Jennifer Aniston is a force to be reckoned with on and off screen. While the actress is well-known for her memorable roles, including playing Rachel Green on Friends, she has made headlines for her personal life time and time again. Though there have been plenty of reports about her dating life since she split from then-husband Justin Theroux in February, she is finally setting the record straight. The stunning 49-year-old recently graced the cover of InStyle’s September issue and opened up about everything from how she’s portrayed in the media to the sexism she’s faced in the industry. See some of her best quotes ahead.
On staying poised and grounded in the spotlight: “There are definitely moments of not being balanced and poised, but I do that all in my own personal space. For the most part I can sit back and laugh at the ridiculous headlines because they have gotten more and more absurd. I guess they’re feeding into some sort of need the public has, but I focus on my work, my friends, my animals, and how we can make the world a better place. That other stuff is junk food that needs to go back in its drawer.”
On how she’s portrayed in the media: “It’s pretty crazy. The misconceptions are ‘Jen can’t keep a man,’ and ‘Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.’ Or that I’m sad and heartbroken. First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. They don’t know what I’ve been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?”
On experiencing sexism in her career: “I’ve definitely had my fair share of sexism in the media. Women are picked apart and pitted against one another based on looks and clothing and superficial stuff. When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it’s the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She’s the failure. F that. When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster.
On how she has hope for change with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement: “Yes, and it’s long overdue. But we also need to be better at listening to one another. That includes men. They need to be part of this conversation. When everyone is mad and aggressive, people become too afraid to speak and there is no conversation. Same goes for politics. We need to include each other, to hear each other out. We can’t stoop to the anger. Michelle Obama said it best: ‘When they go low, we go high.’ We should all be living by that if we want real progress.”
On if she’ll continue acting: “I’ve never been someone who knows how to answer, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ I do know that lately I’ve had moments. The world we’re in is so challenging right now, the scrutiny, the way people interact. There’s just bad behavior around us a lot. There have been moments when I would just love to get out of Dodge and move to Switzerland — or somewhere — and start anew. Just have this sh*t behind me. Does it really matter? Are we really doing anything? What is my life’s purpose? Every seven years I try to sum up what I am doing and what I want to make my focus. I’m trying to make better choices. I went through a period of saying yes to projects that I shouldn’t have, but I felt like, ‘How dare I say no?’ Now I’m trying to get better at saying no and to be a part of projects that actually, really matter à la Dumplin’ or The Goree Girls or this other film we’re working on called The Fixer, about an amazing crisis manager named Denise White.”