Interviews


Jennifer Aniston


Occupation: Actress
Date of Birth: February 11, 1969
Place of Birth: Sherman Oaks, Calif., USA
Sign: Sun in Aquarius, Moon in Sagittarius
Relations: Father: John Aniston (actor); godfather: Telly Savalas (actor); husband: Brad Pitt
Education: High School for the Performing Arts

 

WHEN Jennifer Aniston  one of several stars on the hit television show Friends  appeared butt-naked on the cover of Rolling Stone, she reached a level of sitcom stardom that few of her contemporaries could match. In the revealing article, Aniston not only showed off that famous coiffure, but uncovered a tan line that spoke to her love of uncomfortable swimwear. But, at the time, one couldn't help but wonder if there was any substance behind the big hair and the pleasing posterior.

Aniston grew up around show business. Her father John was a regular on Days of Our Lives for years; her mother Nancy was an actress and sometime model; and her godfather was none other than Kojak himself, Telly Savalas. Aniston had the good fortune to attend a free-spirited school that encouraged her love of the arts. She joined the school's drama club, and though she had always been interested in acting, she soon started to think of it as a career choice. She also became an dedicated artist, and one of her paintings was displayed in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. She attended New York's High School of Performing Arts (better known as the Fame school), and after graduation, she worked off-Broadway and appeared in productions of For Dear Life and Dancing on Checker's Grave. After two years of occasional theatre and waitressing, Aniston decided to head for Hollywood, where she had little luck on auditions until her agent advised her to shed thirty pounds. (Aniston went through Nutri/System and gave a testimonial about the program on The Howard Stern Show) Soon she found work on several failed television shows, including Ferris Bueller, Molloy, The Edge, and Muddling Through.

It wasn't until she landed the role of Rachel Green in Friends that Aniston became a household mane  scores of women flocked to their hairdressers to demand the Rachel 'do. She emerged as "the sexy Friend," although co-stars Courteney Cox andLisa Kudrow could hardly be considered short on looks. Aniston tributes and temples erupted in megabytes of fan pages all over the Internet, and her followers didn't just watch the show with the sound turned down (fans Beavis and Butt-Head suggested this for optimal viewing pleasure), but compiled episode lists and spent hours discussing whether Rachel and Ross (David Schwimmer) would finally break the sexual tension and just do it. The fact that Aniston has managed to gain such a following for playing a ditsy, spoiled waitress who's a little on the bitchy side is a tribute to her appeal.

Aniston and her castmates have parlayed their fame into quite a cash cow. (Did someone say cow? We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that white mustache Aniston donned when she appeared with Kudrow in print ads for milk.) She has also plugged a video tutorial for Windows '95 with Matthew Perry, and has mugged with all her Friends for Diet Coke. She even appeared in an esoteric NBC public service announcement, where she declared with a soulful gaze: "Smart is sexier than stupid any day." Every Friend has a movie deal, and Aniston is leading the pack as far as film roles go. She made She's the One for director Edward (The Brothers McMullen) Burns on her weekends off from Friends, which raised the ire of Schwimmer, who said, "No one can convince me that it doesn't harm the quality of the show that people have to fly on Friday to New York to shoot for two days and come back late Sunday night to be back at work Monday." Aniston shrugged off the criticism, and has gone on to complete 'Til There Was You, Dreams for an Insomniac, and Picture Perfect. Better received than all her initial movie roles was her wistful, charming lead performance in Nicholas Hytner's witty adaptation of the Stephen McCauley novel The Object of My Affection, in which Aniston played a social worker who falls in love with her gay roommate.

Away from the small and big screens, Aniston has garnered overweening attention for her romantic relationship with heartthrob actor Brad Pitt. After months of rumors, the couple finally tied the knot on July 29, 2000.

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