Former power couple Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux split up in 2017 after just two years of marriage. And the following September, the Leftovers star told The New York Times that the decision to divorce had been a “heartbreaking” one. Yet Aniston insisted – in the exact same month – that she was “not heartbroken.” So what was the truth? And did it have anything to do with Aniston’s other ex-husband, Brad Pitt? According to Us Weekly, you see, the Friends actress may well have been feeling nostalgic for the past – and it could have had a significant impact on her last marriage.
It seems the public – and the media – have longed for Aniston and Pitt to rekindle their romance for quite some time. And the pair demonstrated that they still have a close relationship when they appeared at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. The stars both won statuettes that night – but the two caught the most attention for a moment that happened backstage.
After all, Pitt and Aniston hadn’t been spotted in public together for many years. Yet the stars could be seen seemingly hitting it off like old friends in front of assembled SAG guests and journalists. Some sources even claimed that Aniston was flirting with her former partner, while Pitt was photographed taking the Friends star by the hand. The rumor mill subsequently went into overdrive.
In fact, the tabloids ran stories suggesting that Aniston and Pitt were finally getting back together. Though the stars laughed off these rumors – with Pitt telling Entertainment Tonight that he was “blissfully naïve” to the news – it still looked like their chemistry had been rekindled. And whispers that the pair had attended parties together the previous year further fueled this gossip.
But for all the excitement, there was presumably one person who didn’t share the public’s demand for a Aniston-Pitt reconciliation. Just two years earlier, you see, Aniston had split with her second husband, Justin Theroux. And as we’ve heard, the actor admitted to The New York Times in 2018 that the separation had been “heartbreaking.” Surely, then, he would have been upset seeing the SAG coverage unfold.
Aniston’s relationship with Theroux went way back, too. In 2007, in fact, the future couple were first introduced via their mutual friend Ben Stiller. Theroux was working on the script for the comedy smash Tropic Thunder at the time. And yet Aniston wasn’t initially convinced about his prospects as a romantic partner.
Aniston told PopSugar in 2012 that Theroux was “very sweet” and “always very nice.” But the actress added that she was also intimidated by her future husband. Aniston said, “I remember thinking he was very dark. At first, you think he could be like a serial killer, but he is actually the nicest person in the world.”
And it’s potentially easy to see why Aniston had such a strange opinion at first – given the pair’s wildly different career paths. So whereas the actress got her big break with the audience-pleasing sitcom Friends, Theroux found work in quirky films such as 2000’s American Psycho. He then gained a breakout role a year later in David Lynch’s dark arthouse sensation Mulholland Drive.
But Aniston may have had other reasons for not seeing Theroux as a romantic partner at first. You see, the TV star had met him during a particularly difficult period in her life. That’s because, just two years earlier, Aniston had been involved in one of the most high-profile divorces in celebrity history.
Yes, in 2005, Aniston announced her split from her husband of five years, Brad Pitt. The two actors – who began dating seven years earlier – had been Hollywood’s biggest and most beloved couple. That’s why their divorce announcement initially came as something of a shock. But heads quickly started turning when Pitt stepped out with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star, Angelina Jolie, immediately afterward.
Unsurprisingly, then, an intense media firestorm enveloped the former couple once news of Pitt’s new relationship became public. The tabloids forced the narrative of a bitter rivalry between the two female stars – and comments made to Vogue by Jolie in 2007 gave newspapers plenty of salacious headlines to run with.
Fans soon divided themselves into “Team Jen” and “Team Angie” camps, too. But other than criticizing Jolie’s statements in Vogue, the Friends star rarely spoke out publicly about her ex-husband’s relationship. The actress even appeared to be resolute that she wouldn’t harbor any ill feelings toward Pitt or Jolie.
“There’s nothing worse than holding a grudge,” Aniston admitted to Harper’s Bazaar in 2014. “Listen, people can do unforgivable things, but you have to let it go and say, ‘Look, we’re all human beings. We make mistakes.’ To hold any kind of resentment is like taking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.”
