Meg Ryan: 'I'd love to shoot in Barcelona'

Actor and director presents 'What Happens Later' at BCN Film Fest

Meg Ryan, pictured during BCN Film Fest
Meg Ryan, pictured during BCN Film Fest / Pere Francesch

Lorcan Doherty / Pere Francesch | Barcelona

April 22, 2024 04:40 PM

April 24, 2024 12:00 PM

Meg Ryan, the star of rom-com classics like 'When Harry Met Sally', 'Sleepless in Seattle' and 'You've Got Mail', would "love to shoot in Barcelona" if the opportunity arose. 

"How fantastic would that be? Can you find something for me to direct?" she joked in an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN) on Monday. 

The actor is in town for BCN Film Fest, presenting 'What Happens Later', which she directed and stars in alongside David Duchovny, another 90s icon best known for his role as Mulder in sci-fi drama The X-Files. 


Ryan says she is aware of a certain disdain for rom-coms in some circles, but says she doesn't care, because she likes watching them and making them. What's more, they are not as easy to pull off as they might appear, she says. 

"I've done all kinds of movies, and these are the hard ones," she says. "The specific tone – you're not too funny, you're not too dramatic, you have to finesse a serio-comic moment, which even in writing is hard." 

On the other hand, she cites 'When a Man Loves a Woman' – a "straight drama, a love story about an alcoholic woman" as "one of the easiest films" she has been involved in, because it didn't need to be funny. 

Ryan says that comedies have changed compared to the 1980s and 90s. 

"You cannot do certain things anymore. Certain jokes won't play. Certain thing seem sexist or racist. And it's appropriate that we've corrected some of those things." But she also cites "edgier" films like 'Silver Linings Playbook' or Wes Anderson's comedies. 

Looking back on her long career, Ryan says that the films "add up to almost 40 experiences in my life, groups of people" with whom she remains friends. 

She remembers especially fondly her work with the director Jane Campion, with whom he shot 'In the Cut'. "She's so free – that experience was really important to me." 

'What Happens Later' 

In Ryan's latest movie, 'What Happens Later', former lovers Willa and Bill meet at an airport for the first time since they broke up decades earlier.

With flights canceled due to snow, they are gradually drawn back together, forced to reexamine what their relationship could have been, and what it could be again. 

"I think that a love story is only as good as the obstacles," Ryan says. In this case those obstacles are the two main characters' respective natures. "He's a catastrophist, and she's a magical thinker. It's a really good conflict and it just has to do with their natures, how they see the world, their point of view." 

And what happens later for her? Ryan says she thought she "didn't want to be an actress anymore, but this was so fun." 

"I'd like to do that a few more times and I'd love to keep directing. I love the environment of it. I love the exchange of a community of people telling a story for an audience."  

BCN Film Fest runs until April 26