Archive for the 'Press' Category
Jennifer Aniston sits down with Allure to take a look at some popular TikTok trends. Watch as Jen falls in love with the nose vacuum, learns about hair floss, reminisces about all sorts of bangs, thin ’90s eyebrows, and much more.
JENNIFER ANISTON HAS SPENT MOST OF HER ADULT LIFE IN THE SPOTLIGHT, WITH ALL ITS GLARE. AT 53, SHE OPENS UP ABOUT HER PATH TO LEAVING REGRETS AND SOME DEEPLY PERSONAL PAIN BEHIND.
If we’re being literal, the hills above western Los Angeles are actually the only place where Jennifer Aniston is the girl next door. That’s what people called her for a long time. The girl next door, which is a ’90s euphemism that means she’s unintimidating, approachable. But here, along avenues of impermeable iron gates, among houses hidden behind hedges grown to make sure you know your place, the vibe is pretty intimidating. To live here, one assumes, you have to have achieved a certain kind of Olympian status, like having been among the most beloved figures in American pop culture for 30 years.
This is what I’m thinking when the gates to her house swing open and I enter onto a pea stone car park. Pruned trees, gurgling fountains, 500-foot-tall front doors. Then suddenly, there’s a lot of barking and Aniston’s familiar voice, somewhere inside, reprimanding her dogs. When she opens the door — ripped jeans, tank top, barefoot — Aniston looks like she could be the owner’s out-of-town friend crashing here for a few days.
She welcomes me into the house, which looks like a comfortable art gallery and smells like a box of new shoes transported in a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk full of gardenias. “Excuse my frazzledness,” she says, seeming pretty unfrazzled, as we walk into her kitchen. “I just had a whole thing happen at work.” She’s in the middle of filming the third season of The Morning Show. “I just [found out I] have a few pages to learn of a huge interview scene.”
“Our interview can be a dry run,” I propose.
“Yes, this will be my dry — exactly. That’s exactly right.” Aniston at her most Aniston. It’s that thing she does. She murmur repeats — part bumbling professor, part conspiratorial best friend.
Immediately, she’s welcoming: “Can I make you a shake? I’m having a shake.” I am not about to refuse a homemade shake from Jennifer Aniston. Sure. Great.
“I want to introduce you to my dogs.” She opens the door to where they’ve been relegated. “Clyde is amazing, but Chesterfield gets barky. You have to ignore him. Even if he licks your hand and you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s my in,’ he will jump and it seems scary.” I do as I’m told: aloof and indifferent. I could be a French waiter.
“Okay, I’m making us a shake. Here we go.” I lean against her kitchen island and watch as Aniston begins to assemble the ingredients. Back and forth to the refrigerator, in and out of cabinets, collecting little containers of powders and a thing of nuts and then ground-up some- things and there’s a banana and then shavings of something elses. Am I okay with chocolate-flavored things? “Yep, but I’m a vegetarian so just no bacon, please.”
“Ha! I’m not going to put the bacon in! I’ll leave out the bacon. I’ll leave out the bacon.” Murmur, repeat, perfect timing.“Let me blend this. Hold on.” She blends. Chesterfield — a big white husky? shepherd? lab mix? — starts barking. She pours two tall glasses of smoothie. “Whoa, I hope you like sweet things,” she says. “Cheers.”
We move to the living room — and step into two sides of Jennifer Aniston. There’s a wall of artwork and floor-to-ceiling windows. But there are also dog beds, a giant sofa with a slipcover, and a really casual vibe. She’s not a coaster person. Aniston sits on the floor and Chesterfield jumps on the couch next to me.
Earlier I was texting a journalist friend of mine. I told him I was interviewing Aniston and I asked him to give me smart things to say. “One thought is this,” he texted. “No one’s ever going to be famous the way she is. That kind of mass-fame phenomenon burning so bright for so long, it’s just not achievable today. She’s like a silent-film star among a generation of TikTok dipshits.”
I read her the text. “Whoa. Oh, that just gave me chills,” she says. “I’m a little choked up. I feel like it’s dying. There are no more movie stars. There’s no more glamour. Even the Oscar parties used to be so fun….”
There’s something that’s distracting me. Yes, I do have the feeling that whenever Jennifer Aniston fades into posterity (something that doesn’t seem imminent; she has two new movies coming out, and the third season of The Morning Show), the station of movie star will be diminished. But it’s not that. It’s her hair. Her hair is the second most famous thing in this house. You could say her hair was the second most famous thing on Friends. I can see the nuances, the parts of each strand that change to gold as she moves her head. It’s a little unsettling. Like seeing your own reflection in Tom Cruise’s aviators.
About a year ago, Aniston launched a hair-care line, LolaVie, with a simple and ambitious mission: “Create a product that is good for the environment, good for our hair, take out all the crappy chemicals, and have it perform,” says Aniston.
