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FHM Magazine: September 1996

Do you feel like your love life is under constant scrutiny?
Yes. I only have to be seen in public with a guy and the engagement notices go in the papers. The money that people have made out of these tabloid papers and TV shows is unbelievable. It's the disgusting side of Hollywood. They're always making up fights between the Friends co-stars. There was one in Star magazine that said I was "The Queen of Mean". I was like "Whaat!?" Then they said I wouldn't let my boyfriend do an audition for a play because it would take away from "our time together". It was just awful. Another story said that I'd had a cat fight with Sandra Bullock. It was one big lie. So as a joke I sent her flowers to make up.

Have you ever been tempted to do a Sean Penn and punch the paparazzi?
I've considered punching them out, they're awful people and I can certainly understand why Sean Penn would want to beat the shit out of them. They don't understand that they're ruining your life and they say that because you became famous you gave up your right to privacy. I did? Where was that written?

To redress the balance, you should check out the Holy Tabernacle of Aniston the Divine - an Internet group whose central tenets include 'Like some plants, Jennifer does not need to eat in order to survive, and can take sustenance from the air itself', perhaps most puzzlingly, 'Gravity does not affect Jennifer'...
Oh my God, I'm totally blushing! Ha ha ha! I don't understand why the laws of physics don't apply to me though, because looking at my body they certainly do! Actually I'm into the Internet. A while ago it was something of an addiction for me, I would be on it until like 3am. But now I surf the 'Net and pretend I'm someone else. I change my name on an almost weekly basis. Sometimes I go into chat rooms and just see what people are saying about me, and I've walked in on plenty of conversations about myself. One person was saying, "I think I got rear ended by Aniston."

Have you learned anything about yourself on the Internet that you didn't know about before?
Yeah, that I was having an affair with David Schwimmer from the show. Someone was saying how they'd seen us kissing in a mall. I certainly didn't know about it and I don't think he did either - although we'd probably have enjoyed it, had it happened, ha ha ha! But you know, I'm rumoured to be having sex with every famous man in Hollywood; and the truth is I haven't had sex with anyone famous.

Have you made comments about yourself on-line?
Oh yeah, when the whole thing about my new haircut happened, I was saying thinks like, "I am so sick of hearing about Jennifer Aniston's haircut! Let's go back to what Friends is really about - the stories and the actors and not the haircut." It's just a fad. It'll go away. I do more on Friends than just flop in there with this bouncy little shag.

A bouncy little what?
Oh my God - I've just remembered that you guys use shag to mean screw, don't you? And the truth is, I've had no decent shags in this business. Ha ha ha! You know, talking about the language difference, I've just learned what 'wobbler' means and it's now my new favourite word. So now I throw wobblers.

What car do you drive?
I drive a 1970 280 SL Mercedes. For an antique, gorgeous car it wasn't that expensive, although I'm not about to tell you how much! I still have a Land Rover too, but I mostly drive the Mercedes now - it's my new toy. It's been a fantasy car of mine for some time. I had the Land Rover before Friends even started, as I've always liked big trucks. Driving is such a pain in the ass that I like to feel bigger that everybody else. You guys don't have trucks, do you? You even have midget cars.

Size isn't everything, Jennifer. Now, have you had any big crashes recently?
No, nothing, I'm an excellent driver.

Really, because I remember reading that not too long ago you crashed your car and got away with it by signing a photograph for the woman whose car you'd hit...
Oh yeah, but that wasn't a crash. That was just a bump and it wasn't my fault. It was lucky I had some head shots in the car though! But I'm an excellent driver, really. Although I'm sure that Matthew Perry (Chandler in Friends) would beg to differ - he said I was the worst driver in the history of drivers and that if he knows I'm going somewhere in my car, he stays home. But he drives a black Porsche. It's tiny. Porches are a tiny little extension of a man's umm, male self.

Surely your flash car is a classic example of penis envy?
My new car? My new old car? No! That's a classic car. Believe me, there's no penis envy thing going on here. No, it's a tiny little thing. It looks like my grandmother, if anything. It's white and it's light and it's old and it kind of breaks down - it's a clunker, but it's really pretty.

