When asked about her reaction to seeing published photos of her then-estranged husband Brad Pitt getting cozy with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith costar (and eventual partner-turned-ex) Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston said in a 2005 Vanity Fair interview, "The world was shocked, and I was shocked. I'd be a robot if I said I didn't feel moments of anger, of hurt, of embarrassment."
She added, "He makes his choices. He can do—whatever. We're divorced, and you can see why."
Though Aniston noted that there appeared to be "a sensitivity chip that's missing" in her ex, she told the magazine, "I love Brad; I really love him. I will love him for the rest of my life. He's a fantastic man. I don't regret any of it, and I'm not going to beat myself up about it. We spent seven very intense years together; we taught each other a lot—about healing, and about fun. We helped each other through a lot, and I really value that. It was a beautiful, complicated relationship."
"When were Brad and I healed? Well, it never was that bad," Aniston told Vogue in 2008. "I mean, look, it's not like divorce is something that you go, 'Oooh, I can't wait to get divorced!' It doesn't feel like a tickle. But I've got to tell you, it's so vague at this point, it's so faraway in my mind, I can't even remember the darkness. I mean, in the end, we really had an amicable split. It wasn't mean and hateful and all of this stuff that they tried to create about Brad can't talk to Jen and Jen can't talk to Brad because this person won't allow it. It just didn't happen. The marriage didn't work out."
"And pretty soon after we separated, we got on the phone and we had a long, long conversation with each other and said a lot of things, and ever since we've been unbelievably warm and respectful of each other," she continued. "Whoever said everything has to be forever, that's setting your hopes too high. It's too much pressure. And I think if you put that pressure on yourself—because I did! Fairy tale! It has to be the right one!—that's unattainable."
"It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn't living an interesting life myself," Pitt told Parade magazine in 2011. "I think that my marriage had something to do with it, trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn't."
The actor later clarified in a statement, "Jen is an incredibly giving, loving, and hilarious woman who remains my friend. It is an important relationship I value greatly. The point I was trying to make is not that Jen was dull, but that I was becoming dull to myself—and that, I am responsible for."
"She's good people," Pitt said during a 2011 appearance on NBC's Today show.
When asked about his Parade comments, he said, "I think it's a shame that I can't say something nice about Angie without Jen being drug in. You know, she doesn't deserve it."
Pitt also denied that Aniston called him after his quotes came out, saying, "She's also a seasoned veteran and she knows. You know, and she's a valuable person. We spent seven years together. Come on."
"I don't find it painful," Aniston said of their divorce while appearing on CBS Sunday Morning in 2015. "I think it's a narrative that follows you because it's an interesting headline. It's more of a media-driven topic."
She added at the time, "We've exchanged good wishes and all that sort of stuff to each other, but not a constant thing. I mean, do you talk to your ex-wife?"
"We're not in daily communication. But we wish nothing but wonderful things for each other. Nobody did anything wrong. You know what I mean?" Aniston told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. "It was just like, sometimes things [happen]. If the world only could just stop with the stupid, soap opera bulls--t. There's no story. I mean, at this point it's starting to become—please, give more credit to these human beings."
"My marriages, they've been very successful, in [my] personal opinion. And 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," Aniston, who was married to Justin Theroux from 2015 to 2017, 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."
She continued, "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. We have these clichés around all of this that need to be reworked and retooled, you know? Because it's very narrow-minded thinking."
Two years after Aniston's breakup from Theroux and three years after Pitt's split from Jolie, a paparazzo asked the actor if he and Aniston were getting back together.
His response? Pitt chuckled and replied, "Oh my God."
All eyes were on the 2020 SAG Awards for a Pitt-Aniston reunion when the exes each earned acting nods. Ahead of the highly anticipated ceremony, Pitt jokingly noted that crossing paths with Jen was probably going to be the "second most important reunion of her year," referencing to the actress' much talked-about Friends special.
"I'll run into Jen," he quipped to Entertainment Tonight. "She's a good friend."
Click here to see photos of their SAG Awards run-in.
After their 2020 reunions at the SAG Awards and a virtual table read of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Aniston dispelled any speculation that there was awkwardness between her and her ex.
"It was absolutely fun," she recalled of the encounters during a 2021 appearance on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show. "You know, Brad and I are buddies. Like, we're friends and we speak."
Aniston set the record straight on rumors that followed their divorce, including the "narrative that I was just selfish" and "just cared about my career," in a 2022 interview with Allure.
"And God forbid a woman is successful and doesn't have a child," she said. "And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn't give him a kid. It was absolute lies. I don't have anything to hide at this point."