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Interview: Jennifer Aniston On Happiness

Jennifer Aniston
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Forget all the silly headlines you’ve read in gossip magazines. Jennifer Aniston is happy, healthy and brimming with positivity. The Hollywood star is engaged to a man she loves, receiving critical acclaim for her work (most recently in Cake), and we’re not quite sure how she does it, but the woman looks even better than she did circa Friends, which first aired over two decades ago. As May was our personal style issue, we couldn’t think of a better cover star to front it than Jennifer. Predictable she may be, but Aniston knows what suits her and consistently plays to her strengths. Cool, classic and tailored, she is the perfect poster girl for having a signature style. She’s given the traditional blazer and jeans combo a fresh, California-girl refresh, while her red carpet formula places her on every best-dressed list going. She’s loyal to labels such as Calvin Klein, Balenciaga and Valentino, indicating she’s found her evening style sweet spot too. Here, America’s sweetheart talks about her latest movie role, moving on, and looking on the brighter side of her stylish life.

Your recent performance in Cake – portraying a woman suffering from chronic pain – was quite physical. Was there much preparation involved? I did quite a lot of homework, studying, and I have two girlfriends who have suffered from chronic pain. One who is actually a dear friend, and a stuntwoman who experienced a very severe accident and became addicted to pain meds, and so I asked about their physicality, talked to different doctors, just because for me, it was really important to be true to what the medicine that I was taking physically would be doing to my body and at what point. And I think that was my biggest challenge, as we were shooting out of order, having a ledger of where I was in my pain management and in my physicality, because she was always physically in pain, but it was in different degrees. I wore a brace, which someone told me was a brilliant idea because I tend to slouch, and it helped me to just keep that. And it turns out that if you walk like that for five weeks, you do tend to actually become in pain.

Having taken on a role like that did it make you feel more grateful for the little things in life? Oh my God, yes. I mean I am grateful for the smaller things in my life every day. It was just extremely challenging and also extremely humbling. We know there are people out there, and it does make you appreciate by living in that body for that long, and imagining having to actually live in that body. I think we all understand that’s happening, and I think we have empathy for it every day and appreciate– my gosh – the fact that we can get up and we can stand up and we can run. We are all very blessed. And my life is a happy life – that’s a choice.

Your character in that movie didn’t spend too much time on her hair and make-up. Was that light relief for you or did you struggle with it? I loved every minute of it. It was extremely liberating, and I loved it because you know, as women, we do feel that we have to live up to an expectation, whether it’s on camera or going to the market or whatever it is. The truth of the matter is that’s not always the way it is. We don’t always have our high heels on, we don’t always have our hair and make- up done, and this character was someone who had just basically given up on just even waking up sometimes. So that’s what it required, and that’s how I approached it. And I loved it. I think there’s beauty in all forms, whether it’s in pain, whether it’s grief, whether it’s an awards show or whatever it is. I think there’s beauty in all of it. And I thought it was important to really portray that.

Written By Alexa Riley.

This article originally appeared in the May issue of IMAGE. The June issue is on shelves right now. Subscribe here.

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