Sienna Miller on her 30s: ‘Biology is incredibly cruel on women in that decade’

Sienna Miller covers the latest issue of Elle UK. She’s promoting Netflix’s Anatomy of a Scandal, based on Sarah Vaughan’s novel of the same name. She plays the wife of a British MP (played by Rupert Friend) and the MP is accused of raping a colleague. Sienna talks about her own “scandals,” somewhat selectively in this piece. Let me just say, I have sympathy for Sienna and I can’t imagine what it was like for her as the British tabloids were ripping her to shreds for years and spying on her and invading her privacy. She sued and she won, but she’s still bruised by all of it. That being said, her selective amnesia on her full-blown affair with a married man (Balthazar Getty) is something pretty notable. I would imagine Rosetta Getty has some thoughts about Sienna championing herself as a wronged woman. Some highlights from this Elle piece:

Her character in Anatomy of a Scandal: ‘It was familiar terrain, because I’ve experienced some of the things that she experienced. And the feelings were familiar. [But] her way of dealing with what’s thrown at her is the absolute antithesis of what my way is. And so, in a kind of twisted, tourism sense, I just wanted to see how it would feel to react differently. I know that sounds weird, because you’d think it would be deeply unpleasant to sit in that space.’

Her chaotic 20s: ‘It feels like somebody else’s existence. I can go and visit it and look at it, but it doesn’t feel like my life. I can’t quite believe that it all happened. And not to put it specifically on that one thing, but just the chaos of the entire decade is so far removed from my life now.’

Falling for Jude Law & becoming famous overnight: ‘I was just catapulted into a totally parallel universe while being in love [with Law]. There was a lot of magic at that time. At first, it was kind of comical, but very quickly it became insidious and, yeah, scary. And my boyfriend [at the time] had been experiencing it for years and felt, understandably, a lot of hostility towards that kind of attention. So my initial reaction was the same.’

Why she sued British tabloids: ‘I became so litigious, just to try and carve out an existence that I could manage. You’ve seen women implode as a result of that. You can’t hold onto sanity or grounding.’ And so, in 2008, Miller sued the worst-offending paparazzi agency for harassment and won an injunction against future breaches of her privacy. That same year, she sued (and reached an out-of-court settlement with) The Sun and the News of the World, also for invasion of privacy. She then settled with the Sunday tabloid in 2011 for damages related to phone hacking and testified – defiantly, honestly – about the impact on her life and relationships at the Leveson Inquiry later that same year.

She’s always been underestimated: ‘I don’t know what more I have to do. I feel like, from a young age, I’ve proven myself. Without sounding arrogant, because I’m riddled with insecurity and the lowest self-esteem – and that’s the truth, I’m not just saying it – but I think I’ve reached a point of nihilism, which I’m quite happy about. I don’t know whether that’s [because of] Covid, but I just don’t really care. I do just wish that people would be a bit more original in their thoughts.’

Turning 40: She had ‘pressure… [about] kids, and should I have more, and why haven’t I, and all of that, which is a really loud noise. Biology is incredibly cruel on women in that decade – that’s the headline, or it certainly was for me. Then I got to 40 and I froze some eggs. Having been really focused on the need to have another baby, I’m just like, if it happens, it happens. That kind of existential threat has dissipated.’

Taking on Rupert Murdoch’s media machine: ‘Making that decision to take on Murdoch[’s company] and succeeding… It was a really difficult choice to make,’ she says of her long road to something approaching justice. And the legal battles, though hard, were key to Miller starting to regain control over her life. ‘Once you start to challenge it legally, and have minor victories, it does feel like, to some degree, you’re reclaiming a narrative or part of yourself that was taken. And that becomes empowering. That feels good. It’s something I survived. It feels like the stakes were high at moments and so I’m proud of that. And I would love to not revisit it, but it’s a huge part of my life and story.’

[From Elle UK]

Again, I love that she fought the British media system and won, but I completely understand why even her victory feels bittersweet. News of the World was hacking into her phone regularly, they were accessing her medical records, they invaded every safe space she thought she had. It was chaotic and damaging and there’s no financial settlement which can make it better. As for playing “the wronged woman”… she did experience that when Jude cheated on her. Then she was the other woman a few years later.

Cover & IG courtesy of Elle UK.