Aniston was ready to move on to a life without Pitt around a year after their separation, anyway. Throughout 2006, for instance, the actress dated her co-star from The Break-Up, Vince Vaughn. And afterward, she maintained an on-and-off relationship with musician John Mayer. But fate would later bring her back to Theroux.
In 2010, you see, Aniston and Theroux co-starred in a film called Wanderlust. And it was clear that Theroux – who was at that time nearing the end of a long-term relationship with Heidi Bevans – made a very different impression on his bride-to-be. Rather than getting a “serial killer” vibe, then, Aniston told PopSugar that the actor came across as “the nicest person in the world.”
So the pair continued to hang out after the film’s release – a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by the press. They were then seen dining out and attending awards shows together, but both Aniston and Theroux remained coy about their growing romance. However, it was undeniable that something was stirring between the two.
The couple then moved in together less than a year after hooking up. And comments made by Aniston to InStyle in 2012 seemed to suggest that she’d found her forever man. The actress shared, “Having experienced everything you don’t want in a partner over time, it starts to narrow down to what you actually do want. As I get older, I realize what qualities are important in love and what suits me.”
That same year the couple made some big steps together. First, they bought a $22 million mansion in the heart of Bel-Air. Then they adopted a dog who helped them turn their new house into a home. And finally – in what was a rip-roaring moment for every fan of celebrity pairings – the two announced their engagement.
In 2015 Aniston and Theroux became husband and wife in a secret garden ceremony. And for a while it seemed like nothing could pull them apart. Aniston told Entertainment Tonight a year later, “We appreciate each other’s sense of humor, we respect one another and we get along. I know it sounds simple, but it’s true.”
But just as Aniston’s marriage was blossoming, Pitt’s was falling apart. In fact, he and Jolie called time on their union a year after Aniston married Theroux. And it wasn’t long before the tabloids began dragging the erstwhile Rachel Green into the Pitt-Jolie drama as well.
Yes, media outlets depicted Aniston as having had the last laugh mere hours after Pitt’s divorce was announced. The New York Post even went with a picture of the Friends star chuckling as the following day’s front cover. But Aniston wasn’t alone in the drama like last time. The star had Theroux – who was not happy about the press reaction.
“There’s an endless appetite for trash, apparently, [but] everyone would say that they don’t have that appetite,” Theroux told Business Insider in 2016. Days later, he would also call his wife “a proper badass” for withstanding the media’s treatment of her. Theroux added to The Sunday Times that same year, “She has lived through a lot of b******t. Many people would have crumbled under the same stresses that have been put on her.”
Yet Theroux did extend his sympathies to Pitt and his kids. He told Business Insider, “As a child of divorce, all I can say is that’s horrible news for those children, and that’s all you can really say. It’s boring to comment on anything else. People are having a bad time – that’s horrible.”
Though people have argued that some resentment might have been seething under the surface. Later in 2016, for instance, Theroux shared a piece of graffiti painted by the street artist Nick Flatt on Instagram. The work was ostensibly aimed at the upcoming U.S. presidential election – but it also contained a veiled insult at Aniston’s former husband.
The graffiti piece featured the words “F**k Brad Pitt” hidden within the polemic. Of course, many sharp-eyed fans quickly picked up on the insult. But Theroux insisted that the post wasn’t aimed at his wife’s prior beaux. The actor even added the following hashtags to his Instagram caption: #andNOthispostisNOT‘shading’anyone and #becauseimnotelevenyearsoldimeanseriously.
And yet Hollywood gossip seemed to suggest that Theroux should have a reason to be angry. In 2017, for instance, Us Weekly claimed that Aniston and Pitt texted each other non-stop after the latter had messaged his ex-wife to wish her a happy birthday. In Touch Weekly also alleged that the Fight Club star had apologized to Aniston for his handling of their divorce.
