When Justin Theroux was dating Jennifer Aniston, their relationship frequently made headlines. And while dealing with the media frenzy, the actor received "one of the most sage pieces of advice ever" from Jason Bateman.
"He said, 'Look, in that side of the entertainment industry, a character is about to be born. And that character is you, but it's not you,'" Theroux recalled in a teaser for his upcoming Sunday Today With Willie Geist interview. "'That character is, you know, angry; that character has got a problem; that character is, you know, sweet. It's just this little soap opera that gets written in the margins. And he said, 'And so, my advice is don't follow that guy's storyline.'"
The Mosquito Coast star said he stuck to Bateman's words of wisdom. As he put it, "That's the only way you can keep sane in all that."
Aniston and Theroux started dating in 2011 and got engaged in 2012, tying the knot in 2015. But just a few years later, the two announced they'd broken up at the end of 2017, noting they were "two best friends" who'd "decided to part ways as a couple" and looked forward to continuing their "cherished friendship."
And they have. From celebrating holidays together to sending each other birthday wishes, the exes have remained on good terms. In fact, Theroux recently told Esquire he and the actress call, text and FaceTime now and then.
"Like it or not, we didn't have that dramatic split, and we love each other," he told the magazine. "I'm sincere when I say that I cherish our friendship. We can not be together and still bring each other joy and friendship. Also, she makes me laugh very, very hard. She's a hilarious person. It would be a loss if we weren't in contact, for me personally. And I'd like to think the same for her."
"When they came to an end, it was a choice that was made because we chose to be happy, and sometimes happiness didn't exist within that arrangement anymore," she told Elle in 2018. "Sure, there were bumps, and not every moment felt fantastic, obviously, but at the end of it, this is our one life and I would not stay in a situation out of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of not being able to survive. To stay in a marriage based on fear feels like you're doing your one life a disservice. When the work has been put in and it doesn't seem that there's an option of it working, that's okay. That's not a failure."
As for the tabloids' fascination with her love life, the Friends alum has admitted it can be "pretty crazy."
"The misconceptions are 'Jen can't keep a man,' and 'Jen refuses to have a baby because she's selfish and committed to her career.' Or that I'm sad and heartbroken," Aniston told InStyle in 2018. "First, with all due respect, I'm not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what's going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. They don't know what I've been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they're deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn't to procreate. Maybe I have other things I'm supposed to do."
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