Blind item: what recent Jennifer Aniston project made her want to quit acting?


Jennifer Aniston is fresh off her unsuccessful Emmy campaign and she doesn’t seem deterred at all, probably because she’s still making big money working for Apple+ on The Morning Show. But it wasn’t always this way – Jennifer spent many years doing weird studio projects and even weirder indie films. Personally, while I don’t think Jennifer is the “dramatic actress” she would like to be, she’s a gifted comedienne and I always wished that she could have found a way to parlay those talents into doing good comedies post-Friends. What she got was… playing second fiddle to Adam Sandler, mostly. So it’s not surprising to me that she had a moment a few years ago where she really thought about giving up acting:

Jennifer Aniston has revealed that she once contemplated quitting acting. During an appearance on the podcast SmartLess, hosted by fellow actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, the Friends actress shared that an “unprepared project” she did several years ago had her wondering whether her chosen profession was right for her.

“I would have to say the last two years that has crossed my mind, which it never did before,” she said, clarifying that the difficult project was before The Morning Show — the Apple TV+ series that earned her both Golden Globes and Emmys nods, as well as a win at the SAG Awards earlier this year.

“I was like ‘Woah that sucked the life out of me’ and I don’t know if this is what interests me,” Aniston, 51, recalled of the project.

What would the award-winning actress do if she had quit? “Interior design, probably,” she said on Monday’s SmartLess episode. “I love it. It’s my happy place. It’s really a happy place for me.”

Luckily for her fans, however, Aniston has not quit her calling. Reflecting on her past performances, she said that her “number one” favorite is Friends. “I loved, well, obviously Friends,” she said. “That’s a no brainer…I would have to say that would be number one.”

Just Go With It, her 2011 comedy with Adam Sandler, comes in a close second. “I always love shooting with Sandler. Just Go With It was super fun. We’ve known each other since we were 19,” she said of her co-star, whom she also worked with on 2019’s Murder Mystery.

She also fondly recalled making the 2014 drama Cake, which landed Aniston nominations at the SAG Awards and Golden Globes. “That was an experience that was creatively fulfilling,” she said. “Everything I imagined as an actor I’d be completely afraid of and suck at, I didn’t so bad.”

[From People]

Somehow, this turned into a blind item. What recent Aniston project was so bad and unfulfilling that she almost gave up acting? It’s not The Morning Show and it’s not Murder Mystery, obviously, because she says she loves working with Adam Sandler. Her other recent projects: Dumplin’, The Yellow Birds, Mother’s Day and Office Christmas Party. I suspect it’s not Office Christmas Party, just because she loves Jason Bateman and that one actually did seem to have a script. Mother’s Day looked like typical saccharine trash, but her role was just supporting and I don’t know if she would really come out of that totally exhausted? The Yellow Birds…that was another supporting role, right? But the material was really dark, so maybe. Is it… Dumplin’? That was her passion project for a while, and she helped get the film made and it was supposed to be okay? Hm. HM.

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61 Responses to “Blind item: what recent Jennifer Aniston project made her want to quit acting?”

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  1. Sayrah says:

    She looks really strange in the pic of her in the pink.

  2. souperkay says:

    My vote is Mother’s Day

  3. Lucy2 says:

    I would guess Mother’s Day. To be fair I haven’t watched any of those films, but they seem like sort of a hastily thrown together money grab with a lot of famous faces showing up for small parts.

    Dumplin was really good, And everyone involved seemed happy with it at the time so I doubt it’s that.

    • Merricat says:

      I’ve not seen any of her films, but I’m pretty sure it’s not Dumplin’. That was a labor of love, from what I hear.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think it was Mother’s Day as well, just by default, and if you think about the movie (I didn’t see it but I did see Valentines Day) it makes sense for the reasons you say – thrown together, lots of famous faces, probably not that fun, etc.

      the Murder Mystery movie with Adam Sandler was actually really enjoyable in my mind. Neither was really acting – it was basically just Jen and Adam having fun on a boat – but it was cute and I like those kinds of murder mystery comedies.

      • lucy2 says:

        I watched Murder Mystery at some point, and it was just OK. Sandler really bugs me in films, but it was probably one of his least annoying roles. It wasn’t a good movie, IMO, but it was a huge success for Netflix, they probably got paid a boatload of cash for it, and got to go work in some beautiful locations with friends.

      • MJM says:

        I thought it was terrible.

      • Becks1 says:

        I mean, different opinions and all that people, lol.

      • Marietta58 says:

        Wasn’t Mother’s Day with Julia Roberts? Annoying movie. We’ve all heard Julia is not easy to work with. So maybe it was the people in the movie, and the script sucking on top of it.

      • Yep says:

        Julia Roberts love her though. Went on and on about her in some interview. Think they’re good friends.

    • Case says:

      I’d also guess Mother’s Day. The formulaic nature of it, combined with shoehorned-in famous faces, seems more like a studio cash grab than a rewarding filming process.

