The former Friends star, 52, traveled to the Irish Highlands with Bear Grylls – and she didn’t hold back when the conversation turned to her love life. When you’re on a survivalist adventure that involves sliding across a ravine on a wire and boiling maggots for food, you can’t really hold anything back. Maybe that’s why Courteney Cox opened up on Running Wild with Bear Grylls Monday during their venture in Ireland, which saw the actress-producer get raw on the issue of aging in Hollywood.
“Was there pressure to look a certain way, or not?” asked Grylls on the episode.
“Just being a woman in this business… getting older is not the easiest,” she replied. “But I have learned lessons. I think I was trying to keep up with being older.”
Cox catapulted to fame as a star on Friends from 1994 to 2004, and then starred in Cougar Town from 2009 to 2015. She said she had trouble aging gracefully in Hollywood: “You find yourself trying, and then you look at a picture of yourself and go ‘Oh, God, I look horrible.'”
“I have done things that I regret, and luckily they’re things that dissolve and go away, so that’s good, because that’s not always been my best look,” she continued in reference to cosmetic procedures she’s undergone in the past.
In regards to her 2010 split from ex-husband David Arquette, 44, with whom she shares daughter Coco, 12, Cox said she thinks the two “were such good friends.”
“We found ourselves living separate lives and just coexisting and being great friends, but not having the intimacy that is so important in a relationship,” she explained. “I think you really need to work in a relationship, and I think that we tried. We’re just really different, too. I’m the polar opposite of him. And that can be great for a lot of things, but I need this kind of real, one-on-one connection. And I don’t know – I don’t know.”
Of the breakup, the actress said “it wasn’t a dramatic ending.”
“It was more of a … just, I don’t know,” she faltered. “No one’s ever asked me in this way, so I haven’t really thought about it like this. I mean, as divorces go, I would say it’s one of the better ones, for sure. We’re good co-parents together.”
Cox is now in a relationship with Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, 40, though the two have had their ups and downs: They called off their engagement last December and then reconciled in March.
“We were engaged for over a year and then we broke up,” Cox told Grylls. “There’s something about … you know, he’s from Ireland. And the way he regards love is precious. We have to treat it in a different way. It’s more special – you coddle it. So I didn’t know how to regard love the way he does. And I definitely made a lot of mistakes that I see – whether it’s co-dependency or people-pleasing. I didn’t know how to bring it in. It was always external.”
The actress also addresses the pressures she faces in the entertainment industry with keeping up her appearance, as well as her regrets that came after she changed her look.
“Getting older, I don’t think that’s the easiest thing. But I have learned lessons,” she states in the clip. “But I have learned lessons. I think I was trying to keep up with getting older and trying to chase that. It’s something you can’t keep up with.”
Cox adds, “Sometimes you find yourself trying and then you look at a picture of yourself and you go ‘oh god, I look horrible.’ ”
“I have done things that I regret and luckily there are things that dissolve and go away. So that’s good because it’s not always been my best look,” she states.
But now, she has a new outlook moving forward. “Now I have a new motto, just let it be,” she states.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.