After 20 years in the business, you wouldn’t think Jennifer Aniston needed media training. But when you’re campaigning for an Oscar, a little update doesn’t hurt. As you know, Jen was working with Oscar consultant Lisa Taback on her campaign. And even though those hopes died last Thursday, the effects of that collaboration are still evident, especially in this new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The strategy wouldn’t have been to completely change Jen. After all, she’s been supported and protected by the MiniVan Majority for so long; you can’t alienate them. So all those familiar Aniston attributes remain – she’s still the “girl next door”, or asTHR describes her:
“She was exactly what millions of fans who have known her for two decades wanted her to be: funny and self-deprecating and exquisitely human.”
The key then is to keep the girl who lives by Chicken Soup for the Soul/Heart/Oscar but with a slight tweak…
Make her less bitter.
Sure, the bitterness may have faded over time – it’s been 10 years after all – on its own. But we haven’t heard it from her so directly until now. Last week Aniston complimented Angelina Jolie on her film (click here for a refresher) and now she’s telling THR that she and Brad Pitt are no longer “uncool”:
"We're not in daily communication. But we wish nothing but wonderful things for each other. Nobody did anything wrong. You know what I mean? It was just like, sometimes things [happen]." She throws up her hands in exasperation. "If the world only could just stop with the stupid, soap-opera bullshit. There's no story. I mean, at this point it's starting to become — please, give more credit to these human beings."
So. You replace bitterness with graciousness and then you try to replace dullness with fun. She watches The Bachelor. What we’re supposed to see now then is a woman at peace and whimsy. A woman to be admired and not pitied. A woman who has persevered and come out if it laughing.
Has it taken hold?
During her interview with THR, following her Oscar rejection, she mentions how nice everyone is being about it:
"I know a lot of people were sorry. I feel I've gotten such wonderful love — I had almost more phone calls and flowers than I did for any other nomination [in the past]."
Phone calls and flowers to say sorry that she didn’t get nominated for an Oscar? Flowers lining the impressive foyer of her multi-million dollar Bel Air home as consolation for not being invited to an award show? There’s a fine line between sympathy and pity. But the fact that her peers felt that she needed either one of them probably means that the messaging still needs some work.
Click here to read the full article and see all the pictures.