Jennifer Aniston on the importance of good friends: ‘There’s nothing like a loyal friend. Nothing.”

Friendship has been the cornerstone and strength of her life.
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She may not have had a love that’s lasted, but Jennifer Aniston rejects the suggestion that she’s crying herself to sleep over it.

In fact, the Friends actress flatly dismisses the often repeated rumours “that there’s some level of unhappiness in my life, due to the fact that I don’t have a storybook moment at this stage”.

It’s simply not true, she says, adding that she uses comedy to help her cope in tougher times.

“We all experience pain. Everyone does. For me, I always go to humour to brighten up the moment.”

In The Morning Show, Jen and Reese Witherspoon play rival TV presenters.

Looking back on her acting choices, comedy does seem to be Jen’s comfort zone, though she’ll be stepping away from her roots with her new series The Morning Show (streaming here on the new Apple TV+ service from November 2), in which she plays a jaded and “old” news anchor.

Turning 50 herself forced Jen to re-evaluate a few things.

While the milestone once spelled the death of actresses’ careers, Hollywood is thankfully now a little more accepting of ageing women. But it doesn’t mean the big five-oh wasn’t a little daunting for the star.

“Fifty was the first time that I thought, ‘Well, that number,” she says.

“I don’t know what it is because I don’t feel any different. Things aren’t shutting down in any way. I feel physically incredible. So it’s weird that it’s all of a sudden getting telegraphed in a way that’s like, ‘You look amazing for your age.’

“I think we need to establish some etiquette around that dialogue and verbiage.”

While the line, “I’ve never felt better” is one celebrities tend to proffer regularly, in Jen’s case it’s clearly the truth.

With plenty more projects in the pipeline in acting and producing for both movies and TV series, her career continues to ascend.

“It’s awesome!” she says of being Jennifer Aniston right now.

“I feel like I’m very lucky to be doing the things I do. It’s thrilling that I’m at a place in my life where I still get to do this.

“I’m entering into what I feel is one of the most creatively fulfilling periods of my life. Seriously. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I feel like it’s just about to really bloom.”

It took Jen a long time to make it in Tinseltown – she didn’t just walk onto the set of Friends and become a star.

By the time she landed the role that would change her life, at 25, she’d experienced more than her fair share of setbacks.

“I was such a grown-up by then. I had moved away from home. I had been on six failed television shows. I waitressed for years in New York before I got anything. And I was a telemarketer selling time-shares. I didn’t make one sale. I was terrible at it. I was like, ‘Why do we have to call people at dinnertime?'”

15 years after the Friends ended, Jen and Courteney Cox remain close.

Twenty-five years on, her days serving drinks in diners are far behind her, but she’s using her personal experiences to shape her character Alex on The Morning Show, a presenter who’s been dubbed “past her sell-by date” by TV bosses and has to also endure the harsh spotlight of celebrity.

“There’s a similarity in my life,” she says.

“I relate in ways of feeling like you don’t want to be seen, and you don’t want to go out of the house, and you want to just scream, and you don’t want to walk the red carpet. ‘I don’t want to stand behind a podium, I don’t want to have my photograph taken, I just want to cry today.’ You know?”

When she has those days, it’s her “goddess circle” that she calls upon.

A group of six women who have known Jen since the beginning of her career – Friends star Courteney Cox (55) is one of them – they gather at every major milestone in their lives.

Clutching a talking stick decorated with feathers, the women pass the talisman around their circle as they sit on cushions and tell each other about the monumental moments of their lives.

“You know when I feel inwardly beautiful? When I’m with my girlfriends having a goddess circle,” says Jen, who this week finally joined Instagram – and crashed the network with her first post, a picture of the entire cast of Friends having dinner. She attracted more than five million followers within 24 hours.

Friendship, adds Jen, has been the cornerstone and strength of her life.

“Where would you be without friends? The people who pick you up when you need lifting? There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend. Nothing.”

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