Naomi Watts feels "proud" to still be working in the movie industry beyond the age of 40.

The 54-year-old actress believes attitudes are changing towards women in the movie business, and Naomi observed that "women’s stories don’t end at a certain age".

Speaking to HELLO! magazine, she explained: "I'm proud to still be working; when the defining narrative used to be that if you were a hair over 40 you were basically forced into retirement, seeing that shift, that’s empowering...

"There’s growing recognition that women’s stories don’t end at a certain age."

Naomi was diagnosed with early menopause when she was just 36 years old, and she's now keen to "normalise" the conversation around the issue.

She shared: "The more normalised the conversation can be, is going to present an opportunity for everyone to understand."

Naomi's personal experience of the menopause led her to develop a "deeper understanding" of herself.

She said: "I came out on the other side feeling more authentically me.

"A lot of freedom came in the self-acknowledgement. I had those voices in the back of my mind reminding me how old women are let out to pasture, but there was a lure to this desire to be authentic, to crawl from behind the invisible wall and just acknowledge for myself something that everyone could have probably guessed."

Naomi believes that the menopause "hasn’t been adequately portrayed" on the big screen, and she's keen to correct the situation.

The actress said: "It’s a side comment here or there, barely even a secondary plot line, but menopause can consume a significant portion of a woman's life - some people it can last over a decade. How is that not worth writing stories about?

"So many things can happen in a women’s life during this time; caring for elderly parents, an emptying nest, a divorce, a career shift, getting back into the work force. High stakes! All great fodder for meaningful and rich storytelling."