Then she says, “I hate social media.” This is unexpected. What do you mean? “I’m not good at it.” This seems…counterintuitive. As you may be aware, about three years ago, Aniston joined Instagram. She opened an account, posted a photo of the cast of Friends, and in the following hours, the platform rushed to accommodate so many thousands of Jennifer Aniston followers that it crashed. Is that what she means by not being good at it? Like, is it hard because you’re too popular? Like in a job interview when they ask you your biggest weakness and you say I guess I work too hard sometimes?
“It’s torture for me. The reason I went on Instagram was to launch this line,” she explains. “Then the pandemic hit and we didn’t launch. So I was just stuck with being on Instagram. It doesn’t come naturally.”
I ask her about this. How, to people like us, who came of age before InstaChat and SnapTube and FaceTik, social media can seem unnecessarily punitive, like checking in with the meanest girl from high school every 10 minutes to confirm you’re still a loser.
“I’m really happy that we got to experience growing up, being a teenager, being in our 20s without this social media aspect,” she says. “Look, the internet, great intentions, right? Connect people socially, social networking. It goes back to how young girls feel about themselves, compare and despair.
“I feel the best in who I am today, better than I ever did in my 20s or 30s even, or my mid-40s. We needed to stop saying bad shit to ourselves,” says Aniston, scolding her future self: “You’re going to be 65 one day and think, I looked fucking great at 53.” Something in her tone makes me think that this isn’t a typical “I’m proud of my wrinkles and gray hair” platitude. This goes deeper.
“I would say my late 30s, 40s, I’d gone through really hard shit, and if it wasn’t for going through that, I would’ve never become who I was meant to be,” she says. “That’s why I have such gratitude for all those shitty things. Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck being this person that was so fearful, so nervous, so unsure of who they were.” She finishes her smoothie and reaches out to Chesterfield. “And now, I don’t fucking care.”
Maybe I look confused. She explains.
“I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,” says Aniston, of a period several years ago.
On the scale of dumb things to say, this is the moment when I really hit it out of the park. “I had no idea.”
“Yeah, nobody does,” she replies graciously. “All the years and years and years of speculation… It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”
We sit quietly for a minute, maybe sad for all the ships that have ever sailed. I almost want to apologize to Aniston for being a journalist. This doesn’t feel like any of my business.
“I have zero regrets,” she says. “I actually feel a little relief now because there is no more, ‘Can I? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.’ I don’t have to think about that anymore.”
Back then — and for years — there were headlines swirling through pop culture that Aniston wouldn’t have kids. That she wasn’t interested or she just wanted to be a star or whatever idea was selling that week.
Adding to the personal pain of what she went through was the “narrative that I was just selfish,” she says. “I just cared about my career. And God forbid a woman is successful and doesn’t have a child. And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn’t give him a kid. It was absolute lies. I don’t have anything to hide at this point.”
I have flashes of every magazine rack, every airport newsstand. Those “Jen Has a Baby Bump!” or equivalent headlines were everywhere (including Allure). We all felt entitled to the cellular happenings inside her uterus. We consumed those headlines, then dropped them in the trash and got back to our lives. But she couldn’t.
“I got so frustrated. Hence that op-ed I wrote [for The Huffington Post in 2016, slamming the media for its obsession with her being pregnant and its treatment of women, generally]. I was like, ‘I’ve just got to write this because it’s so maddening and I’m not superhuman to the point where I can’t let it penetrate and hurt.’”
Chesterfield is back on the couch, trying to curl up on my leg.
“I think my mom’s divorce really screwed her up,” Aniston says when I ask her about growing up. “Back in that generation it wasn’t like, ‘Go to therapy, talk to somebody. Why don’t you start microdosing?’ You’re going through life and picking up your child with tears on your face and you don’t have any help.”
Chesterfield nudges deeper onto my lap. Aniston pulls him off. “Come here, baby,” she says. “I know you want to, but you just can’t lick people.” It’s one thing to be a dog person, but Aniston is next level.
“I forgave my mom,” she continues, getting back to her human family. “I forgave my father. I’ve forgiven my family.” (Aniston was estranged from her mother for years.)
Who among us hasn’t tried — successfully or not — to forgive our family? You in the back, put your hand down. You’re lying to yourself. Families are things to be forgiven.
“It’s important,” she says. “It’s toxic to have that resentment, that anger. I learned that by watching my mom never let go of it. I remember saying, ‘Thank you for showing me what never to be.’ So that’s what I mean about taking the darker things that happen in our lives, the not-so-happy moments, and trying to find places to honor them because of what they have given to us.”
One of the things her parents’ divorce gave her was motivation to leave. “My house was not a fun house to live in,” she says, about her family’s apartment in New York City. “I was thrilled to get out.”
After graduating from LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, Aniston worked as a waitress at Jackson Hole diner on the Upper West Side, and at an ice cream place in Lincoln Center. (“I’d make a shake and if there was leftover…? I finished it. Why waste this? I was rounder then,” she says, arching her eyebrow.) Eventually, “I moved to California.” She arrived in Los Angeles “the summer of 1989, which was yesterday,” she says. “I walked into a party in Laurel Canyon. This girl says, ‘Come with us. We’re doing a circle.’ I was like, ‘What’s a circle?’ It was all women and they saged you before you went in. Then a talking stick, I’m sure with feathers on it. The women call in the four directions, and I’m like, ‘What the fuck is going on? Am I in a cult?’ Hours later, woman after woman, just speaking, sharing thoughts and fears, worries. How incredible women are for each other. That’s how I got into that world, which I guess would be called Woo Woo. It was very Woo Woo.”
