Brie Larson has had a big year.
The actor – and Stylist guest editor – headlined Captain Marvel, the studio’s first female-led superhero flick in March. She saved the world, many times, in Avengers: Endgame. She debuted her new film Just Mercy, a devastating biopic of lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who dedicated his life to defending black inmates on death row, at the Toronto International Film Festival. And, on 1 October, she turned 30.
The actor gave herself a break from Instagram to celebrate, only returning to the social media platform this week. She shared a portrait of herself on her birthday, in a diaphanous pastel pink two piece from Staud, and a caption that sums up why the milestone of a 30th birthday feels so pivotal.
“One week ago I turned 30,” she captioned the picture. “To celebrate I stayed off my phone, I laughed with my friends, I hugged my family, I swam in the ocean, I dreamt really deep and reflected on… everything.”
She continued: “Thank you for supporting my growth as an artist and individual. Thank you for using your hearts, minds and voices to better the space around you. Thank you for inspiring me. There’s so much life to live. I’m so excited to see where we go.”
Larson’s words should be required reading for everyone on the eve of an important birthday. They are a reminder that, if we’re lucky, life is long and there’s a lot of it to live. A 30th birthday isn’t a benchmark for all your achievements and success, it’s a chance to change and evolve and grow.
A lot of women do feel anxious about big birthdays such as turning 30. “Milestone ages are significant as we have collectively and culturally endowed them with certain ‘shoulds’ to have been ticked off by those points,” says psychotherapist, couples counsellor and author of The Phone Addiction Workbook, Hilda Burke. “Anxiety can arise when we measure ourselves and our achievements next to these cultural ‘norms’.”
But Larson’s post underlines, poignantly, how misguided that anxiety is. A 30th birthday is truly a cause for celebration and not the time to have an existential crisis.
For those wondering where Larson is going next the answer is Marvel. The actor appears on the cover of Variety this week in which she confirmed that several of the franchise’s female stars have approached studio chief Kevin Feige about making an all-female film.
“I will say that a lot of the female cast members from Marvel walked up to Kevin and we were like, ‘We are in this together, we want to do this’,” Larson said. “What that means, I have no idea. You know, I’m not in charge of the future of Marvel, but it is something that we’re really passionate about and we love and I feel like if enough people out in the world talk about how much they want it, maybe it’ll happen.”
For Larson, one of the most powerful moments on the set of Avengers: Endgame was filming the scene in which all the female characters teamed up together. “It was just a great day,” she said. “To get to be with all of those women for the day and you get this feeling of, like, almost a little bit of naughtiness because it’s a secret and none of us can talk about it – that it felt like we were part of this like coven working together for this goal.”
She continued: “It was an opportunity for us to share and hang out. And as many people know, a lot of the time women aren’t working together. It’s kind of been this new breath of fresh air for us in our industry that there’s more female ensemble films, which has allowed us the opportunity to really communicate with one another. So we get so excited and feel so much energy when you get to be around your peers and share stories.”