Jennifer Aniston is one of the richest, most beautiful actresses in the world. A quick glance at her filmography proves she’s also among the most versatile. But there’s always a flip side to fame and fortune and there are plenty of depressing Jennifer Aniston stories floating around Hollywood.
If you hunt for Jennifer Aniston rumors, you’ll find speculative tales of pregnancy, her romantic reconciliation with ex-husband Brad Pitt, and a slew of other never-ending rumors that follow the actress everywhere she goes.
Some of the outlandish Jennifer Aniston stories on the internet have been verified as fact. She was stalked by a dangerous person, who was found with a roll of duct tape and a sharp object. The police apprehended him before he made his attack.
Is Jennifer Aniston a nice person? By most accounts, the Friends star and romantic comedy lead appears delightful and fulfilled. But that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t suffered through dark times or had her fair share of heartbreak.
In 2010, while Aniston was out getting a cup of coffee at Starbucks, a man named Jason Peyton was waiting outside for the actress with a sharp object, a bag, and a roll of duct tape. He was arrested before any harm could come to the star. Aniston was able to get a restraining order against Peyton, who had spent eight days trying to locate her. After he was in custody, the police found his car with the message “I LOVE YOU JENNIFER ANISTON” carved into the side.
According to documents obtained by TMZ, “Peyton is an obsessed, mentally ill and delusional stalker — with a history of violence and criminal stalking — who drove cross-country in his delusional ‘mission’ to locate and marry [Aniston], with whom he believes he is in a relationship.”
The police were able to locate Peyton after he left a note for his dad in Pennsylvania saying that he was going to California. His father knew that meant he would be looking for Aniston. His mother was the one who reportedly alerted the police. Peyton had a violent past which included stabbing himself and hitting his mother with a golf club. He had been institutionalized before and stopped taking his antipsychotic drugs. Peyton also allegedly believes that he is related to Oprah, Nelson Mandela, JAY-Z, Jennifer Lopez, and Courteney Cox.
Despite being named the World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine in 2016, Aniston has still spent much of her life suffering from “low self-esteem” and “a sense of shame.” Aniston blames her mother for much of her negative self-image: “I don’t know if I would have known how beautiful she was if she wasn’t always pointing out how unbeautiful I was.”
Aniston also blames the media for making her feel like an “insecure teenage girl” in regard to her looks. “I think I’m just starting to feel I can stop apologizing to the world — to myself, my family, to my friends, to the world, and live in my body and be okay with that,” she said.
Aniston opened up about her up-and-down relationship with her mother, Nancy Dow, who passed in 2016. The actress said that they were fine during a 2015 interview, though she admitted they did go years without speaking:
She had a temper. I can’t tolerate that. If I get upset, I will discuss [things]. I will never scream and get hysterical like that. [But] I was never taught that I could scream…
She was critical. She was very critical of me. Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn’t. I never was. I honestly still don’t think of myself in that sort of light, which is fine. She was also very unforgiving. She would hold grudges that I just found so petty.
Their falling out occurred after Aniston’s breakout fame following Friends. Dow, a former actress and model, went on a talk show and discussed personal details about her daughter’s life, which upset Aniston. Dow was not invited to her daughter’s wedding to Brad Pitt.
Brad Pitt and Aniston were married for five years, from 2000-05. During a 2011 interview with Parade, Pitt talked about how completely unhappy he was during that period:
I spent the ’90s trying to hide out … It started feeling pathetic. It became very clear to me that I was so intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn’t living an interesting life myself. I think that my marriage [to actress Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t.
Aniston’s against-type portrayal of a suicidal woman who loses her son after a devastating car crash is just the type of role the Academy loves to reward. Cake (2014) is a difficult film to watch, thanks in part to Aniston’s heart-wrenching performance. For the movie, Aniston stopped exercising, let her hair get dirty, and did not wear makeup. She was a virtual shoe-in for an Oscar nomination.
However, when the nominations were announced on January 15, 2015, Aniston’s name was not among the nominees. The press published stories with headlines reading, “Snubbed.” Aniston handled the disappointment with grace. “I know a lot of people were sorry,” she said the day after the nominations were announced. “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].”
