Stylist gets a (very short!) audience with everybody’s favourite Friend and the world’s most talked about woman, Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is arguably, give or take the Queen or Oprah, the most famous woman in the world.
Why? It was Friends that did it. Rachel Green burst onto our screen and into our living rooms in 1994, around the time when I was 12, and for ten years it beamed into around 36 million houses around the world and made Jennifer the highest paid TV actress of all time.
Six years after her final scene in Central Perk, Aniston has crafted a new niche: Queen of the Rom-Com in films like The Break-Up, He's Just Not Into You and Along Came Polly.
But when the chance comes to interview Jen for the release for the release of her first fragrance - Jennifer Aniston - Stylist is alloted all of 10 minutes. Cue mild panic... How do you manage to strike up a rapport with someone in 10 minutes?
As Jen is in London for the next few days I kick off by asking her what her favourite city is. “Paris, definitely. I love the people, the elegance, and the beauty of it. I stayed years ago at a little boutique hotel, I couldn’t tell you the name of it now, only that it wasn’t one of the big fancy ones. I’ve always liked those little quaint places that make you feel like you’re in someone’s apartment, rather than at a hotel.”
“I travel a lot for work but I need to start travelling more for myself, it’s really important to me. You’d be shocked at my list of places I want to go. I want to go to India, Bali, would love to go to Italy – I’ve never been to Florence or to Venice. I want go to Thailand and Fiji. A lot of places. The Valley [notoriously rough area of LA].... probably not.”
Yup, Jen is funny. Throughout our interview there are glimpses of that famous comedy timing that made her scenes with Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer) the funniest in the show. So what do you have to do to make her laugh?
“Absolutely anything makes me laugh. Especially weird things.” Like? “I got a kick out of this sweet girl, actually, she wasn’t even a girl she looked like a contemporary, who told me the other day that her parents named her after me. I don’t know why I thought that was funny... probably the fact that I’m clearly now old enough to have people actually named after me.”
And if Friends made us all laugh, what shows put a smile on her face? “Absolutely Fabulous was one of my all time favourites, love it, Seinfield is another of my all time favourites. I was watching something called Oops TV this morning and I was laughing so much I almost fell off my treadmill. It’s really funny.”
Ah the dreaded ‘treadmill’. You didn’t think you got a body like that by sitting on the sofa eating kettle chips did you? Jen admits she is very disciplined with her health but that her last meal would be: “It’s cliché but it would be a Mexican meal. It’d be chips and guacamole, quesadillas, enchiladas, a big tostada salad. And nachos. But you know that Nachos is like the Xsandwich. You know, we (America) did that. That’s not a Mexican thing, and every time I order nachos they look at me like “What?””
Is this a hint of a domestic goddess Aniston? Right now, sporting nude fingernails and toes, with a gobstopper of a rock on her middle finger, the image of Jen elbow deep in flour is hard to compute. Can she cook? After all, she infamously promised to make ex husband Brad Pitt his “favorite banana milkshake" every day in their 1998 wedding vows (they’ve been divorced for five years).
She laughs. “No! But I can make tortilla chips and great guacamole. Nothing that’s not easy. I can make pasta I guess. In fact I can cook and I actually would like to, if I had time to...”
What was her inspiration behind the new scent? “Natural outdoor smells. Clean, beachy, sexy, summertime. ‘I wanted this fragrance to be a personal library of scent memories. Growing up in California, I distinctly remember the scent of the Jasmine on summer evenings. I consider the scent of the ocean to be one of life's most uplifting sensual experiences.”
Why, when she has so much on her plate, though, did she take on a perfume? “It really was an exciting process and the only reason I was actually interested in doing it was because of the involvement that they allowed me to have.” Although she’s exudes that warm and friendly girl next door persona, Jen has always keen business sense. As well as acting Jen has her own film production company, Echo Films, with best friend Kristin Hahn who calls Jen a “brilliant businesswoman.”
I can tell from the stern glare of Jen’s publicist that my minutes are a ticking. So I ask her what her biggest personal triumph is. “The biggest triumph was Friends, ten years of a show that was really loved by so many people. Even today I can’t believe how many people say they watch it every day, however many times a day. I’m like, ‘what do you do all day?’ Where do you watch it? I can never find it.”
Her favourite moment on the show? “An episode with Ben Stiller and the chick and the duck, me exploding with anger when I was pregnant and waiting to give birth and everyone else was going before me. There really are so many funny moments and so many amazing memories of that show. I’m very lucky.” And with that, Jen is on to the next interview. And I still have two minutes on the clock!