Yesterday she covered the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter as this year’s recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. Last night Jennifer Aniston was at THR’s Women in Entertainment event to accept the honour, presented to her by her The Morning Show co-star Mitch Kessler. (Speaking of The Morning Show – have you finished season two yet? It was… something. I don’t want to spoil it in case you’re saving that binge for the holidays but at some point next year we’ll unpack that, um, wild ride.)
During her speech, Jennifer talked about Sherry Lansing and her impact in the industry, and reflected on her own career, and in particular the realisation that she’s a “late bloomer”, after being described that way during a numerology reading, LOL. It starts off as a joke (and she’s well aware of the eyerolly-ness of that kind of origin story) but then she gets into embracing that characterisation, even after the success of Friends made her one of the most famous people on the planet. Adopting that truth allowed to her confront the fact that she may not have done her best work, professionally or personally and it opened up so much more opportunity to her.
And you can see the results of that shift in perspective. I just mentioned it yesterday in my post about her THR profile, and we’ve been observing it for the last few years on this site and also on the Show Your Work podcast. I know it’s also a bit of an eyeroll, the expression “step into your power” but that’s really what Jennifer has done this last decade, especially the last five or six years. Back in 2018, when she was promoting Dumplin’, I wrote at the time that it was the most excited I’ve been over Jennifer Aniston in years, that she was “building to this, gradually, slowly: a new era, a WORK era.” And, as she seems to confirm in her speech, it’s been her best era. She’s delivered the best performance of her career so far in The Morning Show playing Alex Levy (the craziness of season two notwithstanding). She’s more outspoken than she’s ever been, advocating for racial equality, pay equality, reproductive rights, COVID relief and responsibility, and using her platform to encourage vaccinations. She’s on Instagram, promoting her projects, her products, and sharing personal moments from time to time and not super precious about it. She’s doing live TV specials just to hang out with her friends in the industry. Basically she looks like she’s having the most fun she’s ever had, fully blooming just at the right time, in her 50s.
Here’s Jen, in a black strapless jumpsuit, on stage at the Women in Entertainment event last night.
And this is video of Steve Carrell’s introduction: