Andrew Phung (left) and Aisha Alfa present the nominations for the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards are announced in Toronto, on Thursday, February 7, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Canadian Screen Award honouree Mary Walsh on the ‘big payoff’ that comes with age

This year’s Canadian Screen Awards are set for March 31

A funny thing happened to comedy star Mary Walsh as she got older — instead of slipping into the sad and gloomy decline society had warned her about, she found herself getting happier.

At first she thought it was just her, but then she researched it and realized science has shown it’s a common feeling that comes with age, ”no matter what your physical ailments or your money situation.”

“Now, if you have been miserably unhappy, you’re not going to shine with the light of 10,000 suns, but you’re going to be happier than you were when you were 46 when you’re 66,” says the St. John’s satirist, who recently gave a TEDx Talk in Toronto about old-age happiness.

“I remember reading years and years ago that life was full of 1,000 tendernesses and thinking, ‘Oh yeah.’ But then it hit me: that is true. As I get older and more wrinkly, I can’t see myself really because my eyes are gone, and so when I look in the mirror, I look quite good,” the 66-year-old continues with a laugh.

“It’s the world being tender with you. You’re losing everything that you have, everything that you’ve depended on, everything that you’ve known — and to make up for that, you’re happier.”

Indeed, Walsh appears to be living her best life these days.

The creator of the CBC comedy “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” was announced Thursday as the recipient of the Earle Grey Award at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards, set for March 31.

The award is for her body of work, which has also included starring in the 1980s-’90s ”CODCO” sketch comedy series, and writing, producing and starring in the mid-2000s sitcom “Hatching, Matching and Dispatching.”

“I keep trying to be very calm about it and go, ‘Yes, I’m very good,’ but actually inside I’m leaping up and down and bubbling,” Walsh says. “It is, of course, a great honour.”

It’s one of many things Walsh has on the go.

She’s currently starring in the CBC series “Little Dog,” preparing for another appearance on “22 Minutes” and planning a cross-Canada trip with “22 Minutes” cast member Cathy Jones to record online sketches featuring their “old-lady characters.”

Walsh is also doing a short documentary with the National Film Board of Canada on how “women get more radical as they age.”

“Again with the 1,000 tendernesses theme that I seem to be playing, we find ourselves sexually invisible at some point. We find that we’re not the object of anyone’s desire anymore, we fall out of that place,” Walsh says in discussing the doc.

“But the big payoff for that is we suddenly become the subject of our own lives for the first time…. It is a great revelation, to get older and to just feel that freedom of being the subject of your own life as opposed to longing to be the object of someone else’s desire.”

Walsh is also writing a feature film screenplay about Newfoundland and Labrador’s 1966 Come Home Year civic event, in which those who hailed from the province were encouraged to return. The story features a 13-year-old girl who is sent back “to the people who didn’t want her in the first place,” Walsh says.

The film is taking longer to write than Walsh expected.

“I find that all mountains are steep now and that all steps are more slow,” she says.

But she doesn’t lose heart over such matters anymore.

“I think, ‘No, I’ll just keep going. I’ll get a chance at it again. I’ll sit down at it again and I’ll keep going,’” says Walsh, who is also a mental-health advocate.

“Whereas before I would just go, ‘Oh, well, obviously then I’m not meant to do that,’ and say goodbye.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New Chilliwack cycling organization focuses on seniors

Volunteer ‘pilots’ carry those with mobility issues on trishaws

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

Flood mitigation money coming to protect Chilliwack-area communities

It’s $45M in infrastructure funding to build 6km of dikes, a flood gate, and pump station

CSOPA’s six spring productions in Chilliwack include play about boy with autism

Mix of musicals, comedy, mystery and more for Chilliwack School of Performing Arts’ May shows

Chilliwack’s hospital morgue needs an expansion

Fraser Health plans to more than double the space for ‘decedents’; upgrade antiquated elevators

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

COLUMN: Keep your camping coordinates a secret this season

‘There are simply too many people in the back country,’ says Progress reporter

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

VIDEO: Surrey stabbing leaves man with ‘potentially life altering injuries’

Police believe an altercation between two people led to the incident, in the 13700-block of 97A Ave.

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

Most Read