Annette Bening: 'I Like This Stage of Life'

Bening spoke about her new movie and this stage of her life.

ByANGELA WILLIAMS
February 1, 2017, 11:27 AM

— -- Annette Bening is starring in a new film and receiving rave reviews. She’s happily married. And her children are making her proud. By all accounts, life is good.

"My husband and I have been together 25 years, we have four children. My children are amazing. They are young adults," Bening said in a recent appearance on ABC News' "Popcorn With Peter Travers."

"I still have one kid in high school, so that’s still very much a part of our lives," she added. "But they’re beginning to go out into the world and have their lives. And, for a mom, that’s a profound moment. There’s a certain sadness to it. And there’s also a great liberation and a great joy in it for me and my husband. We have each other and we also have our work."

PHOTO: Annette Bening and Warren Beatty arrive at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards, Jan. 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty arrive at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards, Jan. 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Bening’s longtime husband is actor/director Warren Beatty. Now that their children are grown up, Bening said she and her husband have been keeping busy with their own lives and projects.

Bening, 58, told Peter Travers this is a good time in her life.

"Just as a woman individually, I like this stage of life," she said. "I feel it’s more about, for me, seeking freedom in a way, inner freedom."

"With these connections and these deep relationships with my friends, my husband, my children, my family, my parents are still alive," she said, "within all of that, I just feel more free and I like that."

PHOTO: Annette Bening and Peter Travers at the ABC News studios in New York, Dec. 5, 2016.
Annette Bening and Peter Travers at the ABC News studios in New York, Dec. 5, 2016.
Alex Scott/ABC News

Bening is starring in the new film "20th Century Women." She’s playing the role of single mom Dorothea Fields raising a teenage son in Santa, Barbara, California, in 1979.

"She’s somewhat enigmatic, which I like. She’s very much a woman of her generation," Bening said, "born during the Depression and all of that. So, in some ways she sort of lives up to the expectation of that time. But then she’s also very iconoclastic, which I like about her."

Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig star opposite Bening in the film.

"What’s remarkable to me about it is there’s a teenage girl who is a fully realized complex human being with secrets. And you really get into her," Benning said of Fanning’s character.

She described Greta Gerwig’s character as "a punk, but then she’s also got illness to deal with."

"There’s a lot of humanness and complexity in these women," Bening said. "And I love that."

"20th Century Women" opened in theaters nationwide on Jan. 20.

Watch the video above for the full interview. Download the all new "Popcorn with Peter Travers" podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events