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Jennifer Aniston: "It's extremely important to forgive - otherwise it just builds up like toxic waste"

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For years, the showbiz world has speculated over whether Jennifer Aniston ever truly overcame her divorce from Brad Pitt in 2005, after he met Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

But now the Friends actress appears to have drawn a line under the saga once and for all.

In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Jennifer says she is not the kind of person to hold onto resentment, or a grudge.

In what could be read as an implicit reference to her split from Brad, the 45-year-old says: "I think it's extremely important to forgive. Otherwise it just builds up like toxic waste. There's nothing worse than holding a grudge. 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."

Jennifer, who is tipped for an Oscar nod for her role as a car-crash survivor in upcoming indie drama Cake, also hits out at her "Poor, Sorry, Sad in Love Jen" stereotype.

"I think people are starting to feel like, Are we that stupid?" she says. "Seriously. How many times can I be out there in the world, enjoying my life, and yet the narrative is 'Poor, Sorry, Sad in Love Jen' … whatever the stupid headline is."

"... There was a part of me that used to get very upset. I was guilty of getting too up in arms about stuff that wasn't real, phantom boxing with something that's not even there. Now I'd rather just focus on people and things that are here, happening, and what's yet to come. My friends, my family, wonderful people I work with. We know what the real is."

Jennifer Aniston Justin Theroux

Jennifer with fiance Justin Theroux

That "real" includes Justin Theroux, Jennifer's 43-year-old actor fiance (the pair started dating 2011 and got engaged in August 2012).

"He's one of the most humble, decent human beings," she says. "He's not an ass. He's not like some of our friends who are young and up-and-coming and they hit celebrity, and all of a sudden you're like, 'Oh! You're different. Now you don't say hi to people?'"

"It's almost impossible to get bored with one another," she goes on. "We've tried so hard! And even that's interesting because his eyes are so pretty, but we can entertain ourselves and talk about endless things, which is pretty great."

The actress also maintains she is completely unfazed about the process of ageing:

"When am I supposed to freak out? When am I supposed to feel like, 'Oh, my knee! Oh, ouch!' I don't feel any of those things! I feel like our aging marker needs to be rejiggered. I heard Halle Berry refer to her pregnancy at 47 as a 'geriatric pregnancy,' which is ridiculous! It's insulting. Obviously, as women we've evolved." 

"I've had more fun post-40 than I can remember," she adds.

Jennifer Aniston Cake

The actress is tipped for an Oscar nod for her role in Cake

Jennifer is almost unrecognisable in Cake, where she plays a caustic and traumatised car crash survivor - a role which required her to forgo make-up, apply scars, have greasy hair and wear bulky clothing. 

The part represents a significant departure from her comfort ground of comedy. 

 "It was the most challenging part I've ever done, and also one of the most rewarding and fulfilling. There was struggle involved," she says. "You know, I don't know if I would have been able to do it five or 10 years ago. But I was ready to challenge myself." 

 "I remember the first day of shooting when I had to be outside, and it was not my most appealing look, it was kind of horrific. But I had this weird freedom. Now I'm like, 'Well, it doesn't get worse than that.' You have to not care, because I was starting to feel very isolated and trapped because I didn't want someone to get a stupid picture or whatever."

Read the full interview with Jennifer in US Harper's Bazaar, out now. 

Harper's Bazaar

On the front cover of Harper's Bazaar

Photos: Rex Features

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