Andie MacDowell on Womanhood, Spirituality and Love After Love

Allison Kugel | 4/2/2018, 11:51 a.m.
Actress Andie MacDowell’s appeal is in her ethereal glow. From her crown of dark cascading curls to her porcelain complexion ...
Actress Andie MacDowell/photo by Sam Jones

Allison Kugel: The question in that first scene that’s asked to your character is, “What is happy?”

Andie MacDowell: That was an honest answer that my character gives, “You can’t always be happy.” A therapist told me that one time (laughs). It was a big revelation; you can’t always be happy.

Allison Kugel: How do you define happy? What does happy mean for you?

Andie MacDowell: I think happiness is peace of mind. It’s definitely not superficial. Happiness is not a big house. I’ve had a big house and I’ve had a small house, and I think I was happier in the smaller house. Happiness is never going to be things. It’s also love and attachment, but to me happiness is really peace of mind.

Allison Kugel: What do you believe in, and who or what do you pray to?

Andie MacDowell: Ha! I pray to a very liberal Jesus. I grew up going to church and it was a warm environment where my mother played the organ and my favorite song was Jesus Loves the Little Children. It’s such a corny little song, but I love it. “All the children of the world; black and yellow, red and white; they’re all precious in His sight; Jesus loves the little children of the world.” I grew up going to Sunday school and sang that song, and it was sweet. It’s nothing to do with politics or any concept that everybody has unfortunately thrown onto my concept of who He is. My belief is in kindness. I’ve also read a lot on Buddhism and I’m a Yogi, and I don’t like the concept of what people have of what the church is nowadays. The whole political thing has ruined it.

Allison Kugel: I love the saying, “Instead of being Christian, be Christ-like.” So much of the judgment that people spew is so interesting to me, because Jesus was a liberal in terms of His lack of judgment on His fellow man.

Andie MacDowell: He was definitely a liberal. He loved the poor people. And He would go into the church and knock over things. He couldn’t stand that kind of behavior. The way my family observed [Christianity] was very sweet. There are so many positive aspects to it. There’s a lot of negative aspects to it too. But if you just sit down at a table, and everybody gets together and holds hands and simply says, “Thank you for the food.” I want to tell people that I’m the good kind, I’m not the ugly kind.

Allison Kugel: “I’m not here to judge you. I have no interest in judging you.”

Andie MacDowell: Right! I’m not here to judge you. Oh, my heavens! And I don’t think about heaven or hell. I think heaven and hell is right here. You can make the world heaven or hell.

Allison Kugel: Earth is a yin and yang experience. You have dark and light, night and day, good and evil, joy and sorrow. That’s all right here. Speaking of which, what do you see as the moral of the story in this movie, Love After Love? What’s the takeaway from this movie?