Nevertheless, whispers about Aniston and Pitt’s rekindled relationship remained just rumors. But it seemed clear to many onlookers that there was something wrong with Aniston and Theroux’s marriage. Though it wouldn’t be until the following year that the public would realize the situation the couple were in.
In February 2018 Aniston’s pal Aleen Keshishian posted a photo to Instagram showing the Friends star celebrating her birthday without Theroux. The couple then had to step in after fans began speculating about what this absence meant for their relationship. Yes, the pair sent a statement to E! News confirming that they had chosen to separate.
The pair said that they had actually split in 2017 with the aim of “continuing [their] cherished friendship” in private. However, the amount of media interest that was already hovering above their heads had motivated them to go public. The statement read, “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.”
In 2018 Theroux also talked to The New York Times about his split with Aniston. He said, “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. It’s boring, but, you know, we respected each other enough that it was as painless as it could be.”
Regardless, onlookers continued to speculate on the reasons behind Aniston and Theroux’s divorce. Aniston told InStyle, “The misconceptions are ‘Jen can’t keep a man’ and ‘Jen refuses to have a baby because she’s selfish and committed to her career.’ Or that I’m sad and heartbroken. First, with all due respect, I’m not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what’s going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me.”
Still, celebrity pundits continued to point toward Pitt as the cause of Aniston’s split with Theroux. With Jolie and Theroux out of the picture, the theory went, the Se7en star and his former wife would be free to renew their friendship. And, as it turns out, a report from the time claimed that having Pitt in Aniston’s life may have actually been too much for Theroux to bear.
In 2018 Us Weekly claimed to have gained an insider’s take on Aniston and Theroux’s relationship. Just one week after the power couple called it quits, then, the publication said Pitt had played a part in the separation – albeit inadvertently. The apparent event occurred around the time of Pitt and Jolie’s split, according to the report.
What happened? Well, Theroux was allegedly searching through his and Aniston’s home – and found keepsakes from his wife’s time with her previous beaux. The insider claimed to Us, “[Theroux] stumbled upon old Post-it notes [Pitt] had written. Sweet little Post-its like, ‘You look nice tonight,’ or, ‘Miss you already.’”
This discovery reportedly led to Theroux confronting the Friends star, who dismissed the notes as nothing but mementos. The insider went on, “[Aniston] assured him they weren’t a big deal, but [Theroux] wasn’t thrilled… [He] had moments of insecurity like that.”
If the Post-it notes story is true then it’s easy to see why this could have thrown a wrench into Theroux and Aniston’s relationship. After all, no one likes to discover that their spouse still holds feelings for their ex – especially if the former partner is single. And given the huge history that Aniston and Pitt share, Theroux’s supposed anxiety is totally understandable.
For now, though, it seems like all three parties are trying to get on with their new, single lives. Pitt has been linked with Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat, for instance, and Theroux has reportedly dated everyone from Emma Stone to Elizabeth Hurley. Aniston, however, seems to be in no rush to get back into the dating game.
“This is our one life, and I would not stay in a situation out of fear,” Aniston explained to Elle in 2018. “Fear of being alone. Fear of not being able to survive. To stay in a marriage based on fear feels like you’re doing your one life a disservice.” Nevertheless, the star still added a hopeful, “Who knows what the future holds…”
Yet it’s clear who Aniston’s fans want her to hook up with next: Pitt. Yes, for all the heartbreak in that previous relationship, it seems that a reunion with Pitt is everything their admirers crave. And their mutual pal Melissa Etheridge explained on the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen show in 2020 that the two are still very close.
Etheridge said, “They were beautiful [together], and I believe they will always remain friends because they’re two very special people who can get through anything together. I hope that their friendship lasts.” And who knows, maybe that friendship will indeed bloom into something more…
As for Aniston, she always looks happy and healthy. And over the years, many people have asked her just how she continues to shine – and keep in shape – while now decades into her career. Fortunately for all of us mere mortals, then, the Friends star has spilled the beans, but one of the ways in which she maintains her incredible figure may not be what you’re assuming. It’s all to do with Aniston’s diet, in fact, although her approach to food is pretty unusual in itself.
