Jennifer Aniston is featured on the cover and in the pages of the newest issue of The New York Times Magazine wherein she talks about … well, a lot of things. Here is Jen’s coverphoto and a portion of her fairly lengthy interview:
Q: What was the first television show you remember watching?
A: Oh, God — “The New Zoo Revue”? Or maybe “Land of the Lost?” No — it was that guy . . . Captain Kangaroo. He was on the porch with Mr. Green Jeans. Have I just dated myself?
Q: When did you first appear on a screen?
A: My dad became a soap opera actor, and I was an extra in a skating rink scene on the soap. I didn’t audition. It was nepotism all the way.
Q: Did you dream of being in big-screen movies rather than on television?
A: No. Never. As I grew up, there was “Mary Tyler Moore” and “Rhoda.” TV seemed cool.
Q: Did you make a lot of pilots before “Friends”?
A: Oh, yes — I have my sitcom graveyard. Before I even moved to L.A., I was cast in a show called “Malloy.” I played the spoiled little sister of the lead character. “Malloy” lasted six episodes. And then I was cast as Jeanie Bueller, the bratty sister in the TV version of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” That lasted almost a season.
Q: You’re lucky that the show that was successful — “Friends” — was the one that should have been. You could have been Jeanie Bueller forever.
A: That would have been the worst. When you accept a role in a pilot, you automatically sign up for five years. You think it’s scary to walk down the aisle? Try signing a five-year contract for a show you may not want to be part of down the road. That’s why “Friends” was so great. During the first week of shooting, I thought, I’ll be heartbroken if this doesn’t continue. It was the first time I felt like part of the cool kids.
Q: If “Friends” comes on when you’re home, will you watch?
A: I have. There are times I don’t even remember that particular show. This is horrible to say, but there are times when I laugh my rear end off. And I get in debates with people who are over and say, “ ‘Friends’ is not my thing.” Excuse you!
Q: During the huge success of “Friends,” were you anxious to parlay your popularity into movies?
A: I thought I’d never get movies. Then they started to think I could play the girl in the big Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller movies.
Q: And now you’re with Owen Wilson in “Marley & Me.” Did you read the book?
A: I was given the book four times. I just didn’t want to read a book about a dog. When they sent me the script, I thought, I’ll just start it and see, and all of a sudden I was in tears. We worked really hard to make it not just about a dog.
Q: Your other film, which is out in February, “She’s Just Not That Into You,” is based on a line from a “Sex and the City” episode — a move from one screen to another.
A: I wish it was “She’s Just Not That Into You”! Unfortunately, it’s “ He’s Just Not That Into You.” The other would be more empowering.
Q: Another screen that has gained in prominence since “Friends” is the computer screen. Has Internet stardom become oppressive to you?
A: Here’s where I luck out: I’m really computer illiterate. When I see people on their BlackBerrys, working them like some girls work a hair dryer, I’m just stunned. People have sent me clips from FunnyOrDie.com or YouTube, but I never seek it out. I did love that little girl in the Will Ferrell landlord clip on FunnyOrDie, but I’m content with just checking my e-mail.
Q: What about something like Facebook?
A: It’s not for me. I’d be opening myself up too much. I don’t want to sound like a complete innocent — I’ve looked at things, of course. But it’s such spewing. If I look at it, I’ll be affected. It’s like dancing with the devil. But I have spent hours on FirstDibs.com, looking at furniture. And I like to play Scrabble. And poker. I discovered Wii this weekend. I’m a late bloomer.
Q: How much do you hate cameras on phones?
A: My favorite move is when people pretend that they’re on the phone and they kind of dial and take the picture at the same time. You hope they’re doing it for themselves — that they’re not thinking, I’m going to dine out on you.
Q: Do you think “Friends” would be as successful if it went on the air now?
A: Hard to tell — that was a different time. Now TV has too much to do with celebrity. We have reality television, where people try to become celebrities and celebrities dancing and past celebrities trying to be celebrities again. I thank God for shows like “30 Rock.”
Q: Was it nice to be back on the small screen?
A: The whole experience felt like fate. I was flying into New York and I thought, I want to work in New York again. The next day they called and asked if I wanted to do an episode of “30 Rock,” which tapes in New York. And it was so much fun. So I guess, with screens, like everything else, size doesn’t matter.
Hmmm … she does tend to come off very charming in press interviews, doesn’t she? I have such a hard time understanding how people choose to shun technology but I suppose a celebrity, who is constantly being filmed and/or bombarded with everything at such a fast pace, might like the idea of cutting themselves off from any and everything every once-in-a-while. I can, somehow, see Jennifer Aniston playing on the Wii tho. After the jump, checkout two more photos of Jen from this issue of The New York Times Magazine … More »