The women of the Woo Woo circle remain her closest friends. She met the woman who would become her producing partner that night. All around Aniston’s house are framed photos of these women — hiking, traveling, smiling, sharing their lives, this close-knit coven of old friends. Students of Friends (and whatever you think of them, they are legion — just witness the cultural juggernaut that was the Friends reunion last year) will know that the show’s premise was about that time in life when friends are family. Aniston is a case of life imitating art.
“I remember in high school doing a Chekhov play,” she says. “It wasn’t funny, and I was making it funny. And my teacher said, ‘Why don’t you just be funny because you have it in you?’ And I was like, ‘How dare you? I’m a dramatic actress!’ Turns out, it was the thing that saved my life, comedy. It was a salve to make people laugh.”
“There are people who say that watching Friends has saved them during cancer diagnosis, or so many people with just so much gratitude for a little show,” she says, her eyes glassy with tears. “We really loved each other and we took care of each other. I don’t know why it still resonates; there are no iPhones. It’s just people talking to each other. Nobody talks to each other anymore.”
It would be wonderful to come home and fall into somebody’s arms and say, ‘That was a tough day.’”
Well, we’ve come this far. “Would you ever get married again?”
“Never say never, but I don’t have any interest,” she says. “I’d love a relationship. Who knows? There are moments I want to just crawl up in a ball and say, ‘I need support.’ It would be wonderful to come home and fall into somebody’s arms and say, ‘That was a tough day.’”
Smoothies long gone, Aniston gives me a tour of the house. Imagine soaring views and spiritual shrines tucked into corners. We walk into the dining room with its majestic table, heavy art books, charcoal walls. A few paint swatches are affixed to the wall. All in identical shades of charcoal. I don’t get it.
“You can’t see the difference?” she says. You’d think I just told her how much I love the emperor’s splendid new clothing. “Really? You can’t see how blue this one is?” This is paint swatch gaslighting. Paintswatching.
“I would love to be an interior designer. I love walking into a house that’s being torn apart and finding ways to put it back together,” she tells me, escorting us into her own personal metaphor.
“I feel like I’m coming through a period that was challenging and coming back into the light,” she says. “I have had to do personal work that was long overdue, parts of me that hadn’t healed from the time I was a little kid. I’m a very independent person. Intimacy has always been a little here,” she extends her hand an arm’s length in front of her. “I’ve realized you will always be working on stuff. I am a constant work in progress. Thank God. How uninteresting would life be if we all achieved enlightenment and that was it?”
Coming out on the other side is what she calls “a little mosaic. It gets blown apart and then somehow gets put back together into this beautiful mosaic.”
I think of all the gossip and schadenfreude, all the hysterical tabloid exclamation points, the clickbait. I think of all the crap the world has thrown at Aniston — and I feel like she must have a really good therapist if she can find a “beautiful mosaic” anywhere in it. But maybe that’s the point. We all break. Then the benevolent forces of the universe sweep in and collect our broken parts, our flaws and jagged edges, and turn them into works of art. Maybe that’s why our 40s feel more powerful than our 20s: The universe needs time to assemble our mosaics.
“I didn’t want to partner with someone until some of that work was done. It wouldn’t be fair,” she says. “I don’t want to move into a house when there are no walls.”
“You felt like you had no walls?”
“It was terrible,” she says.
We walk outside. Aniston’s backyard is a small botanical garden with olive trees, a dusty path to the chicken coop, and a feeling of total privacy. Across the yard from the main house is a small cottage that’s about 90 percent windows. “Welcome to the Babe Cave,” she says. “This was Justin’s office.” (Aniston and her ex-husband Justin Theroux split up in 2017.) “You can imagine he likes things black and dark.” After he moved out, “I lightened it up, stripped it all. He came over [the other day] and was like, ‘What the fuck did you do?’ I said, ‘I brought the light back in, buddy.’”
The view, the furniture, the palpable calm — you could write the story of your life in a room like this.
“I’m going to do that one day,” she says. “I’m going to stop saying, ‘I can’t write.’” We walk back out to the garden. “I’ve spent so many years protecting my story about IVF. I’m so protective of these parts because I feel like there’s so little that I get to keep to myself. The [world] creates narratives that aren’t true, so I might as well tell the truth. I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation. I don’t have anything to hide.”
“If you were writing the story of your life,” I ask, “what would you call this chapter?”
“What would you call this chapter?” Murmur, repeats. We look out at Los Angeles, blurry in the late afternoon smog.
She smiles. She’s got it. “Phoenix Rising.”
The actress gets candid about ageing
Jennifer Aniston has always been a beauty icon, and there’s no denying her influence, especially when it comes to hair.
