On Saturday, Jennifer Aniston talked about confronting what she described as “the dark s–t” of staying single, and the public’s supposed desire to cast blame on her. During an interview on the British morning show This Morning, Aniston opened up about the start of her process of moving on after her split from Justin Theroux in 2018, and how that process led to her first acting role in five years.
Aniston, appearing alongside This Morning hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, shared details about the professional reevaluation that led to her movie Dumplin’, in which she plays a former beauty queen who finds herself being judged by society after she becomes pregnant by her mother.
“In my personal life and my career, I’ve had just the bare minimum of success and I’ve been very measured about it, so I just felt like I needed to move on with my life and my next chapter,” Aniston said. “Now in it, people have accused me of being emotionally unavailable for my whole 25 years, so as soon as the news broke, and I didn’t even reply to it.”
“That started the ‘oh my god, this woman’s not sorry!’ and started those lies that said I was heartbroken and all that s–t,” Aniston added. “I kind of got used to that, so it never really upset me. I just continued working, found projects I loved and moved on.”
But how did Aniston move on after her split from Theroux? Aniston described how a difficult decision was made to hire a therapist to help her with what she described as a “reconstruction of what it was to be single.”
“I was like, ‘I’m not saying I don’t need to use a therapist to talk to my sister who’s a therapist and therapist to my mom,’ because obviously they did their thing, but at the end of the day it’s one of the few things in life you have control over, and it’s your life,” Aniston said. “And once you start calling it something else, and s–t-talking it and blaming it and blaming the people around you, it’s not healthy.”
Aniston said that she never looked back at her previous professional successes or relationships in a negative light, and wanted to let the public know they had nothing to do with what was going on in her personal life.
“That gave me a lot of comfort, so when I was in a vulnerable place, it was like, ‘Okay, this is how you choose to do it,’” Aniston said. “And if you don’t want to deal with it, then don’t.”
In addition to the pressure of being asked about her relationship on red carpets and in interviews, Aniston said the latter part of her career was also “undergirded by hype,” due to the public’s high regard for what she’s accomplished in the acting world.
“It’s a difficult pill to swallow, but then it’s very late in the day to start talking about anything like that,” Aniston said. “Sometimes you look at things that I’ve done and been a part of and the perception people put on me has nothing to do with that person. It has nothing to do with what I’ve actually done or [what] they perceive me to be as an actor.”
With regard to the separation from Theroux and then her ongoing role in Dumplin’, Aniston said she is accepting of the “literal fact that anyone could be in my place right now,” and isn’t fixated on other’s beliefs.
“I can accept it,” Aniston said of the criticism. “I can’t necessarily digest it.”