We were pretty impressed at FHM to learn that Telly Savalas was your godfather...
I was pretty impressed too. He was just the coolest guy. He'd send me lollipops in the mail and I remember on my seventh birthday he had a pink bicycle delivered to my door. He was one of those unbelievably generous human beings to his entire family, and there were a lot of them.

Did he used to say "Who loves you baby?" to you?
Not that I can remember. But he may have done. I mean I could say he did and make this article really cool though.

You're Greek, aren't you? What's your family like?
The Greeks are unbelievable! Their traditions are very strong. Greek families are like the Mafia except they're a lot friendlier. Just recently, I went back there with my boyfriend, Tate Donovan. We spent five glorious days in Santorini. We were just on the verge of being there in the 'summer lovers' period but we missed it, and that was what I'd gone for! I had all my bikinis and gauze wraps and stuff ready to wear... and we were looking for our third lover, but we couldn't find one because it was too cold! Then we went to Crete, which is spectacular - that's where I lived when I was little.

What are you like on ouzo!
Errgh! I hate ouzo! There is nothing more disgusting to me. When you add something to ouzo, it turns white - you explain that phenomenon to me. There's gotta be something wrong with it. I'm telling you, Greek white wine, especially from Santorini, is so unbelievable, but ouzo... no. But I have just started liking feta cheese for the first time. I used to hate Greek food. Basically it's awful food.

Have you ever got off with a Greek waiter called Stavros?
No, never. And you know, I could never marry a Greek man, because I grew up in a Greek family - oops! - maybe I shouldn't say any more. I'll get in trouble with my family.

Oh, go on...
Okay. Well, I think Greek men are... behind the times. Women are still second-class citizens, pregnant in the kitchen while the men sit around drinking ouzo and smoking cigarettes after dinner instead of helping with anything. And Greek men are well known for being philanderers. My dad is a Greek man and I love him with all my heart, but... Greek men are all about big moustaches, lots of ouzo and dancing with women who aren't necessarily their wives. And also their moms tell them they're perfect so they think they can do no wrong. And there's nothing worse than a man who thinks he can do no wrong. Let's get real.

What's your favourite swear word?
Fuck. I wish we could ad-lib 'fuck' into our TV show. I love that word. Maybe only my character, Rachel, should be allowed to say it though. I wish we could be like Absolutely Fabulous and swear and talk about sex and drugs. That would be great!

When was the last bender you went on?
I don't know when the last time I got drunk was, it was so long ago. I went out with the girls on a big night out last night, but I didn't get drunk. I just have fun on life. I know that sound really sappy and Hallmark cardy, but I don't like to get drunk. I don't like how it feels.

Did an old agent of yours really tell you to lose weight if you wanted to make it in Hollywood?
Uh huh. But at the time I wasn't fat, I was just Greek. I'm a Greek woman and that figure is big tits and big ass. I hear that British men love that old Venus figure, that's what a woman should be - voluptuous. Maybe I should move to London. I have a hard time with society's idea of what women should look like - stick thin. And the terrible thing for me is that people talk about the girls on Friends being so skinny and being such unrealistic role models, but I'm telling you that I'm not skinny! I am thin, and certainly I used to be a lot heavier. When I was a kid I used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches - the most delicious thing in the world. My favourite was tuna-mayo, but with the tuna left out. I was a fat child.

Do you stand in front of the mirror pressing your bum to make it look like you've got cellulite?
Oh yeah! Me and Courteney and Lisa (Kudrow, Friends' Phoebe) do it to each other constantly - "Look at that, look at that," and then we make each other look at it. It's the most bizarre thing.

And when you ask a guy if he thinks your fat, do you kill him if he says yes?
Yes. Exactly! But I actually don't ever dare to ask the question. I don't ask because I figure that if they don't say anything to me I'd rather be under the illusion that I'm fine.

What's the first thing you criticise about your body?
Oh God, that's the kind of thing you I should never tell you because everyone will start looking for it, but I have always wished I had longer legs. And of course all women have a problem with their hips. Definitely, hips, hips, hips. And I've got child-bearing hips. I will not have a problem bearing a few puppies. Giving birth will not be a problem for Jennifer Aniston.