The actor has embodied #HairGoals throughout her career, starting with the Rachel, the famous layered haircut her character Rachel Greene wore on Friends. Three decades after the popular sitcom first premiered, countless iterations based on the original are still trending and inspiring TikTok teens to copy the cut.
Aniston’s envy-worthy hair prompted millions of women to want what she’s having on their own heads. Fortunately, The Morning Show star made that a possibility in 2021 when she launched her own hair care line, LolaVie. The inaugural collection included her go-to Glossing Detangler and Hair Oil, so fans could finally experience their very own versions of Aniston-approved hair.
This autumn, Aniston has an even more exciting surprise.
As of September 2022, LolaVie has finally answered our prayers for more products, adding Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner to its assortment. Excuse me as I run out and get a Rachel-inspired butterfly cut to celebrate.
In honour of LolaVie’s new launch, Jennifer Aniston spoke with Glamour US about her own LolaVie hair care routine and how she deals with pressures around ageing, as well as what advice she has for women who want to embrace grey hair.
Glamour: What’s your secret for effortless hair?
Jennifer Aniston: The secret is using the right products that not only deliver on performance but are also formulated with the best ingredients. I try to keep it simple and limit the number of products I use, which is why I love LolaVie. Our products are designed to be multitasking and are made with the highest-quality plant-based ingredients.
Why was it important to include skincare ingredients in LolaVie’s shampoo and conditioner?
Just like your skin, your hair needs hydration, moisture, and protection. We use squalane, a common ingredient found in skincare products, in our Superfruit Conditioning Complex, which hydrates and seals in moisture and also helps protect hair against environmental stressors. Chia seeds, also a well-known skincare ingredient, help repair the look of existing damage while also protecting the hair from future damage.
There is so much pressure on women to age the “right way”—either they’re not doing enough to conceal their age or have done too much. How do you tune out all the noise?
Two things are inevitable. The first aging. The second, there’s always going to be critics. For me, it’s more of the question of how do I take the best care of myself, physically and mentally? We can still thrive when we’re older, and that’s thanks to all the advancements in health, nutrition, technology, and science.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to go grey but might be a little afraid to do it?
You do you! If you want to go grey, go for it! If you want to keep colouring your hair, that’s great too. I think everyone should feel confident in whatever choices they make, including embracing natural colour or texture. Hair is a creative way to express yourself, and I love that your mood and energy can change with the change of a hairstyle, cut or colour. Embrace whatever is going to make you happy.
This story was originally published in GLAMOUR (US).
“I would never have that much chickpea in a salad, to be honest.”
Blame the chickpeas. See, it all started with Courteney Cox’s 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times. The actress told the paper that Jennifer Aniston ate the same salad on the set of Friends every day for 10 years, a “doctored up” Cobb. It’s gone viral over the years as folks on social media authoritatively describe Aniston’s love for mint, parsley, and garbanzo beans while tossing the ingredients for an overhead camera. “It looks like a delicious salad,” Aniston tells ELLE.com over Zoom, “but that’s not the one I had on Friends.” The problem? Aniston would never pour an entire can of chickpeas into a salad like that. “Not good for the digestive tract,” she attests.
(The plot thickens slightly: In 2015, Aniston documented her day for haircare brand Living Proof and wrote on its Instagram that her “perfect salad” includes, among other things, garbanzo beans, according to People. Maybe she and the salad are on a break.)
So, it turns out, the salad is viral, but not vital. These days, Aniston is happier snacking on blueberries and sipping almond milk. All this talk of vitality came about because she now holds the title of chief creative officer for Vital Proteins, a collagen powder purveyor. She worked with the brand on three new protein bars—so if you want to actually eat the same thing as Aniston, these might be a safer bet. We chatted with Aniston about all things vital, including that infamous salad and her Netflix guilty pleasure, The Ultimatum.
WHAT ARE YOUR THREE VITAL ESSENTIALS?
Oh my god. In terms of…anything? My dogs, my proper nutrition, and sleep.
WHAT ARE THE VITAL FOODS IN YOUR FRIDGE?
I have chopped celery and cucumbers, blueberries, and almond milk.
WHAT ABOUT INGREDIENTS FOR THE FAMOUS TIKTOK JENNIFER ANISTON SALAD?
Well, that salad, dare I debunk that? That’s not the salad that I had every day on Friends. I feel terrible because it’s literally taken off like crazy, and it looks like a delicious salad, by the way, but that’s not the one that I had on Friends.
YOU HAVE EVERYONE IN THESE STREETS MAKING THIS SALAD AND YOU’RE LIKE, “I’M SORRY. LOOKS GOOD, BUT NO.”
It really does. I would never have that much chickpea in a salad, to be honest. Not good for the digestive tract.
WHAT’S ONE VITAL ACT IN YOUR DAY?
WHO ARE THE VITAL PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE?
My best friend, Andrea.
WHAT’S A VITAL STEP IN YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
I keep going to meditation. I have a mantra. There are apps that you could get on your phone depending on what your mood is. Sometimes I like guided, sometimes I like to just sort of have my own mantra.