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51 Responses to “Sienna Miller on her 30s: ‘Biology is incredibly cruel on women in that decade’”

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  1. StellainNH says:

    If she thinks the 30s are cruel, just wait until perimenopause and menopause. Flashes are so annoying.

    • Dlc says:

      I was think8ng the same thing, lol. I loved my 30s. I had no interest in being a mom so that helped. My 40s have been a rougher rode tho. I’m 46 now and in full blown menopause.

    • Chic says:

      Nah.Menopause is a b**ch

    • FHMom says:

      It gets worse in your 50’s. Just saying. Aging is a cruel joke

    • Ines says:

      I was going to post something along the same lines, but I think what she was specifically referring to, is the decline in women’s fertility as they head to their 40s.

    • Olga says:

      I think she’s saying she struggled with infertility. The sound bite summarizes that section as “On turning 40” but it should be “On having more children.” The age comment was made entirely in the context of family planning

      • Ameerah says:

        I don’t think she was talking about struggles with infertility so much as what it’s like when you’re 40, single and want kids or more kids. You’re on a definite time crunch. And I think she meant that by freezing her eggs that took some of that time concern away for her.

    • Seraphina says:

      I was thinking the same. 30s were great it’s after 45 the snowball gains momentum and the avalanche happens.

      • AC says:

        Right to all of you! Wait until all the flashes start or where you want to go out in shorts in the middle of winter. I know what she means, and I love her in her new Netflix series, “Anatomy of a Scandal.”

    • Lolalola says:

      hahaha. I’m so glad so many of us on here said exactly what I was thinking. 40s?? *Pffffffffft!

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    Sienna is a reasonably talented actress (TV seems to suit her) but she has always been a fame ho – I remember the days where her publicist would tip off the paps, she played the same game as they all do and it bit her on the ass.

    And I don’t think Getty was the first unavailable man she got involved with – remember her affair with Daniel Craig (when she was with Law the 2nd time) who was also with someone at the time IIRC.

    • Eloisa says:

      And she even continued to use Jude in her interviews until he begged her to stop talking about him in public (she even said so herself in an interview). So while it’s true that she was harassed for her private life, she also used it to generate headlines and attention. The photos in front of the paparazzi showing whether or not she had an engagement ring were hilarious. And let’s not just talk about Getty or an engaged Daniel Craig, let’s remember how she was one of the it girls of the decade and starred in one of Harvey’s movies. She is a good actress, does her job and has charisma.

      But yes, British tabloids were invasive, hacking phones were inaceptable, and i am happy she won the sued.

  3. Wilma says:

    I don’t think she is a good actor and that the only thing that is interesting about her is her personal life. I think somewhere deep down she knows this too and that’s why she keeps returning to her personal life in interviews even when the project she is promoting doesn’t resonate her own experience like this one does. She doesn’t get interesting parts because she just isn’t the best actor in the world.

    • Normades says:

      I agree. She’s OK but not super talented. She keeps revisiting her messy past because that’s the most interesting part.
      And honey, please, until you’re in your late 40’s you have no idea…

      • Melissa says:

        I think she is actually quite a good actress. Maybe not the most amazing, but she did good in her latest Netflix series.

        Also, I’m sure things get worse in ways with time, but lets try not to discount people’s recognition of a certain era being difficult. She doesn’t say it is the worst of any decade and nothing compares. She just reasonably points out it’s rough (it is!).

        I say this as a Psychologist who just has never understood the constant one-upping.

    • Yup, Me says:

      The writer John Scalzi talks about straight white maleness being the equivalent of playing a video game on the lowest difficulty setting. It’s pretty easy to win. Sienna Miller is, to me, the white woman version of life on the lowest difficulty setting – she a pretty (enough) slender blonde woman with economic privilege. She doesn’t have to be all that talented because all that other stuff helps ensure she will continue to succeed – even though she spent YEARS being hella messy.

      • stagaroni says:

        @Yup, but this is stereotyping and sloppy. You dismiss all that has happened to her because of her looks, her weight and her income. Private, intimate photos were hacked and leaked to the public. Her private thoughts were made available for all to see, yet because of her looks, money, and past history, you have no sympathy for her? This is exactly why women don’t come forward when they are abused.

