ET spoke with Bateman about her time on 'Family Ties' and her new book, 'Face: One Square Foot of Skin,' out now.
- Can you believe it has been nearly 40 years since "Family Ties" first hit the air? And Justine Bateman is putting her face back in the spotlight. Here's Rachel with more on that. Hey, Rach.
RACHEL SMITH: Yeah, Matt, Justine has a new book out today, and it addresses an issue you don't have to be a former teen star to relate to, growing older.
JUSTINE BATEMAN: I made the mistake of googling my name, and the autocomplete was Justine Bateman looks old. So I'm 55 now. I was about 41 at the time. And that really threw me. Instead of thinking, oh, they're wrong and I'm right, I decided they were right and I was wrong, and that was my fatal misstep because that really affected me, like, really deeply.
- Your brother, who also grew up in front of our eyes in this industry, do you feel like he faced the same scrutiny about his looks?
JUSTINE BATEMAN: I don't know. I can't answer for him. But there's a lot more emphasis on women's looks always--
JUSTINE BATEMAN: --not just when they're older.
- Pointing out her own crow's feet, under-eye bags, and loose neck skin, Justine's message is unexpected from a Hollywood star. Ditch the fillers and filters. There's nothing wrong with your face.
JUSTINE BATEMAN: Now a lot of younger women are looking at older women in the public eye and they see that they're getting their faces cut up and plastic injected in and toxins and everything. So if you're 20, 25 years old, you look at that and you go, oh, I guess that's what I have to do.
- The introspection is what inspired the mom of two's new book, "Face," a collection of 47 short stories about what it means to age. It's based on interviews Justine conducted.
JUSTINE BATEMAN: One of the things that I came across when I was doing the interviews is there are couples wherein if the woman has not had plastic surgery, it reflects poorly on the man. As someone who looks like she could get some work done and hasn't had any work done, are they having troubles with their finances?
- Who's Kimberly Blanton?
- She's this super-rich chick at school who drives a yellow convertible and looks like a Barbie doll.
- She was just 16 years old when she found fame starring in "Family Ties" playing Michael J. Fox's sister. Since then, she's written two books, directed movies, and even earned a degree in computer science at the age of 50.
So we have our very first interview with you.
JUSTINE BATEMAN: Oh my God. This is amazing.
I'll do lots of things in my life, and when this phase is over, I'll go to school. And when that's over, I'll go into magazines or advertising or directing. I don't know.
- How about that girl?
JUSTINE BATEMAN: It happened.
- What would you tell this girl in the context of growing up in the business? What would you tell her today?
JUSTINE BATEMAN: I would say it happened.
JUSTINE BATEMAN: It's cool.
- That made you emotional watching it?
JUSTINE BATEMAN: Yeah, it's cool because-- because you just-- you don't know. I mean, Jesus, how old was I there, 17, 18 years old?
- (SINGING) What would we do, baby?
- It's going to be 40 years since "Family Ties." Have do you wrap your head around that?
JUSTINE BATEMAN: It was a really great experience, and I'm glad people still enjoy watching it. It definitely seems like another life just because it was so long ago.
- When you think about this face now and that face then--
JUSTINE BATEMAN: I'm glad I look different. When I look in the mirror, I know what I've achieved. I know where I got. The people that comment about my face online, go for it. Keep doing it. I don't care because you're telling me about you. You're not telling me about me.
JUSTINE BATEMAN: And if you've got a problem with my face, you should maybe go see a therapist because it's something that's bothering you, right? For me, I can get rid of the button, and then it can just glance off of me. It can just like, "pew." I'll just be like, oh, what was that? You know, that's how I want to live.