Here are some new shots of Jennifer Aniston taken last Friday on the set of Dumplin’ in Georgia. I’m also including shots I’ve never posted of her in costume, as Dumplin’ mother, a former beauty queen, that were taken when filming first started in July. This is excellent beauty queen mom hair.
As you know, Graydon Carter announced three weeks ago that he’s stepping down as editor of Vanity Fair. Since then I’ve been going through old Vanity Fair profiles, kind of sort of trying to put some thoughts together on some of VF’s greatest celebrity hits under Graydon Carter but not really getting anywhere, although there is something to be said about how much the celebrity profile has been sanitised in the last decade or so. And it was already sanitised before then. Except when it’s an American Sweetheart getting a divorce.
It’s been 12 years this month that Jennifer Aniston appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, in 2005, for her first interview after breaking up with Brad Pitt:
You remember this interview? It’s one of the most memorable interviews of her career. This is the interview that gave us “pity party” and “Billy Idol called” and also the shouting at the ocean. But when’s the last time you read through it top to bottom? I highly recommend. Not only for the Gossip Nostalgia but as a comparison to Jennifer Garner’s Vanity Fair interview in 2016, 9 months after she and Ben Affleck announced their separation.
I forgot that Jen Aniston could not stop crying. That she burst into tears when Leslie Bennetts, the writer, told her about the rumours that Angelina Jolie was pregnant with Brad Pitt’s baby. Several of her friends, including Courteney Cox, speak candidly, on the record, about the marriage, about the split, about Brad’s relationship with Angelina. Courteney actually reveals that Brad told Jen that he was attracted to Angelina, that they “had a connection”! Jen allows questions about those famous photos of Angelina and Brad and Maddox frolicking on the beach in Kenya. She talks about his “missing sensitivity chip”, she talks about how angry she is. And… she smokes! There was actually a time when an American Sweetheart was allowed to smoke during a magazine interview – but only when she’s crying about being left by the Sexiest Man Alive.
Again, the tears, the revelations, this is not what we get from celebrity profiles anymore. Most celebrity profiled are tied to album or film releases. Most celebrities are now unwilling to get that personal. But the two most personal recent celebrity profiles came from women who were also coming off major splits – Jennifer Garner, also for Vanity Fair, and, oh yeah, Jenny Slate in Vulture. Jennifer Garner wasn’t as overwrought as Jennifer Aniston in her piece but she too gave up the goods, she too talked about living in the light and the shadow of Ben Affleck, she too had a Billy Idol moment with the phoenix tattoo. And Jenny Slate, though she now claims to regret it, got pretty real about her own insecurities during her relationship with Chris Evans and what it was that broke them apart. (Weird coincidence with the first names.)
Angelina Jolie, on the other hand - consider the piece that Vanity Fair just published this summer, 12 years after Jennifer Aniston’s, featuring another very, very famous woman who’s also coming off a breakup. That interview generated some controversy over remarks that Angelina made about auditioning actors for her film, but there’s nothing in it that approaches the overt “candour” exhibited by the “unsinkable” Jennifer Aniston. Or Jennifer Garner. Angelina’s revelations, if any, were in what she showed, with her children surrounding her, in her home. But she didn’t SAY much of anything. Much of that, of course, has to do with the fact she and Brad Pitt have kids together. Still, unlike the Jennifers, Angelina kept it all business, which is why, frankly, that article now seems pretty boring, gossip-wise.
Click here to revisit The Unsinkable Jennifer Aniston.