Why Meg Tilly left Hollywood

Actress Meg Tilly attends a special screening of the Netflix original film "War Machine" at The Metrograph on May 16, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Netflix)

Story highlights

  • Tilly stopped acting to raise her kids
  • She's back opposite Brad Pitt in "War Machine"

(CNN)Meg Tilly had three very good reasons for dropping out of the Hollywood spotlight.

Her children.
The actress was riding high in the 1980s and '90s with roles in films like "The Big Chill" and "Leaving Normal" when she left the industry to raise her kids. (Tilly shares a son and daughter with producer Tim Zinneman, and another son with actor Colin Firth.)
    "I couldn't be gone six to nine months from my children's lives," Tilly told People. "I had a challenging childhood, so I didn't feel like I could trust somebody else to raise them."
    "My children didn't ask to be born," she added. "I had a responsibility to be there."
    Tilly, who moved to Canada with her children, also stayed busy over the years writing books, including some romance novels.
    More recently, she's been edging her way back to acting with roles on stage and the Canadian TV drama "Bomb Girls."
    Tilly currently appears as Brad Pitt's wife in the Netflix series "War Machine," and notes that at 57, she is older than the 53-year-old Pitt.
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    "It's unheard of though, right," she said. "At the screening, women kept coming up to me and saying how much they appreciated an age-appropriate wife for the female lead."
    The actress said Pitt was so good at donning gray hair for his role as a general that she had forgotten he is a heartthrob.
    "I was shocked when he came to the wrap party," she said. "I'm like, 'Holy cow, that's Brad Pitt!'