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Jennifer Aniston Vogue

Jennifer Aniston Vogue

[Jennifer Aniston] is actually very smart and articulate about herself and her emotional life, perhaps in part because she saw the same shrink for many years. When I ask about her therapist, she says, "My shrink died." At first I think she’s kidding, but then I quickly realize she’s not. How terrible, I say. "Yeah, she actually died a year ago this past December." As I do the math, it slowly dawns on me that her therapist died the month before she and Pitt separated.

We’re not supposed to feel sorry for Jennifer Aniston but her shrink died a month before  she and Brad Pitt separated.  That is sad!  But… it looks like last month’s leaked cover of the April 2006 issue ("The Shape Issue") of Vogue was accurate. Jennifer Aniston, 36, is the Vogue cover girl once again (compare to"The Age Issue" of Vogue from August 2002, pictured right). Read the full Jennifer Aniston Vogue April 2006 article after the jump and more pictures in the gallery!

http://cdn03.cdn.justjared.comjennifer-aniston-vogue-april-2006a.jpg
PHOENIX RISING :: "The beauty of human resilence is that you
do bounce back," says Jennifer Aniston. (Left :: Gucci black
chiffon cutout dress.  OMO Norma Kamali silver bathing suit.
Right :: Donna Karan Collection red jersey halter dress.)

http://cdn03.cdn.justjared.comjennifer-aniston-vogue-april-2006a.jpg
BODY LANGUAGE :: Jennifer Aniston says, "Yoga makes you
feel strong.  Inner strength.  I love it." (Left :: Narcisco Rodriguez
 black silk-chiffon dress over silver slip dress. Right :: Rick
 Owens gray mesh tank and white cotton mesh skirt.)

Jennifer Aniston

Vogue April 2006

The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hold is just about as old as old Hollywood gels. Though it is still a place where power breakfasts arc played out and celebrities meet their agents for lunch, it is also undeniably anachronistic and tourist-trappy, especially during Ihe dinner hour. The pink-and-green color scheme, the perfumed ladies with facelifts and set hair, the meticulously elaborate sellings of crystal and silver—-it all screams bygone era. It is not hard to imagine that Debbie Reynolds came to this very room to nurse her wounds while projecting chin-up determination after that minx Elizabeth Taylor stole Eddie Fisher away. So I am not a little perplexed when Jennifer Aniston decides that this is where we are to meet one Thursday afternoon for lunch in early February.

When I arrive at the maitre’d station at the appointed time and announce that I’m here to see Aniston, I am whisked away to table 46—the table—a large, round corner booth all the way in the farthest corner of the room. So this is J.A.’s secret hideout. Ingenious! Who would ever think to look for her here? Still, I am puzzled. It is a beautiful, sunny day. and sitting in the dark swank of a hotel bar is not exactly Aniston’s style. The first time I met her, in May 2002, she showed up in cutoffs and a tank top, flip-flops, and toe rings. Despite the lurky presence of paparazzi, we window-shopped on Beverly and ate pizza at some random liltle Italian joint. The next time we met, in the fall of 2003, we sat out on the patio of II Sole, a supercasual hipster spot on Sunset, smoking cigarettes and drinking too much wine while, again, photographers lay in wait for her. Has the woman who famously loves cheap Mexican food and margaritas grown up and gone fancy? Or perhaps she’s taken her new role as divorcee a step too far. I half expect her to make an entrance in a fur coat and Laura Biagiolti sunglasses.

Just then, I see Aniston breeze past the window as she is being led through a ripple of whispers and head-turns to a table… outside.  She’s wearing tight, low-cut jeans, black boots, and a long black sweater over a dark-green T-shirt. I gather my things and head out to look for her, and as I’m walking across the patio toward her table she lights up with a big smile and waves. Phew. Despite the fact that she is just getting over a four-week-long bout with the flu, she looks fantastic tanned and fit and youthful- and is in an ebullient, expansive mood. I, too, am in an inexplicably good mood, and she notices it right away. "Why are you so chipper?" she says with mock suspicion. "How long has this mood lasted, and what are you taking?" She laughs. "I’m leasing." She orders an iced tea-lemonade concoction. "I am in a good mood today," she says, "but I have not been in a good mood lately." It is right here, at this comment, that we begin our little dance, talking in ever-smaller circles around the elephant in the room. Not once during our two-and-a-half-hour lunch are Their names ever mentioned. Which is not to say that we don’t, in some strange way, talk about them. Or that thing that happened to all three of them last year.

Aniston is resolute about not getting specific. She will not give those weekly gossip rags another sound bite or plot line in the never-ending saga that plays out like some kind of tacky telenovela, week in and week out, on their covers. Not a single scrap will go to the vultures! I mention to Aniston that my mother happened to call me on my cell phone just before I came to meet her and asked what I was doing in L.A. I’m interviewing Jennifer Aniston, I said. "Oh, that poor girl," she said, and then, regretting having said that: "It’s just awful to be the person that everyone is feeling sorry for." When I tell Aniston this, she shoots me a withering look. "I agree with your mother," she says. "There’s nothing worse. I hate it. It makes my skin crawl." Here she slips into the simpering tone of fake sympathy. "How’s Jen doing? Please! Don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t make me your victim. I don’t want it. I’m so tired of being part of this sick, twisted Bermuda Triangle. As long as it’s scandalous, it’s a story. And that’s kind of what it’s been. It’s just stupid.  It’s ridiculous. There’s nothing to do about it. All I can do is go on and live my life. But like I’ve said before, these are human beings. And it’s not a show and it’s not an article and it’s not a headline. It’s real and it sucks."

One of the things that have troubled Aniston most about this whole episode is that it has robbed her of her ability to just be herself. The quality she projects on the screen and in real life that has always mitigated the envy that her previous, seemingly perfect life—complete with wealth, fame, great hair, and the sexiest husband alive-inspired is her ability to remain, relatively speaking, just a regular gal. Despite the intense, bizarre amount of attention that has been focused on her over the years, she has always remained pretty much the same: plucky, frank, a little neurotic, and very, very funny. Largely because Friends ran for ten long years, millions of people projected all manner of desire and wish fulfillment onto her. She is pretty and sexy—but not scary or mean. Good company.

Though the media have always taken a particular interest in Aniston, her somewhat tortured relationship to the paparazzi really began as she and Brad Pitt were planning their wedding in the early part of 2000. Because she was one-half of the so-called Hollywood golden couple, any picture of her or, better yet, the two of them doing something couple-y seemed to hold endless fascination for the public. By the time Friends was nearing its end, just as Aniston and Pitt had moved into what amounted to a castle, a French Normandy mansion in Beverly Hills, the media interest in her was stoked again when the couple began to talk publicly of wanting to start a family. There was constant speculation about whether Aniston was pregnant, even as she was embarking on a movie career that promised to breathe new life into the roman tic comedy. Again, any photographic proof of her existence, no matter how mundane, held strange value.

But as soon as the rumors started piling up in late 2004 about Brad and Angelina having an affair during the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, the media’s and the public’s in interest in Aniston morphed into something entirely different, and ultimately suffocating for Aniston. By the time she and Pitt announced their separation in January 2005 and then filed for divorce two months later, the die was cast: Aniston would be forced to play the part of wronged woman, the heartbroken girl crying in her Malibu hideaway, as Brad and Angelina flew around the world to troubled hot spots, saving the children or respectfully listening to world leaders. When Aniston famously said last August that "there’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing" after a 60-page spread of Brad and Angelina ran in W depicting them as a married couple with a brood of children, it only served to ratchet up the public sympathy for her as the most humiliated woman in America.

Only once before in my 20 years as a magazine journalist have I ever received so many phone calls about the breakup of a famous couple: Donald and Ivana Trump. I had written a lengthy profile of Ivana for Spy magazine, and when her marriage hit the skids because Donald was caught cheating with Marla Maples, my phone rang off the hook. It was as if every television producer of every crappy TV show had that copy of Spy tucked in a desk drawer. When the news broke, they all needed someone to fill up airtime, and I was just young and stupid enough to think it was a good idea to go on TV and pontificate about the couple’s demise.