HOW ABOUT A VITAL STEP IN YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE?
Washing my face and brushing my teeth. Never go to bed with makeup on.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL TRAVEL SECRET?
I don’t have one yet. If there’s a secret anybody can give me… Well, there was one about working out wherever you go. The first thing you should do is have a workout. I’ve only done that once in my lifetime, to be honest. I did it one time and it was great. That was vital for that one time. It was the Along Came Polly press junket. I thought I would play better on that one.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL READING RIGHT NOW?
All I’ve been reading honestly is scripts. I’m in the midst of reading Morning Show season three scripts. My morning is water, meditation, season three, reading scripts, and outlines.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL GUILTY PLEASURE?
Bachelorette, but that hasn’t been on in a while. Bachelor, Bachelorette. I’ve lost my love of it the last couple of years, I have to say. So this is a problem. My guilty pleasure has been letting me down the last few years.
YOU NEED A NEW REALITY SHOW. HAVE YOU TRIED THE REALLY WILD ONES LIKE LOVE IS BLIND?
Do you know what my girlfriend made me watch one night and I watched almost all of them? It was The Ultimatum. It’s just these couples. One is like, “I want to marry you.” and the other’s like, “No, I’m not so sure.” And then they go in with a group of couples, each one has a, “I want to marry you,” and the other’s not so sure. Then they date other people. What is up with this Ultimatum? Then they date someone else in the same room. The two people that did not want to get married are dating each other.
IT’S NUTS, BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN MARRIED ENDED UP GETTING MARRIED.
It was just… I was irate; I was like, “I can’t make it through an Oscar-nominated film and I can watch 19 episodes of this damn show.” Please. Please.
WHAT’S YOUR VITAL KARAOKE SONG?
I don’t have one. Oh my gosh. When was the last time I even sang karaoke? I’m sure it would be a Journey song. Don’t Stop Believing, Open Arms, or one of those from the ’70s. Well, there you go. I mean these are important topics we have to hit. [Laughs.]
Jennifer appeared on Ellen’s finale show, I’ve added stills and caps from her episode, enjoy!
Jennifer Aniston was the very first guest on Ellen’s first show, and it came full circle as she returned as the first guest on Ellen’s last show. She shared how she dealt with the end of “Friends'” 10-season run by getting a divorce and going to therapy. The Emmy-winning actress also reminisced about her past appearances and gave Ellen a parting gift.
Jennifer appeared on Jimmy Fallon, I have added Stills & Screencaptures to our gallery!
Screencaptures > Interviews > 2021 > Watch Vintage Footage of Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Aniston’s Stint as News Anchors | Tonight Show
Jennifer Aniston appeared on Ellen’s Final Season (September 14) I have added images of her appearance to our gallery!
Screencaptures > Interviews > 2021 > Jennifer Aniston Gets Emotional Over Ellen’s Final Season | Ellen
Screencaptures > Interviews > 2021 > Jennifer Aniston Takes a Trip Down Memory Lane | Ellen
Jennifer Aniston appeared on The DrewBarrymore Show on September 13. I have added Screencaptures & Stills from the Interview in our gallery!
Go behind the scenes with the creators and cast of The Morning Show, and get a first look at the new season. Watch Season 2 of The Morning Show on September 17, only on Apple TV+ https://apple.co/_TheMorningShow
It’s now been 27 years since Jennifer Aniston debuted on Friends, hurtling at a speed she could not control into our pop cultural consciousness. It’s ironic that, against the odds, she is one of the more anchored people you will meet. That choice was early and deliberate: Aniston’s close circle of friends has remained largely consistent since she first moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1989. That said, she is not shut off, sitting in complacency behind her security gates in the L.A. hills. Aniston spent the pandemic both in review (of the rituals of her life, what could stay and what needed to go) and in action (filming the second season of The Morning Show, which premieres September 17, under demanding COVID protocols). She remains an optimist, her perspective couched in quick wit, wry humor, and an evocative way of describing emotional currency: “[With Friends], we created something that landed its little flag on a lot of people’s hearts around the world.” Whether she planned it or not, Aniston did too.
Laura Brown: Jen, congratulations on InStyle’s September cover, which will make your career. You were desperate, and I said, “Fine, you can have the cover.”
Jennifer Aniston: Please! Bring me back to life, Laura.
LB: How did you “net out” of the COVID pandemic, do you think?
JA: There was so much good and so much horror all happening at once. For me, the good was a big decompression and an inventory of “What’s it all about?” You and I, we like to work and be busy. Being idle is not preferable. It was important for those who were willing to let it be a reset to slowdown, take all of this in, reassess, reevaluate, and excavate. Literally cleaning out crap that we don’t need.
LB: What have you reset?
JA: My level of anxiety has gone down by eliminating the unnecessary sort of fat in life that I had thought was necessary. Also realizing that you can’t please everybody. And what good does that do if you’re just little bits of yourself? Let’s try to be the full all of who we are so we can come to the table. The way the media presents us folk in this business is like we’re always trotting around the world, on beaches having fun. But there are a lot of other, less obvious things that go into it.