Few celebrities have been hounded by the paparazzi like Aniston. From her marriage to Brad Pitt to her divorce to her relationship with Justin Theroux to the constant media speculation on whether she is pregnant or not, Aniston finally got tired of it all. In 2016, she wrote an open letter and published it in The Huffington Post:
Every day my husband and I are harassed by dozens of aggressive photographers staked outside our home who will go to shocking lengths to obtain any kind of photo, even if it means endangering us or the unlucky pedestrians who happen to be nearby…
The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty.
Friends was a monumental hit, but it solidified Aniston as a certain type in the mind of audiences. The actress doesn’t publicly complain about the role that made her famous, but it’s clear she gets type-cast.
After Cake‘s 2014 premiere, one movie reviewer from The Guardian described Aniston’s performance in a backhanded way: “Here is a movie that exists solely as a showcase for hitherto hidden acting chops; an anti-vanity catwalk down which she can limp, drained and hideous.”
Aniston replied to the reviewer’s “hitherto hidden acting talent” remark:
You have to do something really dark to be taken seriously, I guess… If you’re in someone’s living room every week for 10 years and every day on God knows what network, people are going to have a hard time saying, ‘O.K., we’re going to see you do what now?’ without making associations. It’s a Catch-22. It’s like: ‘I know I can play this part, you just have to let me.’ And then it’s ‘I can’t let you play that part, because I’ve never seen you do it.’ There were jobs that I really wanted and would fight and fight for and then the obvious previous Oscar winners would get them.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Aniston admitted she doesn’t read much because she has dyslexia, a learning disability that hurt her self-esteem growing up. Aniston didn’t discover she had the disorder until she was in her 20s:
The only reason I knew [that I had it] was because I went to get a prescription for glasses. I had to wear these Buddy Holly glasses. One had a blue lens and one had a red lens. And I had to read a paragraph, and they gave me a quiz, gave me 10 questions based on what I’d just read, and I think I got three right. Then they put a computer on my eyes, showing where my eyes went when I read. My eyes would jump four words and go back two words, and I also had a little bit of a lazy eye, like a crossed eye, which they always have to correct in photos…
I thought I wasn’t smart. I just couldn’t retain anything. Now I had this great discovery. I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained.
Aniston was arguably the biggest star on Friends. She won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her performance as Rachel Green. If anyone was going to parlay their Friends success into a big-time movie career, it was going to be her.
However, it seems that Aniston is more of a tabloid star than a major movie star. A few of her post-Friends films have faired well at the box office; The Break-Up, Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers, and Marley and Me all earned well over $100 million. However, many of her movies have bombed both financially and critically. Films like Life of Crime, The Bounty Hunter and The Switch failed to find an audience.
According to a 2013 article in RadarOnline, Aniston did not socialize with the cast and crew of the film Life of Crime. According to a source, “Every day at lunch the entire cast and crew head to a cafeteria facility where they all sit down and eat lunch together for well over an hour. But the only person who doesn’t eat with everyone else is Jen. She quickly grabs a lunch to go and leaves.”
The source also told RadarOnline that Aniston got a fancier SUV than everyone else and her trailer was located far away from the set, making her appear “not approachable.”
Aniston’s less-than-ideal childhood turned her into a self-described “control freak.” She explained her need for order during a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
I’m a control freak. I like to be in charge of everything. My life was so out of control growing up, it’s very important today for it to be in control. I have to bite my tongue sometimes if I’m on a movie, when I think I can figure out how to make this problem that they’re having go smoothly. I just bite my tongue, especially with a [bad] director. Some directors are just like — oh, God, oh God, oh God! I [have to] just suffer through this.
Sure, Aniston is a beautiful, wealthy person. But she’s still a person. Getting a divorce is hard enough; imagine having it play out on the front page of every magazine. That’s not to mention weathering constant speculation about your new love or potential pregnancy.
Aniston owned up to her raw emotions during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015: “I’ve cried deeply. I’ve felt immense loss in my life. Anybody who’s felt pain or loss that has sent you to your knees knows [what that’s like].”