Meg Ryan Says Being a Mom Is Her 'True Joy': 'I Have Two of the Greatest Kids' (Exclusive)

The longtime actress and director opens up to PEOPLE about motherhood and raising son Jack Quaid and daughter Daisy True

<p>Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; Kristy Sparow/WireImage; Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty</p> From left: Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan and Daisy True

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; Kristy Sparow/WireImage; Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty

From left: Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan and Daisy True

Meg Ryan is opening up about motherhood, and sharing how being a parent of two has been a joyful experience. 

"I have two of the greatest kids," Ryan, 61, tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story about Jack Quaid, her 31-year-old son with ex-husband Dennis Quaid, and her daughter Daisy True Ryan, 18. "They're just a blast. It is just a true joy." 

She adds, "It is a joy to me to know both of them." 

Of course, getting there required a "fundamental shift," with longtime actress, director and producer acknowledging that becoming a mother "instantly makes you not the most important person in the room." 

Ryan — who makes her anticipated return to the screen as the star, director and co-writer of What Happens Later — also likens the act of raising her kids to being a host. "I just feel like, 'Have I been a good host?' " she says when asked how she would describe herself as a mother, before asking herself, "Are they inspired? Are they happy? Are they safe?"

While Ryan notes that "each of them are so different," she adds that both Jack and Daisy True "are hilarious, they're smart, they are kind, they're interested in other people, they're curious about the world." 

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<p>James Devaney/Getty ; Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis/Getty</p> Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Daisy True

James Devaney/Getty ; Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis/Getty

Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Daisy True

Related: Meg Ryan Says Her Kids Describe Her 'When Harry Met Sally' Orgasm Scene as a 'Very Unique Embarrassment'

The mom also proudly states: "I feel like both of them make the world a little better, and I just feel so proud of them . . . I'm so proud of both."

Jack has famously carved out his own place in Hollywood after first making his acting debut in 2012's The Hunger Games. His onscreen career has since grown to include Ithaca, the 2015 film directed by and costarring Ryan, as well as Logan Lucky, 2022's Scream and this summer's Oppenheimer.

Jack is also the star of Prime Video's The Boys and lends his voice to Star Trek: Lower Decks on Paramount+. 

"He's just in it for all the right reasons. He's somebody who just loves what he does and obviously, he's somebody who knows that he's privileged and he's also somebody who works so hard," Ryan tells PEOPLE of Jack's accomplishments within the industry, adding that "he's worked really, really, really hard" to get where he is now. 

"I am just so proud of how sensible he is, how ethical he is, how fun he is — and I just knew early on he was somebody I would have to share. He's just fantastic," she continues. 

<p>Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p> Jack Quaid and Meg Ryan in 2011

Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Jack Quaid and Meg Ryan in 2011

Daisy True, meanwhile, "started college this year," shares Ryan, who also admits to "visit[ing] probably more than I should" and making hours-long drives just for short reunions with her daughter on her college campus. One time, "she could only have coffee," the mom recalls, "And I was like, 'Okay, I'll have some coffee.'" 

When it comes to raising her daughter, Ryan admits to being a little strict. In fact, Daisy True "didn't have a phone until she was 15." Because of that, the actress says, "She really is somebody who has a lot of different interests and she's a great reader and she, at least, has a memory of the phone not being everything."

Aside from "trying to be casual" as she adjusts to Daisy True being on her own for the first time, Ryan says it's great to see both of her kids flourish. "They're so engaged and happy, it's great," she notes, before explaining that it's an achievement to see them both at this point. "If you do it right, they leave." 

And with them gone, Ryan has turned being an empty nester into a time of productivity. "Well, I've been busy," she quips when asked how she's handling this stage in motherhood. 

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Meg Ryan and Daisy True
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Meg Ryan and Daisy True

Related: Jack Quaid on Growing Up in Hollywood: 'You Don't Realize Things Are Slightly Abnormal Until Later' (Exclusive)

While 2015 marked the last time fans have seen Ryan onscreen, with roles in Ithaca as well as the ABC family movie, Fan Girl, she's closing that eight-year gap with her comeback movie, What Happens Later

Based on Shooting Star, the 2008 play by Steven Dietz, who shares co-writing credits with Ryan and Kirk Lynn, What Happens Later follows two exes — Ryan as Willa opposite David Duchovny as Bill — who relive their past after getting a snowstorm strands them in an airport. 

Set for a theatrical release on Nov. 3, the rom-com has been several years in the making, with Ryan not intending to co-write the movie — or even star in it. "It just kept evolving," she tells PEOPLE now, before admitting: "There's something that just had to be made. The movie had to be made."

For more of Ryan's exclusive interview, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE.

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Read the original article on People.