LB: How will you approach things that make you anxious when you do press for The Morning Show?
JA: I call it the dog-and-pony show — traveling to do press junkets, red carpets, the shiny-penny things. Do people really need all that? The work is what I love to do. It’s the promotion of it that creates some stress in me. You get, like, a second of what it is that you’re promoting, and then the rest of it is salacious crap that you somehow got wrangled into talking about. There’s a big appetite for that — and listen, I get it. But if you don’t give it, then they make it up.
LB: In the trailer for Season 2 of The Morning Show, your character, Alex, very publicly says bye-bye to TV and retreats to a more private life. Could you imagine doing that?
JA: Well, we all kind of did. So, yes, I can imagine it, and it would be wonderful for about three months. Then you’re like, “This is good — I’ve rearranged and cleaned out everything; I’ve read; I’ve meditated. I feel great. Now I’d like to see a person.”
As my acting teacher used to say, “If you allow it to be, acting is a healing craft.”
LB: What was the biggest challenge filming in a pandemic?
JA: [As] actors, we were living in an alternate universe where COVID did not exist. I was able to walk into it pretty centered, knowing we had an incredible epidemiology team. I missed seeing my crew’s faces — that was tough. I also wasn’t with Reese [Witherspoon, her co-star] or the rest of the cast as often as in the first season. But the writing is incredible.
LB: How confident do you feel in your performance?
JA: I don’t know. [Alex] was not a fun headspace to live in — I’m not that insane or neurotic or inconsistent in my moods. I’d leave the set some days not able to shake it. Then it lifts like a cloud, and it’s like, “Wow. I feel lighter. The manhole cover has been taken off my back.” As my acting teacher used to say, “If you allow it to be, acting is a healing craft.”
LB: I understand wanting to be someone else for a minute and learning from it. What role are you most proud of in your career?
JA: I am very proud of this role. I also love Dr. Julia in Horrible Bosses — she was just wackadoodle. And I was proud of Cake.
LB: On the Friends reunion special, you said you almost lost the role of Rachel because you were on Muddling Through at the time. Can you imagine a universe where you couldn’t get off that show?
JA: No. Just one little moment — a last-minute audition [for Friends] that I got at 6 o’clock the night before I had to be there — and boom.
LB: Obviously, the reunion elicited many things for the audience, but what stayed with you afterward?
JA: That this is eternal. It’s not just out there in the ether or on a television set you’ve passed by, but in our actual bodies — our DNA, our bloodstream, our cells. It was a unicorn of an experience. For whatever reason, we were all at the right place at the right time, and we created something that landed its little flag on a lot of people’s hearts around the world.
LB: And you hadn’t been together shooting something in 17 years, but you see Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox all the time in L.A. And then the guys, you know, Ross—
JA: [David] Schwimmer? You can call him Ross. He lives in New York.
LB: Because you’re on a break.
JA: Yeah, still. It’s the longest break.
LB: Did you all have any time together that wasn’t filmed?
JA: We tried, but we didn’t get a chance. We had endless Zooms. I had a couple of people over [that] Sunday, just with the kids and stuff. Schwimmer stopped by, so I got to meet his amazing little girl. But we really did make a commitment to each other. We were like, “That’s the last time we wait that long to see each other.”
LB: And when you do that, bring a camera.
JA: You know, Courteney and David are the directors in the group, so they can probably figure out how to set up even three cameras.
LB: Well, if Courteney directs it like she does her epic Instagram…
JA: I know! It’s like, “Did you bring a dolly [camera] to Disneyland?”
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LB: You didn’t join Instagram until late 2019, but now you are very deft with it. Would you ever join TikTok?
JA: No. But I also said that about Instagram.
LB: Did you know you have a TikTok doppelgänger who lipsynchs your Friends lines?
JA: A friend sent that to me — I watched it, and it freaked me out. She’s not exactly like me, but of all the people who have said, “I look just like you,” she was pretty close. Sometimes you say, “Thanks?” And other times it’s, “Wow, thank you.”
LB: Who has done the best impression of you?
JA: Vanessa Bayer on Saturday Night Live. I remember someone saying, “Did you see the impression of you on SNL?” My first response was, “What? No, I’m not impression [-worthy].” They played it for me and [gasps], “That is so not the way I sound.” Then I was like, “Uh, oh. Oh, I see.” Everyone said it was a compliment, but I had to really get my brain around that and tuck my little tail between my legs, thinking I’m being made fun of. That’s always the gut instinct: “They’re making fun of me.”
LB: How does it feel to see impressions of or posts about you? Like the New Yorker cartoon about mock turtlenecks, Rachel Green’s go-to. Do you ever get used to it?
JA: Oh, yes, I re-posted that. When I see those things, I think it’s funny. I’m an easy laugh. I like off-color humor and self-deprecation and humanity. Dumb things I do make me laugh.