When Aniston and Pitt split up, a very similar thing happened. This time, I couldn’t get off the phone fast enough. But something else peculiar happened in this instance, something that did not with Donald and Ivana. Nearly all of my friends, family members, people at parties, everywhere I went, everybody wanted to talk to me about Jennifer and Brad and Angelina. Otherwise thoughtful, intelligent people, folks who would never normally gossip about celebrities, had all suddenly turned into Jann Carl from Entertainment Tonight.

Not surprisingly, Aniston is nonplussed when I bring this up. But in her attempt to figure it out, she does not exempt herself from her indictment of the American public. "This is what I think the problem is: We have such an obsession with reality TV. That’s the majority of television. What happened to a great half-hour sitcom? It’s all Dancing with the Stars! Knitting with the Stars! Building a Home with the Stars! Living in the Homes of the Stars! And then ripping people to shreds. Humiliation. Degradation. What is going on? It’s so much instant gratification, and we want it real. It’s bizarre. I don’t watch TV anymore. Nothing. I have no interest in that Idol ****." She takes a deep breath and then acknowledges that her personal life has become just one more distracting reality show. "Unfortunately," she says, "the world is in such a state with this war and everything else, and it’s easier to go and look at the triteness of a celebrity breakup. It’s like, Ahhh. relief. It’s an escape, like a daytime soap opera."

One of the unintended effects of all the media scrutiny-and Aniston’s heart-wrenching interview in Vanity Fair, about which she says she has no regrets-was that it made Aniston seem as if she were wallowing in self-pity.  Meanwhile, Brad and Angelina began to seem faintly ridiculous as photograhs were published of the couple sitting on a couch with Pervez Musharrag, the president of Pakistan.  This aspect of the whole sordid affair comes up accidentally at one point during our lunch.  Just as Aniston is telling me that she was a little worried about doing this interview because "there’s nothing left to talk about and I’m sick of everything about myself," an older woman approaches our table. She has a Zsa Zsa Gabor accent.  "Excuse me, Jennifer?" she says while walking toward us, still several feet from the table.

"Hiii," Aniston says, sounding both friendly and suspicious. The woman explains that the two were "supposed to meet" regarding Aniston’s becoming the chairperson of an organization to do with abused and fostered children. "Your PR people were going to set up a meeting because they said you were interested in being the spokesperson or something."

"Oh?" says Aniston.

"You don’t know anything about it," says the woman.

"No," says Aniston. "I’m mortified. That’s terrible."

"Oh, it’s OK," says the woman, and then she goes on to detail the work they do around the world, including one particular event held in Israel that brought together 5,000 Palestinian children and 5,000 Israeli children. "After that was in the newspaper," she says, "your PR people called and said you were interested. And then nobody ever followed up."

"Oh, great," says Aniston, who at this point clearly does not believe this story. The woman presses a card into Aniston’s hand and says. "All right, well, thank you very much. Nice to meet you." As soon as the woman is out of earshot, Aniston turns to me and sends the entire awkward moment up:

"Well. You said you wanted to save the dying children?"

"Mmmm. No. I don’t recall that."

"Yeah. They said so. They called and said you were interested and then you just decided never to call again. But the children are dead now, so it’s OK. The window has passed. But it’s good to meet you in person!"

Laughing, she puts her head in her hands and says, "Oh, God, It’s just too much." She pauses for a moment, still shaking her head in amazement. When we finally stop laughing, I ask her how she feels about being asked to do those sorts of things.

"You know there’s stuff I’ve done in my career…." She trails off and then says, "This is such a delicate subject." Here, for the first time in any conversation we’ve had, she starts to say something that sounds canned, a bit rehearsed. "I think it’s an amazing thing for people to do, and we as actors have the platform to go out there and bring awareness and bring people together and make things happen. It’s one of the great perks of what we do." Long pause as she realizes she’s beginning to wade into Brad-and-Angelina territory. "And everybody participates in their own way, whether it’s political or economic. I think we all do our part. I’m more … I like to be … I get really nervous about public anything when it’s making a declaration. I should probably become more opinionated about certain things. But you know, I just don’t like… I see a lot of…. See, this is where I don’t, want to get too into this, because, you know, I want to be very delicate about… actors going out there and … being… politicians. Or representatives of this or that. Which I find…. It’s just not my thing. It’s not what interests me. I commend anybody who goes out there and does it. And when the moment happens and it’s authentic for me. I’m sure I will."

Before meeting me for lunch today. Aniston went to a yoga class with her friend Mandy Ingber. "After feeling sick and not really doing anything." she says, "going back into yoga, your muscles come back and you feel strong. Inner strength. Love it." She started doing yoga religiously in the past year or so because "it came out of a time of necessity, and it was very healing." After her yoga class, two women came to her house to give her an acupuncture treatment, also to aid in her recovery from the flu.

Aniston is not immune to what many think of as the flaky-spiritual aspect of life in California. For example, at one point she says to me, "They say there’s certain times of the night or the morning when you’re more open to receiving information-if there is information to be received—if you’re one of those New Agers who believe that stuff, which I’ve been known to do. I love that stuff."

It is a bit of a contradiction because Aniston doesn’t need the crutch of New Age foolishness. She is actually very smart and articulate about herself and her emotional life, perhaps in part because she saw the same shrink for many years. When I ask about her therapist, she says. "My shrink died." At first I think she’s kidding, but then I quickly realize she’s not. How terrible, I say. "Yeah, she actually died a year ago this past December." As I do the math, it slowly dawns on me that her therapist died the month before she and Pitt separated. "And here’s the thing," she says. "I will cherish this woman forever. It was very sad because I thought she was a very smart, wise woman and unbelievably helpful to me. So it was devastating." But then she starts lo laugh. "When your shrink dies, you just go. ‘Really? Is this some kind of cosmic joke?’ I will never forget that moment. I was like. ‘Wow, Well. OK. Let’s put your money where your mouth is and walk through this.’ Because that December, I knew that everything was sort of…coming. And then I was like. "Oh. right. You did retain it. It does work.’ And you do build strength if you’re really committed to the work." She pauses for a moment and then says, "Is it weird to say that my shrink died? One part of me is thinking that that’s something I should keep to myself. But another part of me thinks it is, in an odd way..funny." She starts to laugh again. "Just as I arrived at the threshold of this grand door. So, are you in therapy? No, she died. It’s very funny. I mean, this is the thing: Isn’t it all funny? Thank God we can have a sense of humor. Good God!"

Though Aniston said at the beginning of our lunch that she did not want to talk too much about her personal life, it is obvious that she just can’t help herself. She is so exquisitely calibrated for emotional openness that it would be a near impossibility for her to keep a lid on it. When I ask her point-blank about how she is doing re: the breakup, she says. "Here’s the one thing I can say without divulging anything or going into the boring headlines of 2005: Ain’t nothing broke! Life goes on. There’s nothing to see here, folks. Just move along. The beauty of human resilience is that you do bounce back. And comparatively speaking to what people walk through, this is nothing. I haven’t lost my home to some freak natural disaster. My son or my daughter is not in another country getting bombed. People just need to redirect their focus. It’s like a little dark cloud that I’m just waiting to get out from under." Her leg is pumping up and down, shaking the banquette we’re sitting on. "What more does one person have to do or say?"

She takes a deep breath and leans back. "But it’s also a positive thing. There are really powerful things that happen out of this sort of loss. That’s the stuff that life is made of. If you don’t have appreciation for it—if you haven’t sat in the dark depths of sadness and pain—you can’t appreciate feeling good. It’s like when you’re really sick and all of a sudden you have that day when you wake up and finally feel great. You’re like a kid in a candy store. I can’t believe how great I feel! At the end of the day, it’s just yourself, your own work, your own resilience, and your faith in yourself. I really believe that everything is meant to be. You can’t ask, "Why is this happening to me?’ It’s happening to you! Life’s tough. Get a helmet."

