I guess that was a spoiler because many of the teasers that are coming out of Jennifer Aniston’s new profile in the WSJ. Magazine are all about “who she’s sleeping with” which, of course, is meant to be a titillating, considering the fascination with her love life over the last 25 years. Anyone who’s been paying attention though would have known that it’s not a person – of course it would be her dog. 


In the article it’s made clear that she’s still enjoying her single era, and that she doesn’t appear to be in any rush to get into another relationship. She also talks about how that might be the one thing she hasn’t figured out yet, and gets into a discussion about her parents’ broken marriage and the effect that had on her growing up and into adulthood. 

“It was always a little bit difficult for me in relationships, I think, because I really was kind of alone. I don’t know. My parents, watching my family’s relationship, didn’t make me kind of go, ‘Oh, I can’t wait to do that,’ ” she says. “I didn’t like the idea of sacrificing who you were or what you needed, so I didn’t really know how to do that. So it was almost easier to just be kind of solo. So I didn’t have any real training in that give-and-take.”

These days, she’s working on not sacrificing her own desires to please another person. “It’s just about not being afraid to say what you need and what you want. And it’s still a challenge for me in a relationship. I’m really good at every other job I have, and that’s sort of the one area that’s a little….” She trails off. In 2018, she and her partner Justin Theroux parted ways.”


But let’s talk about how she’s “really good at every other job I have” because this is the whole purpose of the piece: to promote season three of The Morning Show. To be clear, this interview happened in May, ahead of the actors’ strike, and they’re rolling it out now because the premiere is in a couple of weeks and, as we know, she and Reese Witherspoon and other members of the cast will not be participating in any press. Seems like there were a lot of features though, like this one, that were banked ahead of time and we’re seeing them roll out now. Eventually all that material is going to run out, especially when we get deeper into the fall. 

In addition to starring in The Morning Show, Jennifer and Reese are co-producers and both have seen a lot of success behind the scenes with their respective production companies. Jennifer’s prodco, Echo Films, was credited on Murder Mystery 2 on Netflix and this is the role that she’s been playing up over the last few years, establishing herself as an entrepreneur as well as an artist. 


But she was involved on the production side of projects well before, starting with when she and Brad Pitt got married. This is the section, at least to me, that’s the most gossipy in the WSJ article: 

“While she and her husband at the time, Brad Pitt, were it-couple newlyweds, they created their own production company, teaming up with Aniston’s close friend Kristin Hahn and producer Brad Grey, who would go on to become chief executive of Paramount Pictures.

In the early 2000s, Plan B Entertainment was born. The company’s first homegrown project was The Departed, the 2006 crime drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which made roughly $291 million worldwide. While at Plan B, Aniston was a part of projects including The Time Traveler’s Wife, A Mighty Heart and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Inside Plan B, gender dynamics were sometimes at play around Aniston’s and Hahn’s overall contributions, the actress says. 

“Talk about a male-female situation,” Aniston says of her and Hahn’s reception. “It was a male-dominated sort of environment, and it was like, ‘Oh, aren’t you two cute?’” 


Where were the “gender dynamics” coming from? How did their two male partners, the two Brads, support or not support them when they were getting those “aren’t you two cute” vibes?! 

And then of course there’s the money part of it: 

“After Aniston and Pitt announced their divorce in early 2005, Pitt remained at Plan B while Aniston moved on. In 2007, The Departed won the company the best-picture Oscar and nabbed Scorsese his only Academy Award, for directing. That success was followed by best picture Oscars for 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight. Last year, Plan B sold a majority stake in the company to French media conglomerate Mediawan in a deal that valued Plan B at more than $300 million, according to the Financial Times.

Aniston is sanguine about the lost opportunity that business split represents. “It was like, ‘Go with God and be successful and fantastic,’ which they have been,” she says. “It was the only decision. And not in a negative way. It just was what was right at the time.” 

That’s two for two. Brad Pitt starts businesses with his wives, and then when the marriages break down he wants the businesses for himself. At least that’s my takeaway. 


To go back to Jen and what she’s learned, it’s a lesson that so many women in business struggle with:

“There was a time in my world, my career, where I realized it’s not being aggressive or combative or bitchy or emotional to stand up for what you deserve and what you want,” she says. “It’s a tough muscle to build. And also be loved and respected. It’s hard to achieve.” 

It IS hard to achieve. I still have a hard time asking for something I know I deserve and couching it in soft language. “Would it be OK if I did this?” “I was hoping that I might be able to…” 

People who work in a corporate environment are probably too familiar with this truth. Having to justify your value and then ask for it to be recognised, politely and almost apologetically, is exhausting and demoralising. 

Jennifer’s been able to figure it out. But the second part of that, once you figure it out and get into the spaces or create the spaces that she’s moved into now, is to use that power to start dismantling those systems. In her future interviews, I hope she can get more detailed about how she’s gone about doing that. We are way past generalisations and the more specific we can all get about best practices, the better. 

For Jen’s full interview with WSJ. Magazine, click here.