    • Jo says:

      I share your opinion. I was looking forward to Anatomy but she is so wooden and the storytelling so ludicrous did I didn’t get past the second episode.
      Also, remember when we complained about rape being used as a plot device? This is the epitome of that. Even the way the word is uttered for the first time, in a sort of burlesque manner, gives it away.

  4. No thank you says:

    I’ve just tried watching Anatomy of a Scandal. After two episodes, I was done. Very, very average acting by Miller. When the facial expressions continually radiate nothing, it’s impossible to identify or sympathise with the character. Plus, the storyline promises something, but gives a whole lot of dull.

  5. SAS says:

    She’s my BEC, though I know she’s undeniably gorgeous. I’ve just never gotten the style icon, rising star thing.

    I’m 36 and haven’t had anything approaching a biological freak out yet so counting myself lucky. I’m cringing a bit that she seems to be bulldozing through an incredibly fragile topic for a lot of people though. But like I said, BEC.

  6. Elsa says:

    I’ve never liked her or her work. Her personality irks. She is pretty though.

  7. emmi says:

    Aging is a privilege and the women in my immediate circle who hate it were very much focused on their looks their entire lives. I‘m 38 and yeah, I see and feel some changes. But my looks never defined me, I was never „hot“, I was always pretty enough but too chubby. Something you never felt you had cannot go. I‘m not blaming the women, it’s very much a societal issue but I frankly love this time of my life because I finally have a healthier relationship with my body and like looking in the mirror despite the changes. Sienna was a fashion it girl when it was entirely about looks so I can see how that’s a challenge.

    • Wilma says:

      Yes! I have always been interesting looking, but not pretty or beautiful and it does make a huge difference when you age. I definitely don’t feel invisible or less, quite the opposite, but my sister-in-law who has always been pretty very much feels the loss of looks. She’s pretty desperately clinging on to whatever part of youth she can preserve.

    • Jaded says:

      I’m in the home run to 70 years old and think I look pretty damn good (stay out of the sun!). That being said, it REALLY irks me when these young pretty things start fretting about aging when they’re still in their 30s and 40s. I’ve packed a lot of experience, learning, love and loss into my almost 70 years and am proud of it. I’ve become a much better person than I was when I was young and I actually feel *complete* if that makes sense. Biology is not cruel to women, aging is something that happens to all of us and we just have to roll with the punches. I’ve survived a total hysterectomy (ovarian tumors and fibroids), and breast cancer and SM b*tching about getting older comes off as self-absorbed and vapid.

    • Marion says:

      @Emmi: I never felt I was the pretty one, nor did I feel that obsessed with my looks. However, 40 has hit me so hard that all my insecurities have come up and I can’t help but have negative feelings about myself. There’s not a single day when I don’t call myself “ugly” while looking in the mirror. Time has flown so fast and now I feel so old and useless…
      @Jaded I admire what you’ve managed to go through and I admire your way of thinking. I wish I could be wise like you sound ♥

  8. Ib says:

    LOVED anatomy of a scandal on Netflix

  9. Xennialista says:

    I love how celebs get so philosophical about aging. Like they know what the hell they’re talking about.
    Tell us more about the cruelty of the 30s. Please.
    Wait a few more years and we’ll hear about her thoughts about how “free” she feels in her 40s, how she’s let go of societal pressures, and how “great” the 40s are… like every basic celeb woman who does these interviews.
    Why do we even care what these people have to say?

    • LIONE says:

      Yeah, she’s talking about how she wishes people had more original thoughts and she’s over it, but she’s doing the EXACT same thing as thousands of actresses before her.

    • Christine says:

      She’s 40. Kaiser dumbs this shit down for all of us (thank you, Kaiser!), but it’s right there, she’s 40.

      We care because we are the the kind of people who read celebrity gossip like it is a caffeine drip, that powers us through the rest of the day, doing boring shit like working and raising kids. We are adults.

    • Thinking says:

      For family planning, it probably is a cruel decade. You’ve got a limited time to get that aspect of your personal life right.

      I don’t think it’s cruel on the face or body appearance-wise though. Healthy 35 year olds are not creaking down a stairway struggling to walk. But if you want your personal life to look a certain way a decade later, I would think that the 30s are much more a crueller decade for women vs. men. Men have (seemingly?) more time to get their life to look the way they want it to. Men may have different opinions on this but if Leo wants to be a father like George Clooney or Hugh Grant later on, he has that chance still with one of the women he’s dating who are barely 25. This option really doesn’t work the same way for women even if you’re Emanuel Macron’s wife.

