Rebecca Gibney shows entertainment industry that ‘life doesn’t end at 40, 50 or even 60’

Apr 01, 2023
Rebecca Gibney gets candid about ageing in the entertainment industry. Source: Getty

With a career spanning several decades, Rebecca Gibney has managed to capture the hearts of hundreds of viewers.

She’s achieved household name status in both Australia and New Zealand, thanks in part to her role as Julie Rafter in the hit TV series Packed to the Rafters, for which she received numerous awards, including a Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality and two Silver Logies for Most Popular Actress.

And now, Gibney, 58, is using her status and influence to change the entertainment industry and she’s starting with her new show Under the Vines.

While the TV landscape predominantly showcases reality shows of young people searching for love, Under the Vines’ main target audience is older people.

Speaking to Now To Love, Gibney says the show aims to explore “romance for an older generation”.

“It’s just to show life doesn’t end at 40, 50 or even 60. You can still find romance and be considered attractive. That’s what’s been appealing to our older audience as well,” she says.

Though Gibney has admitted that she feels fortunate not to experience ageism in the entertainment industry, she knows that isn’t the case for everyone.

Back in 2015, the Flying Doctors star told Australian Women’s Weekly her goal was to create more roles for older actresses.

“I am in a fortunate position because of my profile in Rafters and I have capitalised on that – but I quickly recognised that I couldn’t just sit and wait for the roles to come in. I still audition and I still chase parts, and if the roles aren’t there I go and write them or knock on doors and get someone else to,” she told the publication.

TV shows aside, Gibney’s popularity also comes from her charming personality and refreshingly candid social media presence, where she often shares the realities of growing older.

Since turning 50, the actress has been totally candid about ageing and embracing the change that comes as you get older.

In 2016, Gibney spoke to Prevention magazine about the challenges she faced with ageing and shared advice for women who felt “invisible” after 50.

“Ageing isn’t for sissies… I’ve got aching bits I never had before,” Gibney, then 51, told the magazine.

“And I can’t lose the weight as quickly because I’m going into menopause, but I’m starting to embrace that.”

Gibney goes on to say that getting older and being relevant aren’t directly correlated, arguing that “for a long time women felt like they were becoming invisible over a certain age” and that mature women are “vital and intelligent” that they “have more to offer now” than when they were in their 20s and 30s.

“We’ve got life experience and wisdom,” she says.

The year prior, Gibney told the Daily Mail that she would never dodge conversations on ageing, saying she would always share her age.

“I’m aware that I’m ageing and that’s OK,” she said at the time.

“I also don’t want to pretend that I’m not 50 – because that’s what I am.”

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