LB: On the red carpet, you give this compelling look of faint interest. I remember taking a picture with you once and whispering with a clenched jaw, “I don’t know how you do this.”
JA: And I said, “This is how we do it. We clench jaws together, say fake nothings, and make each other laugh eventually!”
LB: How did you figure out your best red-carpet pose?
JA: It depends on your stylist, because they go, “Never do this! Always do this!” I’m like, “Well, that feels weird.” I don’t know how to stand on a red carpet, but you do the best you can. I also try to connect with those people holding cameras. Some of them I’ve known a long time, so I’ll say hello. If I’m having an honest interaction with someone, it makes it easier. You know who I think masters the red carpet?
JA: J.Lo. I want to know what gives her the look like she’s about to be seething. It’s amazing. She’s almost stuck getting mad at somebody, but she’s just so gorgeous. She’s like, “I can’t believe I’m standing here.” But I don’t think she’s trying; she fell out of bed that way. She’s a performer.
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LB: It’s a lifestyle. [laughs] A lot of actresses around our age say that the ’90s were the greatest because there wasn’t social media. But then you see how some women, like Britney Spears, were treated by the media. How do you look back on that time now?
JA: [They were] feeding on young, impressionable girls. Half of these kids started on The Mickey Mouse Club. I was lucky enough to be raised by a very strict mother. The priorities were not about becoming a famous person. It was, “Study your craft, learn what you’re doing, don’t just go out there and get lucky.” I waitressed for years. I got a Bob’s Big Boy commercial on my 900th commercial audition. I was doing theater on, like, Long Island. I think that [Spears’s] group of girls as teens didn’t have any kind of “Who am I?” They were being defined by this outside source. The media took advantage of that, capitalized on them, and it ultimately cost them their sanity. It’s so heartbreaking.
LB: You were in your mid-20s when Friends started. How did you build up your own mental fortress?
JA: Um, spiritual Teflon. People used to call it your “spiritual armor.” Once I moved to L.A. and [started] telemarketing and auditioning, that’s when I built the foundation of women who surround me. I went to my first Circle — someone said we were going to what they called at the time a Goddess Circle. I was like, “Sorry, a what?” They said, “We’re going to hold this thing called a sage stick and burn away dark energy.” I was like, “OK, I’ve really landed in Los Angeles. From New York City to Laurel Canyon.” It sounds woo-woo, but meeting creative women who are not all in this business was my touchstone. My social arena wasn’t in this [industry].
LB: And these women are still your closest friends. When ill winds would blow for you in the media, was it like an armadillo where they just covered you in a shell?
JA: Yeah. They protect you: “Bullshit. Don’t listen to that.” I remember the first time a story came out — back then there were ways you could find out the source, and it was people from high school. That’s when you realize people are capable of not-so-kind things. It was like, this is someone who’s feeling inferior toward someone who’s having success. And they handle it by trying to capitalize on some silly story [from] high school.
I’m ambitious to be a happy, content, fulfilled human being, without regrets.
LB: You could have decided, “I can’t trust anyone.” But you are extremely curious. How did you reconcile that — especially with marriage and divorce in between — and stay open to new things?
JA: Therapy. A wonderful amount of trying to understand it. Also, being given examples of what I do not want to become, seeing people I love get lost and lose the plot. You can only help someone as much as they’re willing to be helped. I believe that at the core of everyone, there is goodness. I’ve watched people in my life go through hardships and hold on to resentment that eats away [at them]. Forgiveness is not in their vocabulary. That’s a real shame, because it’s important to be able to forgive people. Certain things are unforgivable, and we can just put those in a little file. But there’s room for people to grow and change.
LB: Who have you enjoyed getting to know recently?
JA: I met [Harvard biologist and researcher on aging] Dr. David Sinclair a few years ago. I’ve really loved meeting doctors and scientists, especially given what we’ve been living through. I’m listening to this podcast [about maximizing productivity] right now called The Tim Ferriss Show. [Neuroscientist] Andrew Huberman too. I’m having a hard time sleeping, so I’m trying to understand our circadian rhythms.
LB: Are you not sleeping because you’re listening to the podcast about not sleeping?
JA: Probably. As soon as the Morning Show brain shutdown, I went under the covers to recover from that. But Murder Mystery 2 [with Adam Sandler, whom Aniston has been friends with for 30 years] just got green-lit, and we start filming in the fall, so that’s keeping my mind busy. I want it to be good. I want it to be different. It’s always, “How do we improve?”
LB: How many sleep apps do you have?
JA: Five, maybe? I have this little device just for sleep apps and meditations, and I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier. It’s hard. The world shuts down, the phone stops ringing, and that’s when I can have “me time.” I can watch a show and just sort of putter.
LB: But then you get up and exercise every day, right?
JA: I try to. I had an injury last fall and I was only able to do Pilates, which I absolutely love. But I was missing that kind of sweat when you just go for it. I’m going back to my 15-15-15, which is a 15-minute spin, elliptical, run. And then just old school: I can chase myself around a gym. I need some kind of movement, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day on a trampoline.
LB: What do you eat if you’re stressed?