      I really liked Dumplin’ and Murder Mystery. I usually don’t go for Adam Sandler movies but someone suggested it and I thought it was cute and well done. She was good in both films, too.

    • Vera says:

      I enjoyed Dumplin’ too, so I hope it isnt that one

    • MissMarierose says:

      I refuse to believe it was Dumplin’ because there’s no way working with Dolly Parton would be a bad experience.

    • Lightpurple says:

      I would guess The Yellow Birds. The script had numerous rewrites, the production had numerous delays of over a year, major cast changes, had a very limited release, and got bad reviews.

  4. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    I have been impressed with her acting in The Morning Show. She plays a very successful national morning show anchor of a certain age, reserved while ambitious and powerful. I thought it was a stretch for her as an actor and she is doing a good job with it. *SPOILER ALERT * There is a scene with her TV daughter where she goes OFF and I was cheering at the screen it was so well done.

  5. Tiffany says:

    I don’t think it is Dumplin. Jennifer spoke of how great it was to work with Danielle and the director Anne Flescher. That and the Sandler film were through Netflix and I think she is keeping that door open in the future.

    I think it was Mother’s Day. She wanted to work with Gerry Marshall but I don’t think she wanted it to be what it was.

    And I don’t think JA’s campaign was unsuccessful. I think of campaigning overall and she won a Golden Globe and a SAG and that is nothing to sneeze at. The competition was tough this year and I would like to believe that she knew that.

  6. Sara says:

    I love the Smartless podcast. Bateman, Hayes, and Arnett are so funny together. I listened to Aniston’s episode on my walk last night. I have to say that the way they all spoke about and to her made me reconsider my somewhat, perhaps irrational, dislike of Aniston. She seems so ok. So much better than her tabloid persona.

    • E.D. says:

      She was so relaxed on the podcast, wasn’t she?
      I came out liking her a lot more too.
      She had such a warmth toward the boys and you could tell that they are all genuinely friends IRL, especially her and Bateman.

    • Yep says:

      She’s the only guest on Howard Stern’s sleazy show that made it somehow not sleazy, that I’ve seen/heard. She has this unusual purity/wholesomeness to her. Very chill woman, like most Aquarians but her Sagittarius moon helps her avoid the typical Aquarian coldness and brings warmth, humour, and friendliness. It, along with her Venus in Aries placement, also helps out balance the Libra ascendant’s tendency towards superficiality. On the whole her chart tells me she’s genuinely a people person who is more intelligent than she’s generally known for and who makes a great, trustworthy friend. While she’s very chill, she goes also right after what she wants (Scorp Mars).

  7. whatWHAT? says:

    some other blogger did an “in-depth” analysis and came up with Mother’s Day.

    ruled out Sandler films (because they get along and she said she has fun on his movies), ruled out Christmas party (again, she loves Bateman yadda yadda), ruled out Dumplin’ because she has praised that and mentioned she like working on that and…OBV, who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? so by elimination, that’s what he came up with.

    and it was a STINKER, from what I’ve read.

  8. Hyrule Castle says:

    My guess:

    None of them, it’s the new “I do want children” for her.

  9. E.D. says:

    I love Smartless and have listened to every episode and I believe she made the comment that the movie in question was an ‘un-prepared project’ that didn’t start on time and that the script wasn’t ready, so that’s why it was such a punish.

    No idea what movie it was though!

    • Lightpurple says:

      Yellow Birds had numerous delays, script rewrites and cast changes, a very limited theater run, and bad reviews.

      • lucy2 says:

        Maybe it’s that then. Even if her role in it is small, she’s still blocking out the time and possibly traveling to film it, and if it’s not well run, that has to be frustrating.

  10. Grace says:

    She starts in so many awful movies that it’s honestly impossible to know.

  11. Eleonor says:

    I think she is a good comedienne and a tv actress, but not a film star that’s why her movie career wasn’t this huge success.

    • Yep says:

      Yes, I think the big huge $100m+ productions of the past weren’t right for her. A lot of pose-y people with “charisma” yet zero acting talent did very well in those tentpoles. She could always act but she’s got a practical air to her that doesn’t scream MOVIE STAR. She’s doing better in the age of streaming.

  12. jade says:

    I dont think she wanted to quit at all, she just went along with the question and said yes thats she did. Most of her films are crap and she keeps on doing same stuff. Bothe Mother’s day and Office Christmas party were released 2016, so that was 4 years ago, so it cant be those films. The last 2 years before TMS, she did Murder Mystery, which was crap but she loves Sandler and Dumplin, which was better than Murder Mystery and she had a small role in The yellow Bird, so it cant be that film also. So my guess, none, she was lying, she never considered quitting, thats all there is for her, she does nothing other than acting.