Unfortunately for Aniston. her personal life has, at least for now, eclipsed her films. There’s a perception out there that her movie career is somehow in trouble, when in fact she has made one terrible film (Rumor Has It) and one not-so-great but, I think, underrated thriller (Derailed). There’s not a single actor working in Hollywood today who hasn’t made a couple of nonstarters nearly back-to-back (can you say The Stepford Wives followed by Bewitched?). When I ask her how she’s feeling about her film career these days, she says, without any defensiveness, "I feel like I’m doing OK. I’m happy with where it is. Derailed didn’t shine. It kind of … derailed. Thrillers are tough. I’m glad I did it, but I don’t need to do those kinds of movies. It’s kind of like caviar. I don’t need to have it again."

When I bring up Rumor Has It, she looks at me with an exaggerated pained expression and says. "Oh. we don’t need to lalk about that, do we? The worst experience of my life. The worst experience; the worst film. It sounded like a great idea, an interesting backdrop for a romantic comedy. But it was never fleshed out, never fully realized. And for me, personally, I was going through a horrible time. I wasn’t at my best as an actor. I was unmotivated by it." She pauses for a second. "Oh. why talk about it? We can let that little train go by."
Fortunately for Aniston, she was a busy girl last year and made two more films that have the potential to wipe the slate clean. First there is Friends with Money, a talky little movie directed by Nicole Holofcener that opened the Sundance Film Festival. The film, which debuts in theaters on April 7, stars a great cast of women—Frances McDormand, Joan Cusack, Catherine Keener, and, of course, Aniston—and is essentially about the marriages, love lives, and money issues of a circle of friends who live in Los Angeles as they reach middle age and deal with their own mortality.

Aniston plays a character who has quit her job as a teacher to become a cleaning lady. She is perpetually broke, a depressed pothead, and the only person in the story who is not in a relationship. Though her character here is not as finely drawn, there are echoes of her brilliant performance in The Good Girl, in which she played another depressed loser. Aniston, who is not afraid to strip away her comic shtick and cuteness, seems to have a special talent for playing forlorn women. In Friends with Money, all of the other characters are either upper-middle-class or just plain rich. "I think she related to her in some ways." says Holofcener. "I imagine that she has friends like the character that she plays. Jennifer is so wealthy. What friend could ever have as much money as she has, and what’s that like? It must be really hard. And of course she knows what it’s like to be depressed, even if her personality is generally cheerful."

The shoot, which lasted only three weeks, started just a few days after Aniston and Pitt announced their separation last January.  As Aniston says, "This was not a vanity piece by any means. And it was a bizarre time when the vultures were descending. The paparazzi were getting pictures that were less than flattering to support the miserable person that they wanted to paint me as at the time." Holofcener remembers one day when they were filming at the Farmer’s Market when Aniston "had to blow her nose or something, and the makeup woman said. ‘Here’s a tissue." and she said, ‘No, if I hold a tissue they’re going to take a picture of me and print that I’m crying.’ And she wasn’t crying. She was fine. She was completely composed and professional and seemed OK. She might not have been a barrel of monkeys, because of what was happening, but she still had a really good vibe." Says Aniston, "It was great. A great group of women. I’ve never worked with all women. It was like camp. Actor camp. I fell very supported."

Later this year, in June, Aniston’s other film, The Break-Up, comes out. It is likely to be a much bigger movie than any of her previous three, partly because it returns her to comic form but also because there is the curiosity factor of watching the chemistry between her and Vince Vaughn, her costar and the man she started dating not long after the film finished shooting. Interestingly enough, the movie was Vaughn’s idea, and he spent the better part of a year working on the script with two writers. Aniston, whom Vaughn had in mind all along, signed on to The Break-Up last February, just after she and Pitt… broke up.

The director, Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Down with Love), describes the film as "a comedy that we tried really hard to ground in reality, so that a lot of the arguments thiscouple has as they are breaking up are very real. Working opposite Vince. Jen gets to flex her comedic muscles, which are formidable, but she also gets to do a lot of dramatic work in the movie. She just knocked it out of the park."

During filming in Chicago last summer, Aniston’s personal-life drama had reached a crescendo. "Had I not gone to the newsstand and seen the tabloids," says Reed. "I would never have known something of that magnitude was going on. She was able to come to work and dig in and just make it a joy everyday. Only Jen can speak about her process, but her performance in the movie, when it hits those notes of the pain at the end of a relationship, has an immediacy that I was just blown away by."

Aniston is genuinely thrilled with how the film turned out. "I love this movie." she says. "I have a good feeling about it. It’s beautifully balanced and surprisingly emotional. I don’t think anyone has really seen anything quite like it." When I ask Aniston about Vaughn, she says. "He’s very funny. He’s brilliantly funny. He’s hilarious. He’s unbelievably ferociously talented and has a work ethic that is inspiring. It was pure fun." I had been told by more than one person that the two have amazing comic chemistry together, and Aniston agrees. "It’s great when you can have that thing where you can have a good volley with someone." When I push her a little further to talk about their relationship, she demurs. "He’s a good friend," she says with a big smile. "First and foremost he’s a really good, loyal friend. Fiercely loyal."

When I first met Aniston, she and Pitt were living together in a little house way up at the top of one of the Hollywood hills. It was a house that she bought years earlier, when she got that first Friends paycheck. I met her there one beautiful afternoon in May four years ago, and she was very obviously proud of the home and its conients—her things, her taste. At the time, she gamely showed me a framed black-and-white shot from her wedding day, which she referred to as their "Mrs. Robinson photograph" because it evoked the movie poster from The Graduate. As she gave me the tour, we went outside to look at the view from her small, grassy backyard and said. "It’s teeny, teeny, tiny, but it’s my favorite place in the world, up here. When the sun is setting. I have five little bunny rabbits that sit out on the lawn, and there are quail and hummingbirds. It’s a really special spot." When I interviewed her again a year and a half later, the couple had moved into their mansion in Beverly Hills, and Aniston was pained about the idea of having to sell her beloved bungalow.

Just before we meet up at ihe Beverly Hills Hotel. I read somewhere that she and Vaughn were now living together-in a little house in the Hollywood hills. At one point during our lunch I ask, Did you never sell that house?

"Where we met?" she says.

Yes. I say.

"No. I’m living there now," she says. "I never sold it. I couldn’t let it go."

You must be glad now. I say.

"Yeah!" she says, laughing. "Phew! Thank God for the sweet little things."

How are the bunny rabbits? I ask.

"Those ****ing rabbits," she says, laughing but not kidding. "They were cute at first. Look at the bunnies! And now there are 500 of them and you walk onto the grass and it’s just crunch, crunch, crunch. There’s rabbit **** everywhere. Those bunnies are the bane of my existence. I don’t know what they do, how they have the strength to gnaw through the wire we put up to cover the holes. It was like a National Geographic out there: the quail, the bunnies, my dog, Norman, killing all the birds."

When I ask Aniston what her plans for the future are, she answers me in a way that makes me realize she cannot think too far ahead. "I’m going on a ski trip with some friends in a couple of weeks. And then I’m going to do a little traveling, not sure where. Then I come back, and I start promoting Friends with Money and The Break-Up. And then hopefully I will have a greater idea of what I want to do work-wise."

When I push her to talk about her bigger future she says flatly, "I’m not going to talk about grand dreams, because those are mine, and if I don’t fulfill them then I’ll be really disappointed that I didn’t and that I stood on a soapbox and was like, I’m going to direct! And I’m going to produce! That’s why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I have a lot that I want to do, though." She pauses and then levels me with a look. "I do more than shop." More seriously, she says, "I have to find a house. I have find a home. I’m really looking forward to whatever that is. If I’m not settled, if I don’t have my home base, I can’t ground myself. It’s a good springboard, having a solid home. It’s one of my most important things—more important even than doing another movie is creating my home. Whatever that means. Whether it’s my family, my friends. Home."