  10. Summer says:

    She incredibly average as an actor. I’m watching Anatomy of a Scandal now and she brings nothing to the role. On a different note, 40 is much too late to freeze your eggs, whose quality is already very much in decline by then. Many women can’t conceive even naturally at 40. Its her body and she has the money to do what she wants, but I hope most women know 40 is far too late to start thinking about egg freezing.

    • TQ says:

      Whoa, not so fast there @summer. Freezing and getting good quality eggs is still possible at 40 and beyond. I am sure you meant the comment as helpful, but please don’t dissuade others from pursuing that route at 40 or beyond if they want to keep their options open to pursue a family.

    • Korra says:

      The conversation around fertility is a bit more complex and nuanced than saying “I hope most women know 40 is far too late to think about egg freezing.” Quite frankly, I have seen equal amounts of women in their late 30s/early 40s struggle with infertility and go through unsuccessful medical interventions as I have seen go through a successful pregnancy, whether through conceiving with the help of medical intervention or naturally. The truth is, it is not a universal experience for all of us and we need to stop treating it as such. What I wish we as a society did was provide more family planning services to young women to help them better understand where they fall on the spectrum. Because while I understand that celebrities/rich people having kids later in life skews the perception of how easy it is, I have also seen way too many women get vilified for having kids over 35.

  11. Andie says:

    Her filler face is a tragedy. Im not saying she’s unattractive, clearly she isn’t, but It really does have a homogenizing effect on faces.

    • Jo says:

      That’s so true. She used to be striking and I was looking forward to seeing her face on Anatomy. I was so disappointed… her acting was never amazing and now with whatever she did to her face it is… blank.

  12. Jaded says:

    I remember an article Lainey Lui posted in Laineygossip many years ago when SM had been at the Toronto Film Festival. Lainey was at the Toronto airport waiting to board in the private, members only area, and Sienna and her mother came swanning in. After parading around for a while, nobody was paying any attention to her so she got on her phone and started having a LOUD, argumentative conversation with someone that went on and on, and people were giving her the stink eye for being so noisy and disruptive. Lainey thought it was hilarious that she was being so obvious. She is, and always has been, a fame-ho.

    • LIONE says:

      She sounds mentally ill

    • Livy333 says:

      Yes! I thought of this story when reading this, too! I will always remember Lainey’s experience with Sienna! She was so cringey!

  13. P says:

    I’m almost 50 and my periods are still regular, it’s horrid.

    • Kristen says:

      Get an IUD! I got the Mirena IUD and my periods ‘went away.’ No, it’s not menopause, this is a normal response. An IUD was the best thing that ever happened to me.

  14. KG says:

    The whole series of Anatomy of a Scandal is ultimately really satisfying, I thought. Michelle Dockery is in it and she’s great! Josette Simon plays the defense attorney—barrister for the defense?—and the dynamic between her and Michelle’s barrister was so good. Some good twists, too. Recommend it if the subject matter isn’t too much.

  15. Angie H says:

    Oh please Celebrity Lady Talking Words. The 40’s are a perimenopausal nightmare. 30’s were nothing even with changing periods & hormone headaches.

  16. phlyfiremama says:

    Boy, do I have some news for her!! 😂😂😂

  17. Kim says:

    She always has the best hair!

  18. Thinking says:

    I think she`s good in Anatomy of a Scandal.

    She might be right about being underestimated. I used to think I could never remember what she looked like, and wondered why she was famous. I`ve seen her in a few things now, and I do come away thinking she`s done a good job in the roles she`s had. And now I can remember what she looks like — ha ha.

    Not sure if it was her personal life putting a cloud over her career, but I was one of those people who underestimated her. And now I’m kind of wondering why I did. I did think the Balthazar Getty scandal was super lame on her end though. I’d rather forget…clearly, she’d like to too!

    She has a similar quality to Naomi Watts, who I do think is a good actress (except in the Diana movie but that mess likely wasn’t her fault).

  19. Valerie says:

    Factory Girl was a terrible movie.