Do the Friends boys get embarrassed when you girls talk about sex?
Yeah, but they love it - all boys do. We've gotten into some pretty intense conversations about sex and it's such a kick for us because they love hearing it, and we really go off on it sometimes just to entertain them really.

What habits do guys have that would have you packing your bags?
Oh, you'd have to be pretty bad for me to move out. No communication is a bad thing that guys are guilty of. I hate men who are selfish with their feelings - men who can't talk about the way they feel. But I'm not demanding at all. Making me a cup of coffee is an awesome thing to do. The first time my boyfriend brought me coffee in bed, I almost wept - I couldn't believe it. I'd never had anyone do that for me before.

I think you've been seeing the wrong kind of guys. How would I woo you?
Be yourself. Be funny. And generous. I'm still very old-fashioned and I have a problem with some of these Nineties men. I still believe in men courting women and I still believe in dates and I still believe in a man picking up a woman at her house and when you want to go steady you say "will you be my girlfriend?" I love that - I love tradition. I think it's quite romantic. I like a guy with a sense of humour, a gentleness, someone that's comfortable with who he is. Someone that's no bullshit, you know what I mean?

If you were to give us one piece of sexual advice, what would it be?
I don't think guys are doing anything wrong, but I do think you're too conscious of yourselves. Stop being aware of what you're doing and how it's appearing, and just feel it. You're always worrying 'Is she enjoying this?' and 'Is my thing big enough?' But who cares? Sex is a messy enough business at the best of times. And I think it's important to be able to laugh when you're having sex - when it's appropriate. It can be very damaging when you laugh at the wrong moment.

What is you number one turn-on?
I don't have any weird secret turn-ons, if that's what you're after. I'm pretty much run-of-the-mill sexually, which is often to people's dismay.

Did Marcel, the Friends monkey, ever make a pass at you?
No. No. Well, actually, just once, but I said no and spoke to the monkey trainers and had them deal with him. It was very uncomfortable on set for a while, but we got through it. I think they had to feed him more worms and keep him in the dark. Now if we meet, we're both professional.

And what about Jean Claude Van Damme who is in the new episode, The One after the Superbowl?
No, he didn't make a pass, but he invited Courtney and I to his trailer to have dinner. We were laughing so much afterwards. I mean, he was nice, but I can't figure him out. You just look at someone who's that huge a superstar and you wonder 'Why does he have that guy with him all the time?', 'Does he really have to have everything done for him?', 'Does he do anything for himself?', 'Does he do his own laundry?' I'm fascinated by people like that. He didn't seem like a real person. I don't want to be quoted as saying anything bad about him but I think that European men like him have a weird way of thinking about women. I don't think he sees them as equal or people he can talk to. He thinks of them as playthings.

And who would you have rather gone on a date with, Marcel or Jean Claude?
Oh, definitely Mar... oh no, oh no! Neither of them! No comment! No comment! No comment! You'll get me in trouble!

Why was Marcel so unpopular with the Friends cast?
Well, I love the monkey... when I watch him on TV. But, boy, that friggin' monkey could waste time on set. It could be cute, cute, cute then it would go into Outbreak mode, and we'd all be in trouble.

Do the Friends cast actually have any ugly mates?
We don't think we're the greatest looking bunch of people in the world. Admittedly we haven't been stricken by God, but look close and you'll see we're not the best looking people. And you're talking to someone who was not the most popular girl at school, so it's funny to me that all of a sudden I'm being called a sex symbol. I was definitely an ugly duckling. I look at pictures of myself in high school and I think, how come I was allowed out of the house looking like I did? I had a shaved head and earrings up the side, and I wore the most unbelievable amount of make-up. I looked awful.

What is the worst fashion faux-pas you've made?
When I was younger, I had a pair of purple and black striped pants. Considering the weight I was at, it was unbelievable that I even allowed myself to wear these things. It was another big mistake from the queen of the fashion faux pax. I really am like that. And even today I have no idea. I don't know any designers, I don't know the materials, and still people think that I'm a fashion victim.

In your career, you've been in your fair share of clunkers, haven't you?
Oh yeah.

Run me through the concept of Herman's Head...
It's a guy's head, and inside of it are all the little people who are the brain - making decisions - and you saw them inside of his head, but it was actually really fun. I played Herman's sister.