Aniston has recently been making noises about the fact that she might have to get the hell out of Dodge—leave L.A.—if she is ever to rise above the circus that her life has become. "There is no Raid that has been invented to get rid of the paparazzi," she says. "But I think it’s going to hit a peak, and then it will start to equalize. It just has to. Isn’t that sort of the laws of something? Physics? What goes up must come down?" But even as she says this, she knows that it might be wise for her to move away for a while. "I want to get out of here because I walk around and I feel like I should just have the word CHUM written on my shirt. There’s something weird about the energy of this town. Don’t you just feel a little film of some kind that coats everything?"

Where would you go. I say?

"I don’t know," she says and then grows quiet. "I don’t know. But it also makes sense for me to leave. I can. I don’t have a day job. I don’t have Friends to go to. So I could live outside Los Angeles and fly in for work. That’s the freedom of what we do. It’s kind of exciting. There’s a menu of options."

As our lunch comes to an end, our waitress, whom Aniston knows from coming here and whom she seems to delight in, swings by to tell us that someone paid for our meal. Some two-bit talk-show host whom Aniston was interviewed by once years ago on a press junket. "Is he still here?" says Aniston. No, says the waitress, he left about a half-hour ago. "How odd," says Aniston. "It’s very odd. I don’t know how to take that. I don’t know what to do with something like that. I don’t know him."

Maybe you do need to leave L.A., I say.

"When you have virtual strangers buying your lunch," she says, "yes, I think it’s time."

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263 Comments

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# 1
chinnifer is pathetic @ 03/15/2006 at 2:17 am

shut up you ungrateful pathetic *****…how much of a foundation cake they slapped to your face and how many times they airbrush your fugly chin…go go away and disappear to the bermuda triangle you loser….pathetic *****….should ***** slap you around to reconfigure your fugly chin…..pheewww!@!

# 2

Wow she’s beautiful!

# 3
Anonymous @ 03/15/2006 at 2:33 am

She;’s gotten so thin, but gorgeous all the same. Love the red dress!

# 4

I’m pretty sure this is MEN’S VOGUE.You dorks must be reeeeally unattractive because if that’s your standard for beauty it is a desperate one. I have never seen Maniston look more manly. This is hysterically fugly!!

# 5
chinnifer is pathetic @ 03/15/2006 at 3:17 am

her fugly chin is so annoying….pretty??? my ass is pretty…shoot if i put foundation so thick like the chin has on my pretty ass….my ass is much more gorgeous than the fugly face of the chinnifer…..whiny whyneh …"dont make me a victim….it makes my skin crawls…i’m so tired of being part of this sick, twisted bermuda triangle”…what a pathetic ungratefful *****…”don’t feel sorry for me” what an addled buffoon…why don’t you just shut up eff….just go away and disappear to bermuda triangle you pathetic *****….!!!

# 6

My God! what the matter with you!?you know so much hatred can cause a heart attack! be careful.. take your medicine.. tsk tsk..

# 7

Did you guys check out the french manicure on her toes! Oh my God that’s funny. Is that concealer or spackle? Did you check out the bump in her dress? Maybe she’s really a man after all! Now I get the Maniston thing everyones been saying. That would help explain the giant chin too!

# 8
chinnifer is a pathetic bitch @ 03/15/2006 at 3:43 am

#6 sad…don’t feel sad….feel bad coz that ungrateful pathetic ***** is a pothead….and for medicine….my medicine is to ***** slap this pathetic ***** fugly chin!!

# 9

Are Hollywood running out of beautiful babes ? !! I can’t stand her her face in evry mag.

WHY TURN YOUR FACE AWAY FROM CAMERA IN ALL THE SHOOT ? DON’T TELL ME YOU ARE SHY ? OH I GET IT .. YOU LOOK BEST IN THAT ANGLE WITHOUT THE CHIN

at least she finally said something to the effect of I adimre people who do humanitarian work. It’s not my thing though. She could have really made us think better of her though and said " I shouldn’t have made fun of people for doing humanitarian work, that was wrong of me and I apologize. I was emotional about him moving on so quickly and said things I shouldn’t have." That is what she needs to say to make me think any better of her. You know a real apology. Not some half ass remark, but the real deal.

Oh, Buddha, the spin job of the aftermath of the pity party continues into 2006. I haven’t read the article yet so I’ll reserve comments aout it for now. BTW, thanks Jared for providing an easy reading and access format to the article. In the meantime, folks check out Pity Party part infinitum with an article in Good Housekeeping, March 2006, where she sends her sentinels to once again do a snow job on the lemmings. Uggh, it’s barely 3 months into the year and she’s already racking up more magazine covers than Oprah on O magazine. Yet again, we get the cover headline of "Her big risk, her baby plans, and why she still believes in happily ever after." http://p099.ezboard.com/fjjboardfrm12.showMessage?topicID=107218.topicHer friends are now bending over backwards to paint Jennifer as the well-recovered survivor (to what? divorce?) to contrast to the wounded Jennifer of the opening act aka Vanity Fair (where’s Kristin Hahn hiding now?). Take note of Jennifer’s main spinmeister, her makeup artist-friend: Levin: "I think no matter who you are, whether you go through something like a divorce, it’s a shock on your heart, and it tends to show on your face. And yet Jennifer hardly needed any makeup to look amazing."Hell, are we looking at the same face that’s she’s been showing at the Sundance festival and lately? "I do some of her skin treatments, at her house, and she enjoys them. But she doesn’t need a lot–her skin is lovely–and because we’re friends, it’s also a social event." "Jennifer has an amazing ability to see the bright side of things," "She has a very healthy, positive outlook on life, and it really does show. I think the beauty secret for a lot of women is happiness–it shows on your face." Okay, it must be the school of thought that if you say it enough, the masses will believe it from fatigue of repetition. These days, Jennifer could probably write a book on how to handle life’s rough patches with class. How much back-scratching did Steven do for that brown-nosing?

Her smile looks strained on the new cover. She looked happier on the older cover.

Okay, it must be the school of thought that if you say it enough, the masses will believe it from fatigue of repetition.Those words in italics in my #12 post were accidentally italicized; they are my own and not from the article. As a refresher, I will post up the Vanity Fair article in my following post.

