Meg Ryan opens up about relationships past and present: 'Big turning point' she revealed

Meg Ryan opened up about a variety of topics in a rare, all-encompassing interview with The New York Times Magazine published on Friday, including her various relationships over the years.

The actress, who starred in some of the biggest romantic comedies of the '90s, has consciously shied away from the spotlight over the last 15 years or so in an effort to focus on "other things that life can give you" outside of Hollywood. Now engaged to musician John Mellencamp, Ryan is happy with where she is, firmly outside of the tabloids, focusing on her family and trying to get more into directing.

"Raising a kid takes a lot of time," Ryan, who adopted daughter, Daisy True, in 2006, explained of her life. "But I'm lucky because I can go places like a TED conference. I can go to Cambodia and travel around. I'm writing. I'm hoping to direct. I have a passion for design. I take pictures."

"What’s great about now is that John and I are so free to have fun," she said of her relationship with Mellancamp. "Maybe that freedom is about being a million years old. But I sometimes think relationships are for aliens. Who does it? Who can do it? I don’t know how any of us ever do."

9 PHOTOS
John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan
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John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Meg Ryan and her boyfriend John Mellencamp are seen on February 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
TAORMINA, ITALY - JUNE 20: John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan attend Taormina Filmfest 2013 2013 at Teatro Antico on June 20, 2013 in Taormina, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
NEW YORK NY - NOVEMBER 03: Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp sighting on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 26: Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp are seen on July 26, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp are seen on September 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 25: John Mellencamp, Meg Ryan and Jack Quaid attend the New York Knicks Vs Philadelphia 76ers game at Madison Square Garden on December 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 26: Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp are seen on July 26, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Meg Ryan and her boyfriend John Mellencamp are seen on February 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 05: Singer John Mellencamp (L) and actress Meg Ryan enter the Whitney Museum on January 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
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Though she is content with where she is now, it took several epiphanies about Hollywood, celebrity gossip culture and her various romances through the years to get here.

"There’s an anecdote you told years ago, in passing, about being in London when your relationship with Russell Crowe was a big tabloid thing," interviewer David Marchese asked Ryan. "You mentioned walking into a hotel and having everyone stop and stare at you, then getting in an elevator and having this clarity about the emptiness of tabloid attention. Can you unpack that epiphany for me?"

"That was another big turning point in my evolution," she responded. "I’d never felt like I was all that concerned with what people thought of me, but then that story never got told right."

When asked to elaborate, Ryan explained that the dissolution of her decade-long marriage to Dennis Quaid and the cheating allegations that surrounded both of them, were misconstrued in the media -- especially her relationship with Crowe.