Believe it or not, but Aniston is middle-aged now, as she actually turned 50 in February 2019. And in September of that year, she spoke about the milestone to InStyle magazine, saying, “Fifty was the first time I thought, ‘Well, that number.’ I don’t know what it is because I don’t feel any different. Things aren’t shutting down in any way.”
If you’re surprised by Aniston’s age, then, you may be wondering what she does to maintain her image. And her appearance hasn’t changed that much over the years, either. In fact, she doesn’t really look all that different to the woman who played Rachel Green in Friends – and as fans know, the much-loved sitcom ended all the way back in 2004.
Aniston was a relatively unknown actress, however, when she first started on Friends in 1994. She had starred in a few TV shows that were all cancelled pretty sharpish and had made an appearance she’d probably rather forget in poorly received horror flick Leprechaun. But, of course, when Friends came along, it changed the course of Aniston’s entire life.
The actress even became a fashion icon as a result of being on the show. Yes, the hairstyle that Aniston’s character sports – known, appropriately, as “The Rachel” – became a hit back in the ’90s. Women loved the look so much, in fact, that they poured into salons requesting the same ’do. And the stylist who created the cut, Chris McMillan, found himself much in demand as a result.
Aniston herself was not a fan, however. In 2011 she told Allure, “I love [McMillan], and he’s the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn ‘Rachel,’ which was not my best look. How do I say this? I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen. What I really want to know is, ‘How did that thing have legs?’”
But getting “The Rachel” was only one part of Aniston’s transformation into a superstar. Before Friends, you see, the actress was less in shape than she is today. While speaking to Rolling Stone in 1996, Aniston revealed, “I ate too many mayonnaise sandwiches. Mayonnaise on white bread – the most delicious thing in the world.”
Aniston continued, “My agent gave it to me straight. Nicest thing he ever did… The disgusting thing of Hollywood – I wasn’t getting lots of jobs ’cause I was too heavy.” But in the end, she was glad about losing weight. The star added of her new physique, “It was amazing to see this thing emerge. I never knew I had this body in me.”
It seemed, too, that Aniston received advice on her looks from someone closer to home. While speaking to Rolling Stone again in 1999, she said, “My mom is very focused on beauty. I didn’t care about it as much. Now it’s funny – and pathetic – but her advice was always about making my features more than they were. ‘Always outline your lips, dear. They’re so tiny. Make your lips bigger.’ Or, ‘You have no cheekbones; you’ve got to contour in your cheekbones.’”
Unfortunately, this criticism had a major effect on the young Aniston. The star added, “You got to the point where you felt like you were the ugliest duckling on the planet. [My mom] definitely wasn’t great when it came to that kind of honesty.” And although Aniston went on to say that she knew she wasn’t “awful looking,” she had never forgotten her mother’s comments.
Aniston even took her mom’s advice by painting her face accordingly. “The makeup I’d wear was unbelievable,” she told Rolling Stone. “[But] then one of my first boyfriends in California said, ‘You are so much more beautiful to me without makeup,’ and I couldn’t believe it. Finally, I stopped wearing it.”
Aniston mused, “I don’t know what I was trying to prove [and] what I was hiding with all that stuff on my face.” At the same time, though, she worried about what her mom would think. The star added, “I didn’t want my looks to be my only ticket, because I didn’t feel I had that one to ride on. I don’t want to paint a shallow picture of my mother, but how you looked was so important.”
Meanwhile, when Rolling Stone asked Aniston about her diet, she revealed that she followed The Zone plan. This regime recommends eating three meals and two snacks every day with five hours between each meal. And while scientists have since denounced The Zone as ineffective, Aniston nevertheless sung its praises in the interview.