VANITY FAIR, September 2004The Unsinkable Jennifer AnistonBy LESLIE BENNETTSWhen Jennifer Aniston opens the door to the Malibu bungalow she’s been holed up in lately, she gives me a radiant smile and an effusive hello.Then she bursts into tears.We have scarcely sat down in the living room, a serene little haven simply furnished with cushy white sofas and white flowers and white candles, when her face crumples. She is instantly aghast."I haven’t been feeling emotional lately, really I haven’t," she wails, fluttering her hands like Rachel Green in distress, except that this time it isn’t funny.Other than the 24-hour security detail guarding her safety, Aniston is all alone in the modest rental where she has camped out while dealing with the end of her marriage to Brad Pitt—and its devastating aftermath, which has been far worse than the actual split. The last few months have brought an endless nightmare of hurtful headlines about her soon-to-be-ex-husband, along with blatantly fraudulent stories about herself, in the tabloids and supermarket gossip magazines. Pursued around the clock by the rabid paparazzi she refers to as "ratzies," she is ambushed even on her own deck by photographers who lurk on the beach outside her door, spying on her every move.As she squeezes her eyes shut in an effort to stop crying, the scene provides a painful contrast with the last time we met. Little more than a year ago, I interviewed Pitt at the Beverly Hills mansion that he and Aniston had just spent two years renovating. A testament to both his passion for architecture and the couple’s hopeful vision of their shared future, the beautiful old house awaited only a baby in a bassinet to complete a picture-perfect existence.When I left, they both walked me out to my car. Their home, its windows lit and welcoming, glowed in the twilight. As we said our good-byes, Pitt and Aniston leaned together in the driveway, arms twined around each other. Her head rested trustingly on his buff chest, still pumped up from his rigorous training to play the warrior Achilles in Troy.They seemed the most fortunate couple imaginable—two beautiful superstars who had hit the jackpot, earning not only fame and riches but also an enduring love. Their fans had long been captivated by the romance of America’s Sweetheart and the Sexiest Man in the World, and now they were ready to begin a thrilling new chapter. Aniston’s 10-year run on Friends was ending, and she and Pitt had vowed to start a family when her stupendously successful television series was finished.Pitt’s final words to me reinforced the impression of connubial bliss: "I’m happier than I’ve ever been." But the ensuing months brought an onslaught of rumors that he had gotten involved with Angelina Jolie while filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Instead of the joyful announcement many had anticipated from the Pitts, there was only silence. The New Year began with photographs of the beautiful couple strolling hand in hand along the beach on Anguilla, looking relaxed and happy. Immediately the buzz shifted into rhapsodic re-appraisals of the state of their union.And then came the oh-so-civilized announcement, on January 7, that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were separating—that their parting was "the result of much thoughtful consideration," that it was not caused by "any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media," and that they would remain "committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another."If Pitt had kept a low profile in the months to come, that might even have turned out to be true. Instead, the ominous drumroll of gossip began to crescendo as he and Jolie rendezvoused in exotic locales, still denying that they were an item. With the paparazzi snapping away, Pitt stepped into what looked suspiciously like a paternal role with Jolie’s adopted Cambodian son, Maddox."It was extremely hurtful to Jen that he was seen with another woman so quickly after they were separated," says Andrea Bendewald, an actress who has been one of Aniston’s closest friends since they were teenagers.Instead of being reviled as The Other Woman, Jolie posed for pictures on an energetic round of appearances as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations—and then trumped even that public-relations bonanza by adopting another orphan, an African girl whose parents had died of AIDS. In the blink of an eye, the twice-divorced Jolie—previously known as a tattooed vixen with a taste for bisexuality, heroin, brotherly incest, mental institutions, and wearing her husbands’ blood—had morphed into a globe-trotting humanitarian who seemed to be channeling Audrey Hepburn.For the 36-year-old Aniston, who had expected to spend the past year being pregnant, the pain of watching this spectacle unfold was compounded by vicious rumors about herself. As misogynist as they were false, sensationalistic stories claimed the real reason the marriage ended was that Aniston refused to have Pitt’s baby because she was so ambitious she cared only about her career.Even now, that sexist slur makes her face darken. "A man divorcing would never be accused of choosing career over children," she says. "That really pissed me off. I’ve never in my life said I didn’t want to have children. I did and I do and I will! The women that inspire me are the ones who have careers and children; why would I want to limit myself? I’ve always wanted to have children, and I would never give up that experience for a career. I want to have it all."Aniston’s intimates note acidly that Pitt could have done more to refute the mean-spirited rumor that his wife wouldn’t bear his child, which reinforced the impression that he had good cause to leave her for Earth Mother Jolie. To some, this looks like sheer hypocrisy."When Brad and Jen were in the marriage, having a baby was not his priority—ever," says one mutual friend. "It was an abstract desire for him, whereas for Jen it was much more immediate. So is there a part of Brad that’s diabolical? Did he think, I need to get out of this marriage, but I want to come out smelling like a rose, so I’m going to let Jen be cast as the ultra-feminist and I’m going to get cast as the poor husband who couldn’t get a baby and so had to move on?"As the image wars raged in the gossip media, a heartbroken Aniston retreated to her Malibu hideaway to lick her wounds in private, accompanied only by her elderly corgi-terrier mix, Norman, who spends most of his time snoring on his dog bed. Public sympathy seemed to be on her side; the Hollywood boutique Kitson reported that its "Team Aniston" T-shirts were outselling "Team Jolie" T-shirts by a margin of 25 to 1. But that was cold comfort as Aniston was assaulted by one provocation after another.When the Pitts split up, Brad insisted he hadn’t slept with Jolie, and Aniston accepted his denial. "She wasn’t naïve," says Kristin Hahn, an executive at the Pitts’ production company, Plan B. "She’s not suggesting she didn’t know there was an enchantment, and a friendship. But Brad was saying, ‘This is not about another woman.’"The moment he and Aniston separated, however, he re-emerged in what looked like a full-blown affair with Jolie. Struggling to accept a separation she never wanted, Aniston found that the "facts" she had been told kept shifting like quicksand beneath her feet. When I ask about that gracious, no-one-is-to-blame announcement of their separation, she takes a deep breath. "What we said was true—"As I raise my eyebrows, she pauses for a moment, and then adds carefully, "—as far as I knew. We wrote it together, very consciously, and felt very good about it. We exited this relationship as beautifully as we entered it."All Aniston wanted then was to figure out what happened; how did the happy life they’d planned drift so far off course? But everything changed on April 29, when photographs broke of Brad and Angelina frolicking on the beach with Maddox at a romantic resort in Africa. "The world was shocked, and I was shocked," she says, still bending over backward not to excoriate her ex.But to say that this news was like pouring salt in the wound would understate its impact considerably; how about pouring molten lava into the hole where somebody ripped your heart out?And then things got worse.The skies over Los Angeles are uncharacteristically gray today, and the . shimmers with an opalescent sheen. Although the weather is gloomy, the ocean is calm; waves lap gently at the shoreline, making a soft shushing sound that Aniston has found very soothing lately."That’s quite a backyard, in my opinion," she says as we stand on her deck, watching the hypnotic rhythm of the waves. "Just being able to go to the water’s edge and scream—"She grins. "Not too loudly. You don’t want people to think that you’re crazy. But it can be very cathartic."She is wearing a white tank top and white drawstring linen pants, with a vivid lavender cashmere cardiwrap around her to ward off the unseasonable chill. Formidably toned by yoga, her body is in superb shape, but despite her tanned skin and megawatt smile she looks fragile and wan.She remains resolutely upbeat nonetheless, casting her current situation in the most positive light possible. "It’s beautiful here; I love it," she says. "I’ve always wanted to have a little Malibu beach house, and it feels good. I’m enjoying simplifying things."Although the bungalow was dark and depressing when she first saw it, a quickie makeover has transformed it into a cozy sanctuary that’s far more representative of Aniston’s personal taste than the showplace she and Pitt shared, where the décor seemed all hard edges and unforgiving materials. "Brad and I used to joke that every piece of furniture was either a museum piece or just uncomfortable," Aniston says. "He definitely had his sense of style, and I definitely have my sense of style, and sometimes they clashed. I wasn’t so much into modern."I mention Nicole Kidman’s quip after splitting up with Tom Cruise, when she was asked what she looked forward to in her new life without the diminutive husband who had abruptly ended their marriage. "Wearing high heels again," Kidman retorted.So I ask Aniston—who filed for divorce on March 25 and expects it to become final this fall—what she’s enjoying about being on her own. "I can have a comfortable couch," she says with a wry smile.In the tabloids and celebrity gossip magazines, the soap-opera version of her life continues to hurtle along like a runaway express train, rushing Aniston through major life stages with ludicrous speed: Jen Is Devastated! Jen Is Furious! Jen Gets Revenge! Jen Has a New Man! Jen Is Over Brad! Most of the stories are wrong. (No, Oprah didn’t try to get Brad and Jen back together; no, Jen is not romantically involved with Vince Vaughn, her co-star in The Break-Up, a comedy about a separating couple who continue to live together, which they shot in Chicago over the summer.)Other reports are just idiotically simpleminded, breathlessly advancing a plot that bears little resemblance to the long, complex, painful experience of getting over a divorce. While the tabloids insist on dividing Aniston’s emotions into neat, distinct chapters, the reality is that pain and denial and anger and resignation all blur together, sometimes at the same moment—and the lengthy process of mourning is nowhere near over."There are many stages of grief," she says. "It’s sad, something coming to an end. It cracks you open, in a way—cracks you open to feeling. When you try to avoid the pain, it creates greater pain. I’m a human being, having a human experience in front of the world. I wish it weren’t in front of the world. I try really hard to rise above it."Aniston is struggling to find a deeper meaning in the debacle. "I have to think there’s some reason I have called this into my life," she says. "I have to believe that—otherwise it’s just cruel."Her friends are filled with admiration for the way she’s handled the whole mess. "This woman is basically having a root canal without anesthesia, but she’s really trying not to numb the pain or shove it under the rug," says Hahn. "She’s grown so much, and she continues to grow on a daily basis, because every time you think, ‘Well, I’ve dealt with this,’ there’s another hurdle to get over. It’s a bit Job-like at the moment."Aniston’s response has been to retreat into her cocoon, "in an effort to take care of myself and my heart," she says. "I feel like I’m nesting. I love being home. I have friends that come over. My girlfriends I’ve had for 20 years. When things happen, the tribe gathers around and lifts you up. I’ve had lonely moments, sure, but I’m also enjoying being alone. There’s no question it takes getting used to; I’m a partnership person, and if something happens your instinct is to share it—but you’re no longer part of a couple. I definitely miss that. It’s sort of like Bambi—like you’re trying to learn how to walk. You’re a little awkward; you stumble a little bit. The things you would do with your partner, you don’t do. It’s uncharted territory, but I think it’s good for me to be a solo person right now. You’re forced to re-discover yourself and take it to another level. If you can find a way to see the glass half full, these are the moments when you learn the most. I’ve had to re-introduce myself to myself in a way that’s different."She doesn’t downplay the difficulties. "Am I lonely? Yes. Am I upset? Yes. Am I confused? Yes. Do I have my days when I’ve thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely. But I’m also doing really well," she says. "I’ve got an unbelievable support team, and I’m a tough cookie.