Jennifer Aniston Talks About The Break-Up

Jennifer Aniston Discusses the Anti-Romantic Comedy, The Break-Up

Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up. © Universal Pictures
The Story - The Break-Up: Skipping over the start of a relationship and all the joy of falling in love, The Break-Up dives right into the most painful part of being in a relationship - the break up (thus the film's title).

Jennifer Aniston stars as Brooke, an art-loving, meticulous woman who has had it up to here with her live-in boyfriend, Gary (Vince Vaughn). After two years together it's over - but there's a huge problem.

Neither one is willing to give up the terrific condo they bought as a couple...

There are No Bad Guys in The Break-Up: Jennifer Aniston doesn’t feel her character is necessarily the film’s good guy, or even the bad guy for that matter. “I think that’s what’s so well done about how they wrote it, because no one is really the bad guy. They’re both flawed. They both sort of fall short, and that’s the problem.

She was playing games, so they both sort of had their [moments]. But I guess from the beginning – in the 12 lemons scene – she definitely was the good guy.”

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The Break-Up is, well, all about breaking up, leading into the following question put to Aniston: Is closure important to a relationship? “Well I would think so, yeah,” answered Aniston. “I mean for any relationship, romantic, friendship, anything, work – there should always be a sense of closure and clarity as to why it happened so that you can sort of move cleanly into your next phase.”

Aniston was also open to talking about the irony of shooting The Break-Up while in the middle of breaking up with Brad Pitt. “It was ironic. I mean, at the time it was something I thought about, you know? You kind of can’t believe [it] when I first got the phone call that a movie called The Break-Up was coming.

I kind of laughed and thought, ‘That’s funny.’ And sure enough it was. I kind of found it something like a sign or something to do it because, in a way, it was a cathartic thing. I felt very lucky in a way. If this had come to me at any other time in my life, I don’t know if I would have been able to really get it for myself on the level that I would have wanted to as an actor.”

“Baby Wanted 12 Lemons”: One of the scenes in The Break-Up that generates the most laughs has to do with Aniston as Brooke and Vaughn as Gary arguing over lemons. She asked him to bring home 12 and he only buys three. Aniston says their arguments may look painful on the screen but were actually fun to shoot.

“We had a ball,” admits Aniston. “We really had such a really strict rehearsal schedule where we were in there for two weeks straight, and we really nailed down every scene. We walked through it. We sort of improved. We kind of…some scenes didn’t get touched. The 12 lemons really didn’t because that was just kind of perfectly written. It’s more fun than anything ‘cause it is so relatable. Everybody is sitting there going, ‘Oh my God. It always is about 12 lemons versus three.’ Those are the fights that people have, these silly arguments.

So it was kind of fun in the irony of it all. It was good.”

On Working with Vince Vaughn: The script was good but Aniston and her fellow co-stars did improvise (something Vaughn’s famous for doing). “When I say improvisation,” explained Aniston, “that was more during the rehearsal time when we were trying to nail down just specifics for Brooke’s kind of voice and stuff. So I couldn’t say which scenes specifically they were in, but working with Vince is just like working with a pro tennis player - if you’re into tennis. He’s such a professional; he’s so good at his job. He’s so funny and he’s such a great actor, aside from being comedic. So for me, it was just… You get those moments pretty rarely. You get to have the kind of volleys, as I like to say.”

Aniston continued. “You can kind of tell pretty quickly when you work with someone, ‘Oh, this is going to be easy.

Oh, this is going to be a tough one.’ And so it was pretty. He asks questions. He listens. He’s interested in other people. It’s not just about him.”

The Nude Scene: Aniston didn’t panic over the scene although she admits it was the one of the few times she ever watched the dailies. “Luckily I had been hitting the gym before that already,” said Aniston. “No, you don’t panic about your physical shape. You panic that you just need to be naked, period.”

And just for the record, it’s all Aniston in the film. She didn’t use a body double. “No, I definitely didn’t. The problem is because the way it was shot, it was so specifically me. They wanted to make it a tricky camera so you saw the face and then you go to the back. It was hard to cut, unless you did it. You don’t want to do a butt double really. That’s iffy.”

Page 2: The Irony of Starring in a Movie About Breaking Up

Page 2

The Female Touch: The Break-Up is based on an idea of Vince Vaughn’s and the script was written by two men, so there wasn’t a lot of female input included during the writing process. That meant that when it came time to shoot the film, Aniston’s input was invaluable in getting the female point of view right.

“There was definitely a lot of male energy in the script, and that was sort of said, when I come into it, ‘We’ll flesh out the female voice a little bit more.’ So that’s definitely what happened.” Aniston offered advice after it was requested.

“Yeah but in a way of like, ‘We’re dudes, you know? I don’t know how the female side would respond.’ They were great about it and they made it so much fun, truthfully, because it’s universal, the relationship. Everybody can relate to these [characters]. It’s fun, you kind of go back to all the relationships in your life and you sort of remember funny arguments or funny moments or things that you can apply to it. Like for Jeremy, that happened. The 12 lemons argument actually happened for him, as I’m sure it’s happened for everybody. All those things …they’re endless. It’s an endless well.”

The Difficulties of Finding Funny Characters: “It’s really hard, really hard. Yeah, there’s just not a lot out there. It’s hard because those men are such one man shows most of the time that they don’t like to… I don't know. They just don’t come along very often with the equal male-female funnies.”

Filming on Location in Chicago: Aniston admits she loved working in the Windy City.

“Chicago is my kind of town – yes. It really was. You know what? I just had a ball there. There’s just something about the people. They’re kind, they are respectful. It’s a feeling. It’s an energy. When you walk through the streets of Chicago, you just feel great. And as far as the food, the architecture, the theater, the museums, you just have so much so.

Yeah, I absolutely love it.”

While she loves the city, that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few drawbacks to working there. “It was a crowd rush. It was a thousand degrees, we were in sweaters,” said Aniston before adding, “You know what was fun was just being in Wrigley Field, having heard so much about it and seeing old photographs of it. When you look across the streets to the tops of the brownstones, you see all of the bleachers. I guess they didn’t used to charge people, but they used to have people just come up and stand on top of the brownstones. Then somebody got hip to it and they said, ‘Well let’s build some bleachers,’ and I guess they started charging. So yes, it’s great.”