The Zone, according to Aniston, was “not a diet [but] a way of life.” She went on, “It got to the point where I was so sick of gimmicks. ‘Oh, this week, I’ll have oil on the side, no butter – no fun.’ Like most women, I was fed up with having to look like something I wasn’t. It was too painful – not to mention a pain in the ass. Now I work out about three times a week for an hour and call it a day.”
Behind the scenes, however, Aniston went through some much-publicized personal troubles. Famously, her husband Brad Pitt – whom she’d married in 2000 – very publicly divorced her then embarked on a relationship with fellow actress Angelina Jolie.
In 2005, then, Aniston gave an interview to Vanity Fair in which she described her struggles following her separation from Pitt. She told the publication, “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. I’ve got an unbelievable support team, and I’m a tough cookie.”
Vanity Fair wondered, too, if Aniston was subtly getting back at her ex-husband with her photo shoot for the magazine. The author opined, “Far from pining away in seclusion, she appeared to be sending a far more spirited message – like ‘Eat your heart out, Brad!” Aniston suggested otherwise, though.
The Friends star explained to the magazine, “It’s literally two different people – the real me and the ‘Jen’ they write about, [who is] ‘fighting back’ [and] ‘getting revenge.’ [It’s] everything I couldn’t be farther from wanting to do.” She had also tried to stop reading gossip magazines, she said, because every comment about her looks hurt her all the more.
And although Aniston dealt well with the divorce from Pitt, that wasn’t the end of her relationship difficulties. In 2017, you see, she split from second husband Justin Theroux, to whom she had been wed for only two years. Through it all, though, Aniston’s troubles never seemed to show on her face – in public, anyway.
Perhaps that sense of well-being was all down to Aniston’s self-care routine, which included meditation in the mornings to calm herself down. And in a 2017 interview with Shape, the star added, “As corny as it sounds, I would always sit and watch the sunsets [to relax], because they’re so beautiful and it would just be a nice little time to chill out.”
But what is self-care, exactly? Well, in a 2017 article, the official website for Harvard Health Publishing explained, “Self-care means paying attention to and supporting one’s own physical and mental health.” The publication continued, “It is also a big part of treatment for many physical and mental health disorders. It’s so, so important.”
But meditation and sunset-spotting weren’t the only self-care methods that Aniston used. During the Shape interview, she added, “I have an infrared sauna that I fell in love with. My friend Courtney Cox – you may know her – had a portable infrared sauna that you go into. It kind of looks like a little igloo. It’s such a game changer in terms of your skin detoxification and cell rejuvenation.”
As to how she maintained her clear skin, Aniston explained, “Sunday is my spa day. I usually do a little mini facial time where I just give myself a good scrub, use a mask and then the new Aveeno hydrating facial. I leave it on overnight, and when I wake up I have that dewy, glowing, twinkling skin.”
Aniston took care with her diet, too. She revealed to Shape, “I make a quick shake with protein powder, spinach, maca powder, berries, and vitamin C powder I put in there that’s pretty good. I’m not a big breakfast person, but I made myself become a breakfast person. I was always one of those people that just didn’t eat in the morning, but, of course, you’re always hearing it’s the most important meal of the day – so I find that the shake is really good.”
Aniston added, “Sometimes I do a fasted workout and just have a cup of coffee and then go and work out. You actually have more energy than you expect and [burn more calories] because you’re dipping into the reserves as opposed to using the food you’ve just processed and ingested.”
So, Aniston certainly seemed to have her regime all worked out. In October 2019, though, the actress opened up once more and gave perhaps her most unusual health tip to date. In an interview with the Radio Times, she explained, “I do intermittent fasting, so there’s no food in the morning. I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours.”
As Aniston had previously divulged in the Shape interview, she tended towards liquids for breakfast. “Today, I woke up and had a celery juice,” she told the Radio Times. “Then I started to brew some coffee, but I don’t drink coffee that early.” In fact, she preferred to spend time with her dogs, meditate and exercise before taking in any caffeine in the morning.
