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Jennifer Aniston Interview

"I never imagined my life would be what it is today." Candid talk about the trials of fame, our obsession with [her] weight, and the guilty pleasure she shares with her hubby.

Redbook: Your life is so dramatically different now than it was 10 years ago. How are you different?

Jennifer: My life hasn't really changed all that much, when you really get down to it. I mean, yeah, 10 years ago I wasn't a famous person, and my privacy didn't need to be protected as much as it is now; but my day-to-day life is not that different. I still have a lot of the same friends and they are very important to me. My schedule is much busier than it used to be and there are a lot of demands on my time but I now have some help to handle it.

What's your secret to balancing the busy life you lead?

It's hard but I'm no different than everyone else in this world. Everyone tries to balance the various parts of their lives - work, friends, family. There is no secret, because balancing one's life is a work in progress. You always have to pay attention to the important things and try not to get involved in the superficial things that don't add quality to your life.

How do you deal with stress?

That's a hard question, because stress is all around you and very hard to ignore. When things get hurried and rushed, I like to quiet my mind and take things one at a time. Easier said than done, but I try.

What was it like planning such a big wedding?

I had heard all the crazy things that happen to you when you plan a wedding, and although we had some last minute logistical things go awry I've got to say that the whole experience was an absolute dream.

What's the most amazing thing about being married? What's the most unexpected?

The most amazing thing is that now you have a partner in everything you do. It's a real gift when you find someone to share your life with. The most unexpected? Not sure about that - get back to me when I have a few years of marriage under my belt!

Now that Friends has wrapped for the season, what current projects are you most excited about?

I am really excited about everyone getting to see Rock Star this summer. Making the movie was a really wild experience, and I have always been a real fan of heavy metal. I also just finished a small independent film called The Good Girl, directed by Miguel Artera, who also directed Chuck & Buck as well as Star Maps. This movie is a real departure from what I have done, and I was challenged by the dark nature of it. Although is has some really funny moments, my character has a lot of difficult choices to make.

Rock Star is a big-budget studio film. Why did you choose to do The Good Girl, a smaller, independent film, next?

The story was something I wanted to be a part of telling, and the character was so multidimensional that is was impossible for me to say no. The budget isn't something that plays a large role in whether I do a film. The story, director, and other actors are what I look for.

Tell us about a role you'd like to play that would surprise everyone.

It's hard to think of a specific role, but what I want is to challenge myself all the time. When I started working on The Good Girl, I was terrified that I was in over my head with the role. She is just so different from anything I've played before, and she goes through some tough times. Then you take on the role and discover that there are parts of you that are up to the challenge, and it winds up fulfilling you creatively.

People may be surprised to know that you sculpt and paint. When did you start and what does that do for you?

I used to do a lot more painting and sculpting when I was younger and not working so much. I started really young, probably in grade school, and continued through my adulthood. I miss it and want to get back to it very soon. It's another way to express your creativity.

Your involved with voxxy.com, a website for teenage girls. What was your motivation for working with teenagers?

I think it is important to demystify the celebrity thing for young girls. All these beauty magazines, including this one, need to be more responsible with what you feed young girls. They don't know that it takes hours and hours to do hair and makeup for a photo shoot, and that then some computer is used to take off some pimple on your face and erase stray hairs and extra curves. It sets an impossible standard for these young girls to live up to. I realize the magazines need to sell and there is a pressure for perfecting an image on the covers, but I want young girls to know its not real - its magic! I also like the concept to go and get some feedback about serious issues.

People seem to be obsessed with the weight loss and weight gain of celebrities. Why do you think that is, and what do people not understand about it?

I'm not sure that it's people who are obsessed with weight of celebrities or the media that's obsessed. Your damned if you're too thin and your damned if you're too heavy. According to the press, I've been both. It's impossible to satisfy everyone, and I suggest we all stop trying and enjoy who we are regardless of physical appearance.

You've expressed your love of comfy clothes. Is it odd then to be known as a fashion and beauty icon?

It's really odd when I read that. I think, "Oh really? How did that happen?" I know a lot more about fashion and beauty now than when I first started, but I'm still an amateur. After you do a few photo shoots and get to meet these amazing hair stylists, makeup artists and fashion stylists, you cant help but pick up a few pointers. But I still don't really know what's out and what's in. I just try to stick to things that make my feel comfortable. I tend to shy away from the trendy stuff and always find myself attracted to the classic materials and designs. Simple is better for me.

What's your most guilty pleasure?

Mexican food - for sure. Lots of cheese and guacamole. Really good Mexican food is hard to find, but I have my favorite places.

How do you deal with all the curiosity from fans and the media about your marriage and maintain your privacy?

There is a part of me that understands the curiosity. I mean, I was curious about famous people when I was growing up. I try to ignore the ridiculous tabloids that just make up a story a week, but it is irritating. You just have to try and keep your personal existence to yourself and your loved ones and protect your privacy as best you can.

Someday when you look back at your life and career, what will you hope you have accomplished?

I hope to look back at my life and have no regrets. I want to know I made choices that were wise and appropriate to my growth as a person. If I seized the moments that matter, then I wont have any complaints.

When you were growing up, did you ever expect to be famous?

I never imagined my life would be what it is today. When I was attending the high school of performing arts, I dreamed of one day being a working actress. The fact that I get to do this for a living with people I have looked up to and admired blows me away. The fame is the least impressive thing about what I do, and probably the most irritating; but it comes with the dinner, so to speak, and I can accept that.

REDBOOK, August 2001

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Jennifer officially changed her name to Jennifer Pitt. She will still be using her maiden name (Aniston) for TV/Movie credits, (October 25, 2000.)
"It is always weird to see yourself onscreen or in magazines. It's almost as if the image I see is another person and not the real me I know. The intrusion on my personal life does sometimes get to me, but I realize it comes with the job."

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