44 PHOTOS
Meg Ryan through the years
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Meg Ryan through the years
Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan at the Play Performance of Lily Tomlin's One Woman Show ', Plymouth Theatre, New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actress Meg Ryan. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Meg Ryan during The 3rd Annual IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards at Rosalie's in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Meg Ryan and Oliver Stone (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks on a beach in a scene from the film 'Joe Versus The Volcano', 1990. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - CIRCA 1990: Meg Ryan circa 1990 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - 1992: Actors Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin star in the film 'Prelude to a Kiss'. (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
DEAUVILLE, FRANCE: Picture dated 04 September 1993 showing Meg Ryan at the Deauville film festival. (Photo credit should read MYCHELE DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Renny Harlin, Meg Ryan and Sylvester Stallone during 1994 ShoWest in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan at the Private Home in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Meg Ryan is Named Woman of the Year (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
Married actors Meg Ryan (wearing sunglasses) and Dennis Quaid. (Photo by Mirek Towski/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Meg Ryan during Addicted to Love Premiere at Mann National Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actor Tom Hanks and actress Meg Ryan attend the 'You've Got Mail' New York City Premiere on December 10, 1998 at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.
Meg Ryan during 1999 Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher during Premiere Magazine 5th Annual 'Women in Hollywood' Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
(Original Caption) Portrait of Meg Ryan, who co-stars in the film. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
Meg Ryan during The New York Premiere Of Kate & Leopold at The Clearview Beekman Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Kevin Bacon & Meg Ryan during Meg Ryan, Jennifer Jason Leigh & Kevin Bacon On Location for New Movie In the Cut at Lower Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
MEG RYAN goes in a whole different direction in the film In the Cut from director Jane Campion. Photo of Meg Ryan at the Bel Air Hotel, September 26, 2003. (LOS ANGELES TIMES PHOTO BY ^^^) (Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 26: Actress Meg Ryan speaks to a group of about 500 John Kerry supporters at the Tampa Theater October 26, 2004 in Tampa, Florida. Ryan and Robert Kennedy Jr. told the crowd that President George W. Bush has the worst environmental record of any U.S. President. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)
Cindi Leive, Meg Ryan and Texas Governor Ann Richards (Photo by Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic)
Meg Ryan during Madama Butterfly Opening Night Starting the Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera 2006-2007 Season at Lincoln Center in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Meg Ryan (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Meg Ryan attends the Witness Holds Focus for Change: 15th Anniversary Benefit Concert at Manhattan Center Studios on November 7, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/FilmMagic)
Meg Ryan Bei Der 60. 'Bambi' Verleihung In Der Oberrheinhalle In Offenburg . (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Meg Ryan attends Magnolia Pictures Presents THE NY PREMIERE and AFTER PARTY for Cheryl Hines' SERIOUS MOONLIGHT at Cinema 2 & Rouge Tomate on December 3, 2009 in New York. (Photo by MAX RAPP/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Meg Ryan and her boyfriend John Mellencamp are seen on February 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
TAORMINA, ITALY - JUNE 20: Meg Ryan attends Gala Dinner For Meg Ryan Hosted By Taormina Filmfest And Alviero Martini at La Giara on June 20, 2013 in Taormina, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
TAORMINA, ITALY - JUNE 20: Meg Ryan attends Taormina Filmfest 2013 2013 at Teatro Antico on June 20, 2013 in Taormina, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)
SAVANNAH, GA - OCTOBER 29: Actress, director, honoree Meg Ryan speaks at her Lifetime Award Presentation during 'Ithaca' screening during 18th Annual Savannah Film Festival Presented by SCAD at Trustees Theater on October 29, 2015 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SCAD)
DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 05: Meg Ryan talks on stage of the Meet & Greet VIP Stars during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival on December 5, 2016 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Actress Meg Ryan attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Actress Meg Ryan attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala at Dolby Theatre on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 08: Meg Ryan arrives at the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute To Diane Keaton on June 8, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
THE GRAND MASONIC LODGE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/02/10: Meg Ryan attends Christian Siriano 10 years anniversary Autumn/Winter 2018 runway show at The Grand Masonic Lodge. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Actress Meg Ryan attends the Christian Siriano fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Grand Lodge on February 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
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"The story of how I was divorced of what the actual problems were. It's a real gift when you know you can't ever really manage an image or a story and you stop caring," Ryan explained. "I felt the effect, like I was the bad guy or whatever the story was."

"But I remember letting go of needing to correct anybody. Divorce is hard. Love is hard. All those things were so personal," she went on. "They weren't for mass consumption. The complexity of a life or a marriage is never going to exist in a headline or a tabloid. That was a freeing thing to know!"

Read Meg Ryan's full interview with The New York Times Magazine here.

13 PHOTOS
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan together
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Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan together
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan (wearing sunglasses). (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 01: Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Meg Ryan, one of the stars of the new film "Courage Under Fire," poses with her husband, actor Dennis Quaid, at the film's premiere July 8. The film also stars Denzel-Washington.
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Dennis Quaid & Meg Ryan (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
375847 01: UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid. (Photo by Diane Freed)
Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
(NO TABLOIDS) Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan during Elton John Named the 2000 MusiCares Person of the Year by the GRAMMY Awards at the Fox Studios in NEW YORK, NY. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
371834 01: FILE PHOTO: Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid attend the premiere of Quaid's new film, 'Savior' October 27, 1998. It has been reported June 29, 2000 that the couple had separated after nine years of marriage. According to their publicist, they split six weeks ago and the breakup was '...mutual and amicable.' (Photo by Dan Callister/Online USA)
Actress Meg Ryan chats with her actor husband Dennis Quaid before the start of the Royal Premiere of the film the Parent Trap at London's Odeon in Leicester Square November 9. The latest film from the Disney stable, stars Quaid and British actress Natasha Richardson. HP
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