Jennifer Aniston on Love for Her Late Boyfriend, Tabloids Stories, Her Role in ‘Cake’ and More

January 8, 2015

Jennifer Aniston opened up about a late former boyfriend whom she called the love of her life. She also spoke about her public image in the years after ‘Friends’ and how the tabloids still harp on her divorce from Brad Pitt, speculate about her relationship with her fiance Justin Theroux and much more in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times.

For the 45-year-old Jennifer Aniston it’s been a long and highly successful odyssey which has played out in public. Now in the latest chapter of the unfolding story, the actress known for light comedies such as ‘Horrible Bosses’ and its sequel — to say nothing of her small screen career making role in ‘Friends’ as Rachel — will be seen on the big screen in ‘Cake.’ It’s a harrowing drama in which she portrays a woman trying to recover from addiction to pain medication. Yes, it’s a far cry from the Rachel of ‘Friends.’

She has already received widespread critical acclaim for the portrayal and there’s plenty of Oscar buzz, most especially now that she has swept several Best Actress nominations including Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice. A critic’s comment that she was revealing “hidden acting chops” in the portrayal became a springboard of discussion.

She told The New York Times, “You have to do something really dark to be taken seriously, I guess.” She went on to note of her long tenure on ‘Friends’ both in original broadcast as well as the perpetuity of syndication, “If you’re in someone’s living room every week for 10 years and every day on God knows what network, people are going to have a hard time saying, ‘O.K., we’re going to see you do what now?’ without making associations.”

She continued, saying, “It’s a Catch-22. It’s like: ‘I know I can play this part, you just have to let me.’ And then it’s ‘I can’t let you play that part, because I’ve never seen you do it.’ There were jobs that I really wanted and would fight and fight for and then the obvious previous Oscar winners would get them.”

Jennifer Aniston went on to speak of that other role, in real life, which she has been unable to shake, that of the ex-wife that Brad Pitt left when he took up with Angelina Jolie infamously on the set of ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ a decade ago. Yes, a decade is a long time, and that immense passage of time does not abate the incessant need of media to craft a conflict between her and Angelina Jolie.

To which Aniston said, ““It’s ridiculous — that the two names have to go into the same sentence and there has to be a compare-and-despair thing.”

No kidding! A decade of this is more than too much. She went on to say of current banter comparing her Oscar prospects as Best Actress with Angelina Jolie’s for Best Director for ‘Unbroken,” by merely saying, “I don’t want to give any fuel to the fire.”

She did also address personal topics in The New York times interview and as such is drawing headlines, but this time on her own terms. She spoke, for instance, of her late boyfriend (who died of a brain tumor) and said of him, ““He was my first love — five years we were together. He would have been the one. But I was 25, and I was stupid. He must have sent me Justin to make up for it all.”

The perfect segue to speak about her fiance Justin Theroux, star of HBO’s ‘The Leftovers,’ and specifically her engagement ring. She said of it, “It’s a rock, I know,” and added, “He rocked it up. It took me a while to get used to it. I’m not a diamond girl. I’m more Indian jewelry and stuff.”

She went on to speak of Hollywood’s double standard when it comes to women, saying she had been asked if she were concerned about whether her character in ‘Cake’ was likeable enough. She went on to note, “You don’t see a lot of men getting asked: ‘Why aren’t you married? Why aren’t you having children?’ You don’t get the ‘Well, they seem to play the same thing over and over again,’ and some of them do.”

She continued, saying, “We’re very much a sexist society…Women are still not paid as much as men.”

She spoke about all of the absurd criticism of Renée Zellweger who walked the red carpet and was thought to have a different looking face, leading to rampant speculation as to what she had done.

Aniston said of her contemporary, “There was a big whistle blown out on her, and it was unnecessary…Did she really look that different? Would she walk into a room and you’d say, ‘Who is that?’ That’s Renée, from here on down…You can’t hide those pouty little lips.”

She went on to observe, “I really do think you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t…You either are too fat — ‘Oh my God, she’s gained weight, getting chubby, mid-40s spread!’ — or ‘She’s so skeletal, get some meat on her bones!’ I’ve been on too-thin lists. I’ve been on what-happened-to-her lists.”

There’s much more to the interview, as Aniston speaks about the intense preparation for her role in ‘Cake,’ among other topics.

You can see the complete New York Times interview here.

Pictures: PR Photos

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