    And all this talk that she is good in interior designing is all coming from her, she did not even do the interior design of all her houses, she has a reputable interior designer which appeared on AD. She may have some inputs but she didnt do it. And when asked if she had done it with her other friends, she cant even answer properly because she havent. She may want to do but to say that she is good at it, is probably not. She has been quite cocky about things that she can do, but I dont think she has any other talent. She also said in 2015 that she is good in cooking and will launch her own cookbook, but where is the cookbook, none up to now. Amyways, the reason why she is putting it put there that she is into architecture and interior designing, she talked about it in Interview mag, is because of Brad Pitt, the woman is still obsessed with him.

  13. Caitlin Bruce says:

    The interior design job comment made me laugh. Her interior design aesthetic is so basic and borderline hotel suite vibes.

    • Granger says:

      Plus it’s just so damn easy for someone with that kind of money to say they’re really into interior design. It’s basically like play-time for her. She can buy pretty much any beautiful piece of custom furniture or artwork she wants, things made from the finest fabrics and most carefully crafted wood. I know you still need taste to make it all work together, but when you can afford everything, it sure makes it easier!

  14. Kate says:

    Eh. If I had an old friend who I really enjoyed spending time with and working with, and I could get PAID to do a job with him, why the heck not do it? Not everything has to be awards baity or proving something to the world.

  15. LeonsMomma says:

    Whose to say it isn’t Office Christmas Party? Jason may already know this story and is ok with her saying — though not directly — what movie it was. My first thought was “The Switch,” which is a while ago and also starred Jason Bateman, but from a friend who worked on the movie, Jennifer was less than delightful to work with. So it could be it???

    Don’t think it’s Sandler either. Even if the movie is a hot mess, he always films in great locations — I mean if shit hits the fan, go do some sightseeing and shopping while everyone gets their act together.

  16. Dids says:

    She was very funny in Horrible Bosses!!!

  17. Lizzie says:

    I sincerely hope she means her “pr acting” with Brad Pitt 😂

  18. Jay says:

    Plus, Dumplin was based on a novel, and from what I remember she had to push to get it made, so I can’t see that being “unprepared”.

    It didn’t receive the awards recognition that she had hoped, though, so maybe she’s really talking about that?

  19. Sorella says:

    After YEARS of not seeing Friends, my husband and I watched it all recently (for him it was the first time and he likes it – finds them all good at their roles). Seeing her with fresh eyes, she really is good at comedy and she was a good Rachel and I think all the Friends cast were talented on that show, they had great chemistry

    I don’t see her as a dramatic actress but haven’t seen Cake or The Morning Show. I do think comedy is her strong point, but she’s done some crappy ones. I like the one with Jason Bateman – The Switch (I like Jason even more on Ozark). I HATE Adam Sandler, but you can tell they are best buds, but I can barely get through her movies with him.

    Probably being an older actress in Hollywood and not being offered as many or the cutesy roles is hard and maybe she wanted to pull a Cameron Diaz – and perhaps The Morning Show saved her from that. But going towards 60, it must be hard to be a comedy actress, limited roles, so I can see why she wants to try dramatic. But just think nobody buys into her as a dramatic actress. Typecast – but those $1 million per episode for Friends must surely cushion that disapointment for her LOL.

    • Yep says:

      She’s worth $400m these days; she’s not doing badly at all. She’s good in Derailed and The Good Girl also, but I agree with some of the posters she never had that “onscreen charisma” that allowed lesser actors – even people who just feature as themselves really – to score big hits at the BO. She’s kind of practical, very chill, and low key as an actor. She was very good in Cake but even as an angsty character she was low boil. She always did well in comedy and I think streaming is a great medium for her. P.S. Adam Sandler is usually annoying but seems like a nice guy IRL and he was actually okay in Uncut Gems and Murder Mystery.

  20. Ann says:

    “I was like ‘Woah that sucked the life out of me’ and I don’t know if this is what interests me,” I know what she means. I feel the same about 90 percent of her movies.

  21. Busyann says:

    I actually really like all of her movies and she is absolutely fantastic in Morning Show. I didnt see mother’s day or yellow birds, so I cant comment on those. I just wish she would stop chasing awards. I think she’ll get awards eventually for morning show, but, she needs to stop being thirsty for it.

  22. Bella A A says:

    I really liked Dumplin and thought everyone was great in it. She looks strange in the picture with the pink top.

  23. Michelle says:

    Shame she didn’t quit & spare us her relentless PR games & awful acting. Give me more Sarah Paulson who wipes the floor with someone like Aniston.

  24. Proteanlives says:

    Could it be First Ladies? She says in the past two years, and for some of the reasons above, it seems as if Murder Mystery and Dumplin’ aren’t likely. But First Ladies is listed as starting in 2018 and it has yet to come out? Maybe that means the script or production wasn’t ready?

  25. serena says:

    I hope it’s not Dumplin’, I actually liked that movie and also she played a supporting part in that too.

  26. claudia mastro says:

    i think it was that project she had to do with tig notaro, where she played the president of the united state and tig was the first lady. Maybe they shot a pilot and din’t work out? i remember them doing some light advertising about it and speaking about it during some talk show then never ever speak about it ever more.