… I believe in therapy; I think it’s an incredible tool in educating the self on the self. I feel very strong. I’m really proud of how I’ve conducted myself."A crucial part of Aniston’s strategy has been to ignore the putrid stew of rumor, speculation, and outright falsehood in the tabloid media. "It’s been very important for me not to read anything, not to see anything," she says. "It’s been my saving grace. That stuff is just toxic for me right now. I probably avoided a lot of suffering by not engaging in it, not reading, not watching."She gestures toward Norman, who has roused himself for a moment to check on his mistress’s whereabouts. "It’s like those dog cones," she says, encircling her neck as if putting on one of the plastic cones prescribed by vets to prevent dogs from scratching their ears. "I have my imaginary dog cone on, so I don’t see anything. It just allows for a much more peaceful life."Nevertheless, as Pitt publicly flaunted the instant family he had created with Jolie, the tableaux of their newfound togetherness were humiliating. "I would be a robot if I said I didn’t feel moments of anger, of hurt, of embarrassment," Aniston acknowledges.But she tries to keep the lurid details to herself. "She is grieving, but she’s taken the high road," says Bendewald. "She’s mourning the death of a marriage, and she’s done it very privately. She can have her moments of rage, but she doesn’t want to out him, and that keeps her heart clear. She’s not bad-mouthing him. She doesn’t want to make him the villain and her the victim."Indeed, Aniston vehemently rejects the interpretation that she was left for another woman. "I don’t feel like a victim," she says. "I’ve worked with this therapist for a long time, and her major focus is that you get one day of being a victim—and that’s it. Then we take responsibility for our own input. To live in a victim place is pointing a finger at someone else, as if you have no control. Relationships are two people; everyone is accountable. A lot goes into a relationship coming together, and a lot goes into a relationship falling apart. She’d say, ‘Even if it’s 98 percent the other person’s fault, it’s 2 percent yours, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.’ You can only clean up your side of the street."These days, one index of recovery is the fact that Aniston’s sardonic humor is resurfacing. When I tell her that my 13-year-old son is a big fan of hers, she doesn’t miss a beat. "Is he single?" she asks, deadpan.She’ll toss off a crack about Pitt’s startling transformation into a punky bleached blond. "Billy Idol called—he wants his look back," she murmurs with a sly smile.By now she can even talk about those gut-wrenching photos of Jolie and Pitt in Kenya with mordant resignation rather than tears. "I can’t say it was one of the highlights of my year," she says. "Who would deal with that and say, ‘Isn’t that sweet! That looks like fun!’? But S*** happens. You joke and say, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’"She sighs. "I feel like I’ve earned a superpower shield," she says. Then, afraid of sounding grandiose, she adds, "I’m not comparing my suffering to other people’s suffering. Everybody has their own."Aniston’s friends were particularly horrified by W magazine’s 60-page photo spread featuring Pitt and Jolie as an early-1960s-style married couple with a brood of miniature blond Brads. "You want to shake the S*** out of him and say, ‘Your timing sucks!’" says one. "He’s made some choices that have been tremendously insensitive."The W feature, which was entitled "Domestic Bliss," couldn’t be blamed on the paparazzi; not only did Pitt conceptualize it, but he retained the international rights, so he actually profited from it. Aniston’s eyes widen in surprise when I mention that last fact, and she grimaces. "I didn’t know that," she says. But she refuses to indulge herself in an angry reaction. "Is it odd timing? Yeah. But it’s not my life," she says. "He makes his choices. He can do—whatever. We’re divorced, and you can see why."She shakes her head in exasperation. "I can also imagine Brad having absolutely no clue why people would be appalled by it," she adds. "Brad is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face. In hindsight, I can see him going, ‘Oh—I can see that that was inconsiderate.’ But I know Brad. Brad would say, ‘That’s art!’"She rolls her eyes, pretending to screw something into her forehead. "There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing," she says.Aniston’s friends are amazed at her willingness to give Pitt the benefit of the doubt, but they basically agree with her assessment. "I don’t think he was trying to hurt Jen," says Courteney Cox, Aniston’s dear friend and former co-star on Friends. "I don’t think that Brad is malicious, or a liar. The W thing was his idea, but I don’t think he thought that one through, about what it would look like to anyone else."Although Aniston remains determined not to lash out, she sometimes questions her own restraint. "Why am I protecting him?" she exclaimed to one friend, only to continue with what she sees as the dignified course of action."I’m not interested in taking public potshots," she explains. "It’s not my concern anymore. What happened to him after the separation—it’s his life now. I’ve made a conscious effort not to add to the toxicity of this situation. I haven’t retaliated. I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t have a halo that I’m polishing here; everyone has their personal thoughts. But I would much rather everyone move on. I am not defined by this relationship. I am not defined by the part they’re making me play in the triangle. It’s maddening to me. But I had a mom who was very angry about her divorce, and made shots, and I don’t want to play that out. If people are frustrated that I don’t want to do that, I’m sorry. I’m figuring this out as I go along. This is my first time at this particular picnic."As befits a storybook tale, the Pitts’ marriage was the first for both of them, and some of Aniston’s fondest memories are from the time they shared before the world discovered their romance. "We had so much fun falling in love," she says wistfully. "It was so private; we kept it to ourselves for so long. It was something we were really proud of."But after the relationship became public, it was always difficult to reconcile their mythic image with the quotidian reality of their private life, which was more likely to involve watching television, ordering takeout, and having close friends over than swanning around on red carpets."We were put on a pedestal, but we were just a couple like anybody else," Aniston says. "When we were home, we’d watch the shows we loved, and one time there was this program called It’s Good to Be Brad and Jen. It was all about us going to Scotland and Greece and having our matching S.U.V.’s, and it wasn’t my life—I’d never even been to some of these places, but even I got sucked in. We’re sitting there saying, ‘Yeah, boy, it sure must be good to be Brad and Jen!’ So is it our responsibility to demystify this, to say, ‘This is not what it’s like—it’s not that fabulous, not that great’? There’s no doubt our life is fortunate, but … "But even golden couples struggle with the formidable challenges of marriage. "It’s like the ebb and flow of every relationship," Aniston says. "It’s hard; it gets easy; it gets fun again. What’s hard to sustain is some ideal that it’s perfect. That’s ridiculous. What’s fantastic about marriage is getting through those ebbs and flows with the same person, and looking across the room and saying, ‘I’m still here. And I still love you.’ You re-meet, reconnect. You have marriages within marriages within marriages. That’s what I love about marriage. That’s what I want in marriage. It’s unfortunate, but we live in a very disposable society. Those moments where it looks like ‘Uh-oh, this isn’t working!’—those are the most important, transformative moments. Most couples draw up divorce papers when they’re missing out on an amazing moment of deepening and enlightenment and connection."She sighs heavily and turns away to light a Merit cigarette. "That’s not Brad’s view of it," she says, glum again. "We believe in different things, I guess. You can’t force a relationship, even if it’s your view of how you would like it to be conducted. Obviously two people leave a relationship because there’s a different thought pattern happening. My goal is to try and achieve a very deep, committed relationship. That’s what I’m interested in, but it’s someone’s prerogative to be or not to be in or out of a relationship.""I think Jen wanted to work it out, and I don’t think he wanted to work it out," Andrea Bendewald observes. "I don’t think he knew what he wanted."Nevertheless, Aniston has only kind words about her marriage. "I still feel so lucky to have experienced it. I wouldn’t know what I know now if I hadn’t been married to Brad," she says. "I love Brad; I really love him. I will love him for the rest of my life. He’s a fantastic man. I don’t regret any of it, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it. We spent seven very intense years together; we taught each other a lot—about healing, and about fun. We helped each other through a lot, and I really value that. It was a beautiful, complicated relationship. The sad thing, for me, is the way it’s been reduced to a Hollywood cliché—or maybe it’s just a human cliché. I have a lot of compassion for everyone going through this."As for what went wrong, Aniston rejects any simplistic explanation. "It’s just complicated," she says. "Relationships are complicated, whether they’re friendships or business relationships or parent relationships. I don’t think anybody in a marriage gets to a point where they feel like ‘We’ve got it!’ You’re two people continually evolving, and there will be times when those changes clash. There are all these levels of growth—and when you stop growing together, that’s when the problems happen."Friends say that it was always difficult for Aniston and Pitt to maintain the intimacy they craved while juggling their demanding work schedules, which often required long separations. Those tensions notwithstanding, Aniston believed her marriage was the real thing. "We both did," she says.So what happened? "I think—it changed," she says haltingly. "We both changed."She sighs again. "You do the best you can, and I think we did. We did the best we could."Both of them? She looks me straight in the eye. "Both parties," she says.But nagging questions remain about Pitt’s conduct during the months leading up to their separation. "She was committed to the marriage," says Bendewald. "He wanted to figure out who he was and what he wanted, but he seemed to want to do it without being married. She wanted him to figure out what he wanted and stay married. He didn’t think he could do that, so at that point she was like, ‘O.K., go figure it out.’"Throughout that period, Pitt insisted that his relationship with Jolie was not the cause of his marital discontent, but his actions since the separation have suggested otherwise."I just don’t know what happened," Aniston admits. "There’s a lot I don’t understand, a lot I don’t know, and probably never will know, really. So I choose to take away with me as much integrity and dignity and respect for what that relationship was as I can. I feel as if I’m trying to scrounge around and pick up the pieces in the midst of this media circus."Does she buy Brad’s claim that he didn’t cheat on her before they separated? "I choose to believe my husband," Aniston says. "At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised by anything, but I would much rather choose to believe him."Their friends are still trying to parse what happened with Jolie. "I don’t think he started an affair physically, but I think he was attracted to her," says Courteney Cox, who vacationed with her husband, David Arquette, and the Pitts on Anguilla just before they announced their separation. "There was a connection, and he was honest about that with Jen. Most of the time, when people are attracted to other people, they don’t tell. At least he was honest about it. It was an attraction that he fought for a period of time."He may have been fighting it, but Pitt virtually checked out of his marriage as soon as he began working with Jolie, according to Aniston’s intimates. "He was gone," says one.Aniston has met Jolie only once, when she took a passing opportunity to say hello. "It was on the lot of Friends—I pulled over and introduced myself," Aniston recalls. "I said, ‘Brad is so excited about working with you. I hope you guys have a really good time.’"But he soon became emotionally unavailable to his wife, at a time when she needed him desperately. Pitt’s withdrawal coincided with the end of Friends, which Aniston experienced as a huge loss. "That was really painful. It was a family, and I don’t do great with families splitting up," says Aniston, who was deeply wounded by her parents’ bitter divorce, which happened when she was 9. "It was hard to have such a wonderful constant in your life, a place to go every day, and then all of a sudden it’s not there."When she reached out for her husband’s support, she didn’t get it. "He just wasn’t there for me," she says.To the amazement of Aniston’s friends, Pitt didn’t even show up for the final taping of Friends."He was working," she says, still defending him, even though movie stars have been known to request changes in a shooting schedule to accommodate events that are important to them.Although she isn’t talking to Pitt these days, Aniston remains in regular contact with his mother, whom she loves dearly, and she doesn’t rule out a better relationship with Brad in the future. "I really do hope that someday we can be friends again," she says.She certainly doesn’t regret her four-and-a-half-year marriage—not even the million-dollar wedding with 50,000 flowers, a 40-member gospel choir, a Greek bouzouki band, and fireworks exploding over the .. ("It was fantastic!" she says.) But she does have other regrets."There’s a lot I would probably do differently," she says. "I’d take more vacations—getting away from work, enjoying each other in different environments. But there was always something preventing it; either he was working or I was."She made more profound mistakes as well. "I wouldn’t give over so much of myself, which I did at times," she admits. "It was that thing about being a nurturer; I love taking care of people, and I definitely put his needs before mine sometimes. It’s seamless; somewhere along the way, you sort of lose yourself. You just don’t know when it happens. It’s such an insidious thing, you don’t really see where it started—and where you ended. There’s no one to blame but yourself. I’ve always been that way in relationships, even with my mom. It’s not the healthiest. I feel like I’ve broken the pattern now. I’ll never let myself down like that again. I feel like my sense of self is being strengthened because of it."Aniston’s unhappy family history colored her experience of marriage from the outset. "I come from a fighting family, and I had a tough time arguing," she says. "Fighting scared me. I wouldn’t speak up for myself. That’s something I’ve learned; I will always speak my mind."In recent months, the process of healing from the breakup with Brad has also created a new openness to healing relations with her mother. Their estrangement began nearly a decade ago, when Nancy Aniston gossiped about Jennifer on a television show, and worsened when she tried to cash in on Jennifer’s fame by writing an appalling book called From Mother and Daughter to Friends. Jennifer severed all contact, but she is now re-assessing their relationship."We’ve exchanged messages," she says. "Our doors are open. We’re taking baby steps. It’s a good thing."Although Aniston incurred criticism for distancing herself from her mother, who did not attend her wedding, she offers no apologies. "I feel pretty good about the choices I’ve made. The choice of not speaking to Mom for a while—that’s ours. Nobody else has to understand it. The same thing with Brad and myself," she says. "I wouldn’t change my childhood, I wouldn’t change my heartaches, I wouldn’t change my successes. I wouldn’t change any of it, because I really love who I am, and am continuing to become."Besides, it’s all in the past," she adds. "This doesn’t kill you. You move on. You can’t let the devastation of a divorce take over and win—let it make you this bitter, closed-off, angry, skeptical person. Then you’re just falling victim to it. You don’t want to shut your heart down. You don’t want to feel that when a marriage ends, your life is over. You can survive anything. Compared to what other people are surviving out there in the world, this is not so bad, in the grand scheme of things. Human endurance is unbelievable. Think of what mothers of soldiers have to rise above! Everything’s relative."She looks down at her firm, fit body. "Nothing’s broke," she says.Catching the quizzical look on my face, she concedes, "Maybe a little bruised."A few weeks later, on a stiflingly hot day in Chicago, Aniston and I are sitting in her hotel suite looking out on Lake Michigan, which is studded with little white boats. I’ve just told her about the gossip magazine that says she’s registered here as "Mrs. Smith." The report claims Aniston is taking perverse pleasure in making hotel staffers address her as Mrs. Smith, even though they know perfectly well who she is.The only problem with this amusing tidbit is that it’s not true. "I wish I’d thought of it," says Aniston, who is registered under an entirely different, although equally humorous, name.Despite her vow of abstinence, she succumbed to a celebrity magazine the other evening—and immediately regretted it. "I feel like I’ve fallen off the wagon," she moans. Unfortunately, the first publication she picked up featured an insult from Kimberly Stewart, Rod’s party-girl daughter. "She said I’m homely," Aniston says. "It literally ruined my night. I got my feelings very hurt, actually. That was my instant Karma."She has always fretted about her appearance, although that is often hard for others to believe. Posing for her Vanity Fair cover shoot, Aniston was equally fetching in French-dance-hall-girl black stockings and in a half-open oversize shirt that evoked every man’s favorite just-rolled-out-of-bed look. With her tousled hair, cobalt-blue eyes, and dazzling smile, she seemed the ultimate adorable sexpot. Far from pining away in seclusion, she appeared to be sending a far more spirited message—like "Eat your heart out, Brad!"But Aniston has never been able to reconcile the glamorous Jen on page or screen with the self-doubting woman she sees in the mirror, and the current tabloid coverage has exacerbated that gap. "It’s literally two different people—the real me, and the ‘Jen’ they write about, ‘fighting back,’ ‘getting revenge’—everything I couldn’t be farther from wanting to do," she says. "So I’m back on the wagon."When she arrived in Chicago to film The Break-Up, the gossip media, frantic for a new development, immediately plunged her into a torrid romance with her co-star, Vince Vaughn. This affair apparently does not exist."I adore Vince Vaughn, but I’m not going out with Vince Vaughn," she says. "I barely know the guy. We’ve exchanged a wine-and-cheese basket for the start of the movie, and we’ve gone out to dinner with the director and other people. We’ve got to get to know each other."But is Aniston seeing him—or anyone else? "Nobody," she says firmly. "I like a lot of people, but I am sooo not ‘in like’ with anybody. I am really enjoying being by myself. I’m excited that I know there’s somebody out there for me, but I am absolutely in no rush. This is all very fresh, very new. This was a seven-year relationship that was very dear, very complicated, very special. I need to honor it."Aside from her initial flurry of tears, Aniston remains calm and thoughtful through hours of conversation with me over the course of several weeks. But there is one final topic to be addressed, and it’s the most hurtful of all. The rumor that Jolie is pregnant with Pitt’s child has swept around the world; some reports even have her finishing her first trimester.When I ask Aniston about that, she looks as if I’ve stabbed her in the heart. Her eyes well up and spill over. Several long minutes go by as the tears keep rolling down her cheeks; she bites her lip, seemingly unable to speak. Finally she shakes her head; this subject is simply too excruciating to discuss."My worst fear is that Jen will have to face them having a baby together soon, because that would be beyond beyond painful," says Kristin Hahn.Fortunately, there are many other things to keep Aniston occupied these days. Although she took some time off after Friends ended, she has since shot several movies, and the coming months will bring a series of premieres. First up is Derailed, a thriller starring Aniston and Clive Owen as two married strangers who meet on a train and arrange a hotel-room tryst—only to have an armed man burst in, rape the woman, and beat the man and blackmail him, setting off a horrific chain of events. The film will make adultery look about as appealing as Fatal Attraction did, according to Aniston: "It will be one of those movies you leave and say, ‘The affair thing? Maybe not!’"Then there’s Rumor Has It, whose plot revolves around a young reporter’s conviction that The Graduate was based on her family, and that she herself is adopted. Mark Ruffalo plays her fiancé, and Shirley MacLaine is the Mrs. Robinson character, with Kevin Costner as the Benjamin Braddock who may or may not be Aniston’s father.Yet another upcoming film is Friends with Money, in which Aniston portrays a pothead maid whose friends—played by Catherine Keener, Joan Cusack, and Frances McDormand—are all married and far more successful in life.Aniston is also re-evaluating her future role at Plan B, the production company she formed with Pitt and Brad Grey, who has since become chairman of Paramount. Pitt is now assuming the lead role at Plan B, but Aniston says she will still produce movies through the company."I’m excited about what the future holds," she says. "I’m not a fortune-teller; I have no idea how it will play out. People say, ‘What are you going to do?’ I don’t know. I kind of love that not knowing."She is trying to outgrow some youthful illusions. Prince Charming let her down, and Aniston no longer believes in one true love. "I think there are many people, many soul mates," she says.But she still has faith in the redeeming power of love itself. "It’s out there," she says. "It will happen. There’s an amazing man that’s wandering the streets right now who’s the father of my children. In five years I would hope to be married and have a kid. I still believe in marriage 100 percent. When I hear people say that they would never do it again, it’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Why would you ever close your heart down?"She gives me a sheepish smile. "Maybe it’s a fairy tale, but I believe in happily ever after."

