Kate Rodger reveals how menopause rocked her confidence before Top Gun: Maverick premiere

  • 10/11/2022
Kate Rodger reveals how menopause rocked her confidence before Top Gun: Maverick premiere
Kate Rodger reveals how menopause rocked her confidence before Top Gun: Maverick premiere. Photo credit: Newshub

Newshub Entertainment Editor Kate Rodger has lifted the lid on menopause and how it's affected her professionally, revealing that it reared its head just before a high-stakes interview with Tom Cruise.

Rodger, who has spoken candidly in the past about the need to break the stigma around menopause, said she was overcome by self-doubt earlier this year ahead of a premiere of Top Gun: Maverick in San Diego.

In an episode of Petra Bagust’s podcast Grey Areas released on Thursday, the broadcaster said menopause symptoms began impacting her in completely foreign ways on the morning of the Cruise interview.

"I can't tell you the number of red carpets I've done – Oscars, BAFTAs, royal premieres over 20 years – so many. And each one you can have a little bit of adrenaline, but I never, ever doubted my ability to do my job," Rodger said.

"But I'll never forget the day before, I honestly had to go out to La Hoya, which is a beautiful piece of coastline, and just give myself a thoroughly intense talking to, because I had essentially talked myself into not being able to do that job."

Rodger said she was overcome by self-doubt before the interview, and a sense that she was no longer good enough to do her job and that somebody else would be better suited.

"I was going to have to go on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, and hopefully get Tom Cruise. And that's what I'm sent there to do. [But] I'm not going to be able to do that, Petra.

"'Why am I doing this? I'm too old for this job. I need to be replaced by someone younger that's got that drive, someone that doesn't doubt themselves.'

"I went through all of that, and I'm not saying it's 100 percent menopausal, but it's got to be indicative of my headspace and my confidence.

“It was a very, very uncomfortable, prickly feeling – super confronting.”

Despite knowing she was the best person to do the interview – that she had all the experience, the know-how, the personality and drive – it couldn't take away the “guttural feeling of your stomach churning, not in an excited way but in a 'I can't do this' [way].

"I resented myself, because the ageist kind of environment that we live in, I don't subscribe to that. So why was I saying I'm too old for this job? That's hideous and revolting and the exact opposite of how I feel,” she said.

The hormonal changes that accompany menopause can come with mental health impacts, including low mood and confidence, anxiety, depression, and body image issues.

In a recent interview on Grey Areas, Kiwi journalist and menopause advocate Nikki Bezzant revealed the mental health of more than half of women who went through menopause suffered negatively.

When the interview did roll around, Rodger says she began to feel more like herself – and looking back, she was proud of how she'd overcome her menopause symptoms.

"I got the Tom Cruise interview and pulled it all together, and it wasn't until I sat and had a moment at 3am to say, ‘You did an okay job’ that I realised I'd done more than an okay job. I did what I was sent out to do, and no one will ever really understand what it took to get that.”

It's not the first time Rodger has spoken candidly about her menopause journey.

Last year, she urged women to break the stigma of menopause and reflected on struggling with memory recall while on live TV – an experience she spoke about in greater detail on the Grey Areas podcast.