Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston announced their separation in February 2018 after more than two years of marriage. Then Theroux stayed silent on the matter for several months. But now he has finally revealed the details behind their break-up – and what he had to say might come as a surprise.
Theroux came into the world on August 10, 1971, in Washington, D.C., and he joined an illustrious family. You see, writers Alexander, Joseph and Peter Theroux are his uncles, and Louis and Marcel Theroux, now famed for their documentaries, are his cousins. But from his high school days in Massachusetts, where he attended Buxton School in Williamstown, Theroux was only interested in pursuing acting.
Theroux, now 47, studied drama and visual arts at Bennington College and landed his first film role a few years after graduating. This was in 1996’s I Shot Andy Warhol. He then went on to star in movies such as Mulholland Drive, American Psycho and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. More recently, he played the leading character in HBO TV series The Leftovers, which ran from 2014 to 2017.
Throughout much of his career, Theroux dated stylist Heidi Bivens for 14 years. But the couple went their separate ways in 2011 – the same year that the actor reportedly started his relationship with Jennifer Aniston. At that time, you see, Theroux and Aniston had been working together for the 2012 big-screen comedy Wanderlust.
As for Aniston, well, she was born on February 11, 1969, in Sherman Oaks, California. Her father, John, has starred on the TV soap Days of Our Lives since 1985, and her late mother, Nancy Dow, was also an actress. And like Theroux, Aniston discovered a passion for acting as a child. She then attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
After some smaller parts, Aniston got her big break when she landed the role of Rachel Green on Friends. The sitcom ran for ten years until 2004 and earned its place in the pantheon of TV’s most famous and best-loved comedy shows. Since then, the 49-year-old has done her fair share of romantic comedies and branched out with some more dramatic work.
On a personal level, Aniston was married to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005. They separated after he filmed Mr. & Mrs. Smith with Angelina Jolie, whom he later married. Aniston then dated Vince Vaughn and John Mayer before finding love with Theroux.
The couple actually got engaged in August 2012 after over a year of dating. They wed at their $22 million Bel-Air mansion three years later. But in February 2018, following a little more than two years as husband and wife, the stars confirmed that they had separated at the end of the previous year.
“In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation,” they said in a joint statement. “This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.”
The statement continued, “Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”
Afterwards, Theroux and Aniston mostly stayed silent about the breakdown of their marriage. Aniston did, however, attempt to quell further speculation during an interview in August 2018 with InStyle magazine. “With all due respect, I’m not heartbroken,” she said.
Aniston added, “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.”
The star also admitted that she’s frustrated with people wondering why she hasn’t had a baby. “There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they’re deemed damaged goods,” Aniston said. “Maybe my purpose on this planet isn’t to procreate. Maybe I have other things I’m supposed to do?”
Theroux then decided to open up for the first time about the details behind their split. In September 2018, in fact, The New York Times published an interview with the actor. And in it he insisted that there were no hard feelings between himself and Aniston.
“The good news is that was probably the most – I’m choosing my words really carefully – it was kind of the most gentle separation, in that there was no animosity. In a weird way, just sort of navigating the inevitable perception of it is the exhausting part,” he told The New York Times. “Neither one of us is dead, neither one of us is looking to throw hatchets at each other. It’s more like, it’s amicable.”
Theroux added, “It’s boring, but, you know, we respected each other enough that it was as painless as it could be. It was heartbreaking only in the sense that the friendship would not be the same, as far as just the day-to-day. But the friendship is shifting and changing, you know, so that part is something that we’re both very proud of.”
Yet after the newspaper published the interview, commenters weighed in on what he had to say. “It looks like one wanted to live in L.A. and one wanted to live in NYC. Can’t stay together when you can’t even agree on where to live,” one person shared on a related Daily Mail article. Another added, “I haven’t heard anyone gently splitting before. For one of the party it was probably gentle, for the other not.”
Elsewhere in the interview, though, Theroux hinted that he could be moving on with his romantic life. “Is this the part where I coyly raise an eyebrow and not answer the question?” he said when the interview asked if he was dating. But while he may be tight-lipped about that aspect of his life, Theroux has certainly moved on professionally. In fact, he can next be seen on the big screen in On the Basis of Sex, and he will also voice Tramp in the Lady and the Tramp live-animated reboot.
Meanwhile, Aniston’s next movie is called Dumplin’, and she recently finished filming the comedy Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler. The actress is also thought to be working on a new series about morning television with Reese Witherspoon.
And while she’s now single, Aniston has seemingly always known that she doesn’t need a man in her life to make her happy. “A relationship isn’t going to make me survive,” she told Rolling Stone magazine way back in 1999. “It’s the cherry on top.”