And what about erm, Camp Cucamonga?
I don't recall. I really don't recall.

You lie! What about that Celtic slasher movie, Leprechaun?
I deny that movie. I deny it was me in it. My apologies to Mark Jones who directed it, but I deny it, I deny it, I deny it!

Tell me something you've never told anyone before.
When I was 14, my friend and I were in Webbers (a big American haberdashery) and we lifted some make-up, and that was pretty daring and bad. Oh yeah, another thing is that I can't go out in the rain because my hair gets curly, And another thing is that I have a tattoo on my ass.

Really?
No, I don't really, but I want to get one. I'd want it to be really beautiful and say something, like a beautiful African symbol. It'd certainly look better than the heart with a sword stuck through it. Or maybe I should get my car tattooed on my ass.

Would you have screwed Young Elvis or Cheeseburger Elvis?
Neither. I never fancied him. I had a thing for Danny Kaye. I liked the nice boys. Bad boys are not my scene.

You caught quite a lot of slack for a recent American Rolling Stone photo shoot where you bared your arse, didn't you?
I even had a women stopping me in the street and saying, "Why did you have to do that?" Well, first of all, it's none of your business why I do something and for you to make a judgement on it is wrong. I get so livid about it, I'll sit there in the street and talk to a stranger about it for 45 minutes, just so there's one less person out there who thinks badly of me. But you know what? Fuck it and Fuck 'em, I don't care. And no, I'm not about to go and do Playboy. The centrefold is not going to happen. But I wanna hear the offers, so I can turn them down!

And what do you think of your number one position in FHM's American TV babes list?
I came first? You're kidding?! That's funny. That really makes me laugh. That's very cool. You know, I think I really need to live in London

Sky Magazine: August 1997

 

As recently as 1994, the name Jennifer Aniston was virtually unknown. Three short years down the line, she's put her name to one of the most popular TV series on the planet, cut her big screen teeth on She's The One and got a religion named after her. And while the (sadly now-defunct) Holy Tabernacle Of Aniston The Divine homepage would have us believe many things (among them, "Jennifer can do no wrong, ever," "No aspect of Jennifer is insignificant," and of course, "Great hair is a spiritual gift"), even it would have to concede that no one makes their imprint on a whole generation by capillary perfection alone.

It's a "love her or love her" set-up with Jennifer Aniston, and much of that appeal can be credited to her role as Rachel in Friends. At the casting sessions, Aniston had been up for the part of Monica, which might well have changed the course of TV history as we know it. Somehow, though, we'd have muddled through and found a whole new way of falling in love with her. The same way we did with Rachel.

The only female cast member to actually make an entrance in the Friends pilot episode, Rachel Karen Green burst into our world bedraggled, wet through and - just to make sure we'd really remember her - in full bridal attire. Over the next 30 minutes we came to know a spoilt little girl, woefully dependant on others, as inextricably caught up in her own "situations" as she was blissfully oblivious to others'. But she was, at the end of it all, a good sort, and we adored her from the word go. Those of us who weren't immediately smitten by a crush of Ross proportions would have been happy to, I don't know, simply be a little more like her.

Rachel appeals to the part of us that wants to look after someone - and we kid ourselves that it's what she needs. Monica - on first impressions, at least - seems way too much like hard work, especially with that sanity-challenging "neat" thing going on. Phoebe, on the other hand, is... well, too Phoebe, leaving Rachel as the girl Friend who we want for a girlfriend. In Rachel we see a girl who's no less crap at running her emotional life than the rest of us, someone who keeps getting it so wrong, but who so desperately wants to get it right. She is, in brief, the most human character ever to emerge from a Stateside sitcom.

Not, of course, that we would normally be so foolish as to confuse the actor with the character, but the Friends do, to a greater or lesser degree, provide a luxurious exception to that particular rule. "Jennifer was the part," confirms Friends produce Kevin Bright, recalling Aniston's first reading for the role. "She was funny. She was pretty. It all came through in one big stroke."

And it keeps coming. The eargerly-awaited third series has just kicked off on Channel 4 and series one and two were recently repeated. Rachel's character goes through as many developments as Matthew Perry's hairstyle, but throughout it all, Aniston delivers one-liners with the kind of killer timing that makes Absolutely Fabulous seem cack-handed. Whether she realises it or not, Jennifer Aniston is without question one of the funniest, most attractive women on TV today.

