Meg Ryan makes directorial debut in WWII-era film 'Ithaca'

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Meg Ryan returns to the big screen in a WWII-era film that she acted in, co-produced and, for the first time, directed. (KABC)

Meg Ryan is back on the big screen - acting in, co-producing and making her directorial debut in a new film set during the World War II era.

For her first time behind the camera, Ryan chose the coming-of-age film "Ithaca."

It focuses on a young man who takes the heartbreaking job of delivering telegrams to families who have lost loved ones in WWII.

Ryan says she learned directing is very similar to her favorite role in real life: motherhood.

"I think being a mom was my best experience to being a director, because of the kind of multitasking you have to do, the uber-vision you have to do, all the needs that are on the set. One of the things you realize about being a director is that, man, the buck stops with you."

Ryan has been acting since she was a teenager but her last big film was in 2008 with "The Women."

She says her decision to scale back on her career wasn't necessarily a conscious choice.

"Really, kind of life took over. I moved to New York, I'm a mom again, I have an 11-year-old daughter, and was interested in spending time in a lot of different ways so everything isn't a result of not getting scripts, Life is a very full, rich interesting experience."

"Ithaca" is in limited release in theaters and available on demand this weekend.

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