By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Throughout her adult life, Jennifer Aniston has been asked about motherhood—namely, when is she going to be a mom. Even now, at age 47, the Emmy winning actress continues to be shadowed with that question.
So it was no surprise that while doing press for the ensemble comedy “Mother’s Day,” the latest installment in the rom-com “holiday” films by veteran funnyman Garry Marshall (“Valentine’s Day,” “New Year’s Eve”), the former “Friends” star would once again face the perennial query. As she has done throughout her career, the blondish, blue-eyed actress handled it with aplomb—and a little help from a nearby publicist.
People magazine’s newly dubbed Most Beautiful Woman in the World stars alongside frequent screen partner Jason Sudeikis and fellow “Friends” star Courteney Cox, as well as Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Timothy Olyphant and Jon Lovitz in this cinematic homage to motherhood. Married last August to longtime boyfriend Justin Theroux, Aniston rekindled the public’s (or at least the press’) obsession with her biological clock.
She expertly dodged “the baby question” at the press conference by redirecting the focus to her onscreen work with her co-stars, her director and her mom.
Q: What appealed to you about this role and what do you think it says about families, the complications of families, because it seems like a normal family is like this these days?
Aniston: Yeah, it’s true. Garry Marshall was the reason I think most of us said “yes” to this movie, because since I was a kid, (Marshall’s) “Happy Days” or “The Odd Couple” or “Laverne & Shirley” to, of course, all of his incredible movies, so kind of without even reading a script I think we said, “Yep.” He really does a beautiful job on touching on all of the different scenarios of what the family unit looks like today and I think it’s quite lovely.
Q: Could you talk a little bit about your relationship with your mom and are you anxious for her to see this movie? Do you have anything planned for Mother’s Day for her?
Aniston: She sees all of my movies, so that’s not a hard one. I don’t know what we’ll do. Never know, until the day comes.
Q: What is the chemistry between you and Jason? You keep going back for more?
Aniston: Well, we have fun together. He makes me laugh.
Q: There’s got to be more to it than that, though.
Aniston: All right, all right. It’s in our contract, ok? (She laughs.)
Q: But you admit the chemistry is there? There’s something that really works between you.
Aniston: We have fun. We just have a fun time. It’s years of knowing each other, feeling comfortable. Ups and downs, hills and valleys, all the way in between, and we’re still here.
Q: Could you talk about working with Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson? The three of you were sort of considered the romantic comedy America’s sweethearts. Can you talk about how well you knew them in the past? What your friendships are with the two of them and how was it to all be in a movie together?
Aniston: It was so much fun. It was kind of a tease, because I only had a day with Julia and two days with Kate. I’ve known them, well Kate for gosh, almost 20 years. Long time. I’ve known Kate a long time and we’ve never had the opportunity to do something together. And Julia, the same thing. I was just over the moon. That was another great reason, was look at who the cast is, and then getting to meet all these wonderful, new, young up and coming girls. It was really fun. I just wish we had more together.
Q: Did you laugh a lot when you were working together? What was the chemistry like, finally actually working together?
Aniston: We did laugh a lot, but again, we were moving, we were working, so we didn’t have a lot of goofing around time, but we always laugh. Laughing is always important on a set. You’ve got to do it.
Q: Especially in a comedy, right?
Aniston: Yeah, especially.
Q: During the outtakes at the end, when you called Julia by her real name, did you do that for a joke?
Aniston: No, that was real. That was real. I did. I did catch myself. That was so silly.
Q: There’s a certain weirdness between parents and kids in the film. It seems to never go away, no matter what age you are. I wonder if you can recall the weirdest secrets you had when you were really little that you were keeping from your parents, thinking, “God, if only they knew” and then it turned out it was completely harmless.
Aniston: Taking money from (my mom’s) purse. It was, like, a dollar, and thinking I was stealing terribly large sums of cash. A dollar went a long way when we were kids. It was for video games usually. The arcade.
Q: What qualities do you think you inherited from your mother? What are the ones that you love and what are the ones that you hate?
Aniston: What qualities do I have from my mother? A sense of humor. She has a great sense of humor, and my dad. Let’s see, what are qualities that I hate? I’m a nervous driver. When I would drive, she would always scream, well maybe it’s because I was not a good driver. I kind of am a nervous driver. Actually, I’m more a nervous passenger than a driver.
Q: Do you ever think about the time that you could celebrate Mother’s Day as real?
Aniston: Say what? Is this a child question?
Q: About you celebrating your own Mother’s Day? That’s what the movie is about.
Aniston: Me celebrating my own Mother’s Day? Well, when and if there’s a child in the picture, than I would probably celebrate Mother’s Day but that, you know …
Q: Is there going to be a child?
Moderator: Next question.
Q: Was there any particular moment during filming that was real funny that was off the set that?
Aniston: That clown freaked me out. I don’t love clowns.
Q: The movie doesn’t concentrate so much on the craziness that is motherhood but rather the woman herself. Did it give you a different insight into your own mother’s life and did you call and say, “Mom I love you even more now?’
Aniston: I always had an appreciation for my mom and being a single mom. Our generation has a lot of divorced parents, so I’ve always had a great appreciation for women who are working moms, single moms. That’s not lost on me.
Q: What are your thoughts about motherhood and how do you play a mom to this comedy have changed?
Aniston: I’ve played moms for years.
Q: What are your thoughts about motherhood?
Aniston: I think it’s an incredible thing. I see all the friends that I have that are moms and my mom and all of our friends’ moms. This hasn’t changed how I feel about motherhood, though. I think they’re incredible.
Q: I’m always interested by the traditional of celebrating something that we choose one day a year to celebrate something.
Aniston: I agree with you. Yes. I think every day should be Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day.
Q: The character stays all in yoga pants or clothes for exercise. Are you comfortable in this kind of athletic, leisure clothes that everybody is doing now? Are you living in those when you feel like comfort?
Aniston: As my comfort clothing? My workout clothes? It’s usually jeans and a t-shirt.
Q: Those are your comfort clothes?
Aniston: Or boxers and a T-shirt. I mean, let’s get personal, huh?
Q: I just read that you get your t-shirts altered and somebody in the fashion world tried to replicate that and was really surprised.
Aniston: That I used to alter my t-shirts? Yes, that’s true.
Aniston: Yeah, I would just tell them take the sleeve in or, you know, sometimes you’re a perfect t-shirt and sometimes they needed a little tweak.
Q: According to the production notes, Garry Marshall would put a good joke into his chest pocket and a bad joke into his pants, if you hand it to him. I wonder, did any of your jokes or lines land in his chest pocket?
Aniston: That’s so funny, I never heard that.
Q: This holiday is the mother of all holidays. Could you talk a little about your favorite holiday, just elaborate on that?
Aniston: I enjoy Thanksgiving. It’s a family day, yeah. You play games. (It’s about) being present and grateful.
Q: At one point in the movie, you scream “Paris,” like I’ve never heard anybody scream “Paris” before. Can you please share with a memory that you have about the city?
Aniston: I love Paris. It’s absolutely one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. I absolutely love it. That screaming in the car just let me get through this humiliating scene, screaming by myself in a car.
Q: Have you done that before?
Aniston: No. That was my first time.