Now Aniston's career is moving to its next phase. And, Courtney Cox in Scream excepted, while the other Friends' big screen outings have by and large failed to bring the same sort of acclaim as their TV work, Aniston has been more fortunate.

First there was Ed Burns' second feature, She's The One. "We were four weeks from shooting and starting to get scared," recalls Burns, whose casting sessions for the part of Renee had, at that stage, been totally fruitless. "They went whiney and bitchy instead of vulnerable. I called up and basically pleaded with her manager, 'Is there any way?'" Already a fan of The Brothers McMullen, Aniston was happy to oblige. "It was one of my most favourite memories of being an actress," she beams. "To go to New York and do a movie with wonderful people and a really fun role - what more could you ask for?" As Renee, the injured corner of a love triangle involving Cameron Diaz and Mike McGlone, Aniston enjoyed a "Why is it such a big thing?" on-screen moment with a battery-powered martial aid but, far more importantly, made the transition from small to big screen stardom without any apparent hitches. Well, that's how we saw it. Aniston herself recalls it differently: "I remember seeing She's The One for the first time," she frowns. "I was like, 'I should not be on a screen that big.'"

Cinema audiences blithely exercised their right to beg to differ and the movie career gained momentum. Later this year, we will see Aniston alongside Kevin Bacon in Picture Perfect, where she plays and ed exec who ends up meeting the very boyfriend she fabricated for her friend's benefit. But first up is 'Till There Was You, a romantic comedy of the best Sleepless In Seattle tradition. So far there's been no "TV vs movies" conflict, although who knows what the next 10 years will bring? "That's a good question," she laughs. "I asked myself that not too long ago. Hopefully still working as an actress and, hopefully, producing. Maybe even directing..."

As Aniston's profile has increased, however, so has press interest. "There's a good and bad side to everything," she sighs. "Especially if you're an actor. You're just out there." On the bad side, tabloid gossips have (erroneously) reported how she and Courtney Cox ended up having a full-on catfight over Aniston's ex, Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz. Aniston maintains that Cox and Duritz aren't actually dating, a fact which seems to be confirmed by Cox's declaration that, "I can't go out with anybody if my friend has even kissed them." That, obviously, hasn't deterred LA's gossip-mongers, whose finest "creation" of late has been the tale of how Sandra Bullock (that's nice, cosy, cardi-wearing Sandra, right?) trashed Aniston's apartment when she started seeing Bullock's ex-squeeze, Tate Donovan. Nonsense, of course, and you can understand Aniston's distaste for the subject.

Get onto Tate and it's a different kettle of fish. "Yes, I'm in love with him. He's a sweetie," she smiles, gazing into the distance as she recalls their first date. "I had butterflies, but then we met and he was easy to talk to. I've never had such good talking chemistry."

But Tate's not the only one to fall under her spell. The public's love affair with Aniston is set to go on... and on... and on...

Sky Magazine: August 1998

As Friends' Rachel has got her act together with the latest series of the unstoppable sitcom (she's simple, independant and career-driven), so her alter-ego Jennifer Aniston has increasingly invaded the corners of our lives. Be it during the fourth run of Friends or in her big screen hat-trick, She's The One, Picture Perfect and The Object Of My Affection, Ms Aniston has proven herself and established a load of respect. Not to mention nabbing top billing in one readers' poll after another.

So you could be forgiven for almost expecting a hard-nosed, motor-mouthed control freak to emerge in interviews. But you couldn't be more off the mark. Instead, this vision of fragile beauty, with flawless creamy skin, nice hair (of course) and the bluest eyes on the planet, glides into a plush suite at a ritzy Beverly Hills hotel wearing a we're-all-girls-together grin.

Wearing a figure-hugging, spagetti-strap, dip-dyed dress, the Friends star is a lot thinner in the flesh and unfathomably sweet. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Jennifer is here to promote last month's romantic comedy, The Object Of My Affection, in which she plays Nina, a loveable bohemian feminist, who falls pregnant by her boyfriend but is head over heels in love with her gay roommate.

