Meg Ryan returns to romantic comedies as star, writer and director

AFP

Meg Ryan, the actor who charmed audiences in "Sleepless in Seattle," "When Harry Met Sally" and "You've Got Mail," is returning to the big screen in a romantic comedy she also wrote, directed and produced.

Eight years after her last Hollywood film, Ryan stars in What Happens Later as Willa, a woman who reunites with a former partner (X-Files star David Duchovny) when they are both snowed in at an airport.

Ryan said she spent three years working to bring the project to the screen. It premieres in theatres on Friday.

"It takes me a long time to do anything," she said in an interview, "so three of the eight years were just labour on this."

What Happens Later is among several films from independent production companies to receive waivers from the SAG-AFTRA actors union, meaning the actors were free to speak about the movie despite the ongoing strike.

Duchovny praised Ryan's work in all of her different roles in the film.

"Meg wears that responsibility really lightly, which is nice," he said. "You never got the sense that she was overwhelmed or feeling the pressure, which I'm sure she was from time to time."

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