FORGET Hollywood glitz and glamour.
When Courteney Cox enters the room for an interview to talk about sexy new comedy drama Cougar Town, she has look of bleary-eyed exhaustion – a frazzled mum whose mind is elsewhere.
“Nope, haven’t had my make-up done yet,” she says, pointing to her face.
“Wow, it’s been busy.”
In skinny jeans and mustard-coloured top, Cox, 45, is petite and much shorter in person than expected. And in an industry obsessed with boob jobs, collagen implants and Botox jabs, she appears comfortable in her skin – probably just as well considering she showcases her “shopping bag” arms, wrinkles and “flabby” stomach in the opening scenes of Cougar Town.
For series creator Bill Lawrence it was Cox’s determination to play such scenes that won her the role.
“She is a fearless comedian,” Lawrence says. “She’s very frank. I knew she would be right for it.”
In the Channel 7 sitcom, Cox plays real estate agent Jules Cobb, a 40-year-old single mum who is trying to accept her flaws and her C-section as she goes on the prowl to date younger men.
With a tagline “40 is the new 20”, this former star of hit sitcom Friends says that in real life the most difficult birthday pill to swallow was turning 45.
“It gets harder,” she says. “Let me tell you, 40, please. Let me tell you what is hard is 45. That one struck a nerve. I don’t want to get any older. This is a great time.”
Cox married fellow actor David Arquette in 1999 and is mum to their daughter Coco, 5.
The word cougar has crept into the vernacular in recent years and has been used to describe plenty of Hollywood stars including Demi Moore, who hooked up with much younger actor Ashton Kutcher.
Cox pauses to contemplate whether she fits the cougar bill because her husband is seven years younger than she is.
“Well, I think … I guess it does, sure,” she says.
“I like younger guys. I used to like older guys because I wanted to learn from them. One I dated was 16 years older than me. But now I’ve learned from them, I do find myself attracted to younger people.”
Cox has the lead role in Cougar Town, supported by next-door neighbour and best friend Ellie Torres (Christa Miller). Jules’ expedition to seduce younger men is made awkward by the fact her 17-year-old son Travis Cobb (Dan Byrd) knows what’s going on and gets teased at school about his hot mum.
Cox scotches rumours she’s been using a body double in the show.
“That was just me in a bedroom and a camera and yeah, that (showing flab) was gross,” she says.
“I was scared to death.”