Reese Witherspoon – Aniston’s good friend and co-star in drama The Morning Show – also spoke to the Radio Times in the same interview. And it emerged that she, too, engaged in intermittent fasting in addition to multiple workouts throughout the week. Witherspoon explained, “I just have a green juice and a coffee in the morning.”
Aniston and Witherspoon have been close for a while now – ever since they first met on the Friends set. In a 2019 interview with Natalie Portman for Harper’s Bazaar, Witherspoon said of that initial encounter, “[Aniston] was so sweet to me. I was really nervous, and she was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Don’t worry about it!’”
And Witherspoon gushed over her buddy in the Radio Times interview. Regarding her own self-care regimes, the actress explained, “[Aniston] knows so much about health and fitness that I always defer to her. She’s great at well-being advice.” The Friends star replied, however, by saying, “Well, we want to thrive, right? We’re just beginning.”
But will intermittent fasting really help you thrive? Well, in a bid to find out, Health interviewed nutritionist Lauren Harris-Pincus in October 2019. And the expert told the magazine, “It’s suspected that the reason [intermittent fasting] helps people lose weight is that eating within an eight-hour window simply limits the total amount of calories consumed in a day.”
Harris-Pincus continued, “But ultimately, the only way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit where you consume fewer calories than you expend.” And for those who really want to do the fasting diet, there are apparently a pretty strict set of rules to follow to ensure that you don’t end up worse than where you began.
Fellow nutritionist Tanya B. Freirich explained to Health that fasters should eat during sunlight hours, for example. She added, “This allows for the energy you consume during your eating window to serve your activities throughout the day. Plus, it’s in line with our natural circadian rhythms, presuming you wake up around 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.” And if you eat during the evening instead, the expert argued, you could actually gain weight.
Health also questioned whether Aniston’s choice of celery juice was really that beneficial. And while Harris-Pincus admitted that aspects of the healing powers of the vegetable had often been exaggerated, it was nevertheless fine to have in the morning. She added, “Make half of your food volume fruits and veggies, and you’re good to go.”
It should be noted, too, that Aniston isn’t the only celebrity who swears by intermittent fasting. Scarlett Johansson took to the diet, for instance, when training to play superheroine Black Widow in the movie Avengers: Endgame. Johansson ended up fasting for around 12 to 15 hours every day depending on the schedule for the movie.
Actress Vanessa Hudgens does the diet as well. In April 2019 she told People, “I’ve been intermittent fasting a lot, because for me, I love pasta, I love pizza, and when I’m not eating carbs I feel like a little piece of me dies. Intermittent fasting is great, because when I am fasting… Those first two weeks are definitely rough, I’m not going to lie, but after that I feel more grounded and powerful in my workouts.”
And it’s not just female celebrities who fast; men do it too. Chris Hemsworth, another Avengers alumnus, told Men’s Health in January 2019, “I’ve been doing a lot of intermittent fasting now… I’ve found that once you get over the initial shock in the first week or two of not eating [as regularly], your body kicks into a different state. I’ve found myself eating less calories but not feeling starved.”
So what does Aniston actually eat, then? Well, back in 2016 she told Elle magazine that her lunch and dinner was “some form of vegetables or salad with protein – pretty basic.” But occasionally for breakfast she would have “puffed millet cereal with a banana or… oatmeal with an egg white whipped in at the end.”
And as for snacking, in 2014 Aniston told Women’s Health that she loved frozen grapes. The actress went on, “I like the red ones – they’re really easy and delicious. They give you that frozen crunch. I was at a spa one time, and they gave me a little cup of frozen grapes after my mud bath soak or whatever. It was sort of like, ‘This is genius.’”
But Aniston’s lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Indeed, Freirich told Health that she didn’t recommend intermittent fasting for pregnant women, athletes or people with low blood sugar, low blood pressure or diabetes. That said, the method certainly seems to be working out for the actress – who remains looking as enviably healthy as she did back in her Friends days.