I don’t know how Brad Pitt tolerate this self-absorbed, selfish, manibulator ***** for 7 years ?

yu guyz are really ridiculous yu guyz know what read the article properly and make sure yu understasnd english and can see properly before yu do because thtre is nothing she would do or say that will pleae yu guyz get a life people if yu do not like her guess what do not say anything she did not beg yu did she just get a life guyz and stop slating her i admire her for being honest about the things she was asked about and do yu know what the pictures are very good a little touching but every magazine pictues has that leave her alone please it is becoming more like a delibereate attempt to just pull her down but too late for that guyz she has made it and she has helped people along the way with her donations and by the way she did ot say she does like donating and she did not say she will never travel to countries but she said when it is more authentic she will let us face it if she strats now yu guyz will say she is just petending won’t you

THANKS JEN, YOU ROCK! AND IGNORE THE GUY POSTING AGAIN AND AGAIN ON THIS PAGE – HE IS A DIE HARD BRAD FAN! GOOD TO KNOW THAT BRAD HAS AT LEASE 1 FAN. BUT YET AGAIN, WHO CARES???

omg. she’s lovely.

Can’t she just go away already?

Drop Dead Robby @ 03/15/2006 at 5:02 am

Robby’s just jealous that Brad makes more money in one day then white trash Robby will make in his entire life.Brad also get better ***** than Robby too, and that kills Robby.

They totally airbrushed her chin on cover page. If she’s not covering her face with her hair, she would pose in an angle so we won’t see her face.So helping the needy is not her thing and itdoesn’t interest her. She said it herself.’It’s just not my thing. It’s not what interests me’.

she’s gorgeous, wow ! one of the best actresses of our age …she just needs the good parts ! YOU GO GIRL !

Shoot! They airbrushed those pictures so much you barely recognize her. I guess that’s a good thing because when she’s au natural like those posted from Aspen, it’s crackhead Bob

She's fine @ 03/15/2006 at 7:46 am

She did say that didn’t she? She wasn’t interested in helping the less fortunate. I guess those stories were true how she humilated Brad in front of his friends by telling him he was going be going by himself to Africa because she was staying in Beverly Hills. Worst thing she could of said in print, that as a celebrity with all her money that she could care less about helping the less fortunate. She thinks it’s great that other people do it, but she has no desire. Man, she’s selfish

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