We meet the day after Ginger Spice exercises some of her girl power by announcing to the world that she's had enough of being a Spice Girl (what took you so long, Geri?), so it seems rather fitting to open the conversation by informing her of the mourning of British pop fans...

How would you feel if one of the central six left Friends - something to consider after the Spice Girls split?
Who left the Spice Girls? The Spice Girls broke up?

Ginger Spice has left.
Which is Ginger?

The redhead.
The one with the blonde in the front? She quit the band? What are they going to do? Are they going to go on?

Erm, I'm usually the one asking the questions. They're going to tour the US without her. How do you feel about that?
I'm a little in shock! I gotta catch my breath for a minute. No, it just makes me laugh for some reason. I don't know why. Maybe I can become the next Spice Girl! Whad'ya think?

What kind of Spice would you be?
(Laughs)I don't know.

So, how would you feel if the show became Friend-less?
I don't know. I just don't think it will ever happen.

What are your expectations for the next series?
What do you want to happen?

Well, I love his English friend but I don't want Ross to move, so...
Yeah, I don't know what's going to happen 'cos people love the pursuit with Ross and Rachel more than they love us together. I don't think they - the writers - know what's going to happen. They get themselves to the end of a season and then they say: "Thank God, we've got four months to figure out what to do."

But what are your hopes for next season?
Well, it's been great in the last season, in terms of Rachel really getting in touch with her identity, her independance, her job and making her own living. And also being in a relationship at the same time and not knowing how to handle the two. I love that. But I would love to see somebody move out or do something.

Who do you most socialise with from Friends
I would say mainly the girls. We're very close.

How's Lisa's son Julian doing? Have you met him yet?
I've not met her baby. I spoke to her right before, as her legs were numbing, and right after. She's so happy. She's in New York making a movie. I just got back myself and they told me, "Yeah, Lisa's in New York." I'm like, what do you mean? She's just had a baby. She can't be doing anything!

How do you know when you're in love?
I think it's butterflies. I don't know what it looks like and I don't know how to describe it. I think it's just a feeling and God knows if I've ever even felt it!

Do you believe in love at first sight?
(Long pause)No. No. I don't think so.

So, you think you have to get to know someone before there's any smooching?
Oh, yeah. Oh, definitely. I mean, you can fall in lust with someone at first sight or even in like with someone at first sight, but I don't think you can fall in love at first sight.

How do you feel about getting married and starting a family?
Oh, I definitely want to do all of that. My dream as a little girl, of course, was always to have a husband and a family and all that stuff.

How do you deal with what the tabloids have written about you?
I just ignore it now because it's all bullshit. It's amazing what they'll come up with. I mean, it really amazes me.

What's the best thing you've ever read about yourself lately?
The funniest thing that comes to mind was when I read I was dating this wrestler (shouts out to publicist sitting in the back room), what was his name? He's a world wrestler. Oh, Flash, that's it! He was married, but his wife was OK with it (laughs). There were like direct quotes from this guy!

Did you ever meet Flash?
No! I've never met a lot of people I've been hooked up with.

What's the most hurtful thing that you've read?
It was probably when I was going through a break-up. I just can't do anything in private. And people's feelings were getting hurt and untrue things were being said. You know, speculation about why, and all that crap.

Do you feel like you want to clear things up?
It makes you want to go out and make a public statement. But no, I'm not going to give it to them. These tabloids are just trash.

What's it like to go through a break-up in public?
It's just bizarre. It's so not-newsworthy. I mean that's not interesting to me. I guess it's always been like that.

Did you read the tabloid gossip before you became a celeb?
Oh, sure. I still get it. Back then I also believed it, but now I know what it is.

So, would you say this is the largest downside to being successful in Hollywood?
Yeah, and it's not a bad one. I'd say it's a downside to walk out of your house and there's somebody there, waiting for you. All of a sudden: Woo... There are people out there. Or being followed in a car, I don't know if that man's a paparazzo or just somebody who wants to hunt me down and murder me. You just don't know. So everything goes through your brain.

Have you ever called the police because you've felt harassed?
Yeah. I've driven somebody right into a police station. Don't mess with me. There has to be a line drawn because you wanna give what you want to give, but then you also need to protect what's yours