Happy birthday, Jennifer Aniston! Somewhere out there, we hope the former “Friends” star is sipping some bubbly and toasting her 50 years on this planet.
Much has changed for Aniston since she burst on the Must-See TV scene in 1994. As Rachel Green, she became a household name and then a bona fide movie star; she saw her love life become incessant tabloid fodder; married Brad Pitt, then famously divorced him; and years later gave matrimony another go with Justin Theroux.
Now sizzling and single, Aniston has taken the reins of her narrative, pushing back when the headlines get nasty and having a heck of a time living her life in Hollywood.
Here are her most inspiring quotes on life in honor of her milestone birthday.
On turning 50
“I don’t think life stops after 50. If anything, it gets more and more exciting. For some reason, we don’t honor or pay respect to aging. It’s something that we look at as a negative, and yet every single person on this planet does it. … I don’t understand why it’s not something that’s celebrated, why there’s some sort of an expiration date on who you are as a person worth watching and a story being told about you.” – Glamour, 2017
More: Was Brad Pitt at Jennifer Aniston’s 50th birthday party? Tongues wag over the possibility
On her house being her friends’ gathering spot
“My house was always like the clubhouse. I love entertaining. I always have food. I think I probably got that from my mom, who always had her girlfriends over. I picked it up from my childhood – just always hearing girls in the house and learning how to make a good cheese board.” – Elle, 2018
On decades of tabloid pregnancy rumors
“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment’ and ‘celebrity news.’ … 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.
“Here’s where I come out on this topic: We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples.” – Huffington Post, 2016
On having children
“Yes, I may become a mother some day, and since I’m laying it all out there, if I ever do, I will be the first to let you know. But I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe. I resent being made to feel ‘less than’ because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: ‘pregnant’ or ‘fat.’ ” – Huffington Post, 2016
On her divorce from Justin Theroux
“With all due respect, I’m not heartbroken.” – InStyle, 2018
On her two marriages
“I don’t feel a void. I really don’t. 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. 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.” – Elle, 2018
On the early, early days of ‘Friends’
“It was called ‘Friends Like Us,’ at the time. I was doing (another show). We had only done six episodes and the network didn’t think it was going to get picked up, so I went on auditions for second position, as they call it. I read the script, and I had never had a reaction like that to a show. It was my contemporaries, it was in New York City, it was funny, it was interesting, and I had never read anything like it. This guy named David Schwimmer was already cast, and Courteney Cox was already cast. I had seen David Schwimmer at a play at Northwestern because my friend was going there.
And then, (that other show) ended up getting picked up, even though they had cast me in ‘Friends.’ So, there was a period where I had to stand out the group photographs. I had phone calls from girlfriends saying, ‘I’m auditioning for your part in “Friends.” Do you have any ideas?’ I was actually surprised that they were considering replacing me. But then, thank God, they didn’t find anyone. They just took the chance that (the other show) would fail after the two episodes that they had picked it up for. I just did this back and forth with Sony and Warner Bros. for two weeks, and then it went away, poof, and ‘Friends’ went great. I had 10 years of the best schooling in the world.” – Collider, 2015
On ‘The Rachel’
“I was not a fan of the ‘Rachel.’ That was kind of cringe-y for me. Looking back – honestly, even during that time – I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed (my hairstylist) Chris (McMillan) attached to my hip. Left to my own devices, I am not skilled with a hairbrush and blow-dryer.” – Glamour, 2015
On liking what she likes, OK?
“I’m a creature of habit. A weird creature of habit. I don’t fix what’s not broken and I don’t care what people think and I don’t care if people want me to change my hair. I like Californian blonde highlights. It’s just cozy and it makes me feel better. And every time I tried other ones – that bob – I just go, Why did I do that? I’ve got very wavy hair so it creates a challenge when styling but when it’s long, I can go wavy or natural or straight and it will sort of just behave. I don’t know, I like what I like. It’s sort of comforting – the consistence.” – Vogue, 2017
On being pro-‘Friends’ reunion
“I fantasize about it. It really was the greatest job I ever had. I don’t know what it would look like today, but you never know. So many shows are being successfully rebooted. … I know Matt LeBlanc doesn’t want to be asked that question anymore. But maybe we could talk him into it. Or we just give it some time and then Lisa (Kudrow), Courteney (Cox), and I could reboot ‘The Golden Girls ‘and spend our last years together on wicker furniture.” – InStyle 2018