JA: A chip. Crunch, crunch, crunch.LB: Just one chip?
JA: Usually. I’m good at that. I can have one M&M, one chip. I know, that’s so annoying.
LB: Can you feel my contempt ooze through the screen? What is your go-to drink?
JA: A margarita — clean, no sugar — or a dirty martini. I only have two to three drinks, tops, and I don’t do exotic. When someone asks, “Would you like a cranberry-coconut-cucumber-spiced or hibiscus whatever?” No, I would not. But when I moved into my house, a few people got me tequilas of the month as housewarming gifts. I have a cellar of all kinds of spirits — you could come here and probably order anything you wanted to.
LB: Besides tequila, what makes you feel your strongest?
JA: Good sleep. That’s when our cells are rejuvenating, right?
LB: You really do love science. Would you be a good doctor?
JA: I’d be a great doctor. A dermatologist, or [specializing in] wellness or genetics or holistic [medicine]. The whole thing fascinates me.
LB: I think you should show up at a doctor’s office somewhere like, “Don’t mind me!”
JA: I’ve done that in my friends’ delivery rooms. I’ve gotten down there to see what was going on, held the foot. I had a front-row seat at the show; I was the first face the baby saw. The doctor said, “Excuse me, please. You’re in my light.”
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LB: Speaking of people who need doctors, you’re a notorious fan of The Bachelor.
JA: You think they need doctors? [laughs] They all need help.
LB: Would you ever guest-host now that it’s up for grabs?
JA: God, I don’t know. I think they need a psychologist or psychiatrist, not just Chris Harrison — or whoever the host is now. There should be someone they can go and talk to.
LB: That could be you.
JA: OK, well, I’ll do that. Gladly. I’ll be the one picking roses in the rose garden.
LB: Besides that, what are you ambitious for?
JA: Honestly, I have not ever been an ambitious person. [Ambition] just means happiness. I’m ambitious to be a happy, content, fulfilled human being, without regrets about things I knew I could have done and didn’t do.
LB: What women do you think are “badass”?
JA: Gloria Steinem. Diane Keaton. Oprah. Women who have lived a life — their authentic life — without apologies.
LB: When was the first time you really owned your shit?
JA: Probably when I moved to California. I thought, “I live on my own. I have a car. I’m a telemarketer. And I own that shit.” I was feeling kind of awesome. As you keep reaching new levels, it’s important to fall off that cloud to be reminded and humbled and to get back on it. Then you have something else to strive for.
LB: Speaking of striving, do you know there was a frenzy on the Deuxmoi Instagram account where people tried to figure out what dog collars you buy?
JA: It’s funny you should say that, because the collars are so cool. My trainer’s friend makes them — the brand is called RN Design. I’ve received a lot of questions about the dog collars. And what is Deuxmoi?
LB: It has posts like “Famous person spotted at restaurant.”
JA: What prompts the question about dog collars if I’m shown at dinner? That’s what I’d like to get to the bottom of.
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LB: Didn’t People magazine ask if you were going to go on [high-end dating site] Raya?
JA: Who did not ask me if I was going to go on Raya? Who would? Here’s the thing. These so-called anonymous places where so-called well-known people can go … I guess the reason well-known people go is because the people in the well-known areas don’t discuss well-known people. Please. No.
LB: The assumption is you guys want to date each other in your “safe, sanctioned space.”
JA: Yes. We have our own little island called the Celebrity Island.
LB: Imagine if all celebrities lived on one island and you couldn’t get off.
JA: I mean, that would not be great. For anybody. But honestly, the best version of The Bachelor is the island — Bachelor in Paradise.
LB: Besides Bachelor shows, what is usually on your TV?
JA: The news. CNN. I’ve really had to stop [keeping it on too much]. We all went through news fatigue, panic fatigue, during the pandemic because we were hoping one day we would wake up and hear something hopeful, and all we got was more insanity.
LB: Our worst of times. We could not see the way out.
JA: No. And there’s still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don’t listen to the facts. It’s a real shame. I’ve just lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose [whether or not they had been vaccinated], and it was unfortunate. I feel it’s your moral and professional obligation to inform, since we’re not all podded up and being tested every single day. It’s tricky because everyone is entitled to their own opinion — but a lot of opinions don’t feel based in anything except fear or propaganda.
LB: Exactly. This whole time has been a real tell on people’s capacities. But you’ve managed to get a lot done during your time off. Plus, your hair is even blonder now.
JA: I know. I just sat out in the sun for 1,600 days straight and this is what happened.
Lead Image: Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello turtleneck. Alberta Ferretti pants. Lisa Eisner Jewelry necklace.
Photography by Emma Summerton/Dawes+Co. Styling by Julia von Boehm. Hair by Chris McMillan/Solo Artists. Makeup by Gucci Westman/The Wall Group. Manicure by Diem Truong/Star Touch Agency. Set design by Robert Doran/Frank Reps. Production by Dana Brockman/Viewfinders.
For more stories like this, pick up the September 2021 issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Aug. 13th.
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