Despite being in Hollywood for quite some time, Wendi McLendon-Covey is not feeling defeated — instead, it’s quite the opposite. The blonde beauty is thriving: she has been playing Beverly Goldberg in ABC’s hit series The Goldbergs for nine seasons (they just celebrated their 200th episode!), her podcast, “Generation Ripe,” is hysterical and her part in Bridesmaids will forever live on.
“I think it’s pretty damn good,” the 52-year-old exclusively tells GRAZIA USA of her career. “I noticed a seismic shift when I turned 40 — stuff started getting really interesting. I was never the hot girl anyway, but I don’t feel like I have even hit my stride. So, if I ever leave this business, it is because I got bored. I don’t need millions of projects to come to me. I need a couple, I can do that, but I am very grateful.”
Now, the actress wants to switch up the conversation — especially when it comes to aging, which is what her podcast focuses on. “I don’t know that a ton of people are listening to me, but I hope that if I can change the conversation a little bit here and there that it will boomerang around to other people,” she notes. “But honestly, if you take a good, long look at what is happening, it has changed a lot. When I turned 40, it was like climbing onto a life raft — it felt like I had ascended to something else. My 30s were very stressful — I think they are for a lot of women; you feel like you have to achieve, achieve, achieve.”
McLendon-Covey points out that so many women in showbiz, such as Molly Shannon, Pamela Anderson and Christie Brinkley, are “having moments.” “There are so many more women in their 40s, 50s and 60s on television and movies right now,” she says.
In fact, McLendon-Covey is one of those ladies appearing on the small screen, as she is one of the leads on The Goldbergs. Since she plays the family matriarch, she now understands what it is like to be a mom since she doesn’t have children of her own. “I try not to jump in and force my opinions on them, even though I don’t want them to make a bad decision or go down a wrong path — not like that is going to happen,” she shares. “I am happy to help whenever they need advice, especially when navigating this industry, which is so complicated and unlike any other industry. My journey was strange, and I really navigated it on my own and there was no one for me to ask anything, so I am happy to fill in the blanks if they need that, but I don’t push it.”
Since McLendon-Covey knew she wanted to be in the comedy world from a very young age, she is getting to live out her dreams. “I have never feel bored on The Goldbergs. I always have something fun to do, and my favorite part is playing with all of the amazing guest stars that we get because when would I ever have an opportunity to work with the legendary Judd Hirsch? I know I am going to laugh my head off day long. Maybe I will even say some lines, but mostly I am laughing, so it gives you the opportunity to work with your friends and then to meet people that I never would have met otherwise without this job.”
As for how the Blended alum got to be this confident, she says everyone she surrounds herself with never talks about getting older as a negative. “I am ready to try new things. I don’t feel any different than I did when I was 17, except I got more money now and I am not self-conscious anymore,” she quips. “We live in a society now where you don’t retire at the same age that you used to. You have got to keep reinventing yourself, but that is fun. Do you just want to sit and waste away for the next few decades? I am 52, I could live until I am 100 because in my family, they live a long time, so that is a whole other lifetime! I am not going to waste it.”