But they’re not Sela Ward. “I just said, ‘Screw it,’ ” she remembers, “ ‘can I have another glass of wine?’ ” 

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