Justin Theroux on Jennifer Aniston: ‘I would say we’ve remained friends’

Tom Hiddleston attends the Olivier Awards in London

While I came out of Justin Theroux’s Esquire cover profile with some respect for the man, I burst out laughing as soon as I saw this cover. The arms and the dog – it’s like he’s trying to thirst-trap on the cover of a men’s magazine. Literally a weird flex, but okay. Justin covers Esquire because he’s promoting his new series, The Mosquito Coast on Apple+. In the first half of the interview, the journalist presses Justin with questions about Jennifer Aniston, and this is three years after they officially split. Esquire uses words like “marriage” and “wife” and “divorce” – Justin does not. Which, again, is notable to me because they didn’t actually get a divorce because they were never legally married. They just lied about it for several years and no one is supposed to say that. Justin talks about other stuff in the interview too, it isn’t just about him dodging Aniston questions – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

How he spent his pandemic: Theroux returned to NYC and began stockpiling for his pod of one. (Two, if you count Kuma, his pit bull terrier.) He bought bone broth by the bucket; he hoarded garlic, ginger, and, for some reason, Parmesan cheese. “Perhaps I was being paranoid,” he says. Like everyone else, he couldn’t find toilet paper, but unlike the rest of us, he didn’t need it. “I have a Toto, thank God,” he says, referring to his heated, bidet-rigged Japanese toilet.

He’s looking forward to dating post-pandemic: “I don’t want to become a hermit. At all. What I’m most thirsty for now is friendship. Once that’s up and running, I’ll start thinking about the other stuff.” By “the other stuff,” he means romance. Officially, he is single, and has been since he and Jennifer Aniston divorced in 2018. Before they got together in 2011, he was in a relationship for fourteen years with the stylist Heidi Bivens. This is the first time, in other words, that Justin Theroux has been single since the Clinton administration.

He hasn’t had many dating opportunities post-Aniston: “All the avenues to dating are completely shut.” He doesn’t use dating apps. “Never.” Nor has he slid into someone’s DMs; he says he’s unaware of anyone who’s slid into his. “Sounds a little old-fashioned, but I actually like to get to know someone. That’s the fun of meeting people. Sussing them out and playing . . . not games, but — It all sounds predatory when I say it. The strategy. The game. There’s only one pivotal relationship in my life. My mom.”

Whether he & Aniston split because she wanted to live in LA & he wanted to live in NYC: “That’s a narrative that is not true, for the most part. Look, people create narratives that make themselves feel better or simplify things for them. That whole ‘This person likes rock ’n’ roll, that person likes jazz. Of course!’ That’s just not the case. It’s an oversimplification.”

Whether he’s still close to Aniston: “I would say we’ve remained friends… We don’t talk every day, but we call each other. We FaceTime. We text…Like it or not, we didn’t have that dramatic split, and we love each other. 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…. I think that when you get good at relationships—and here I am, single—if you love the person the same way you loved them in the relationship, it would behoove you to love them the same way out of the relationship. Who wants to take a sh-t while you’re walking out the door?”

Whether he wants kids: “I don’t feel that compulsion. I don’t have a resistance to it, but I don’t have an eagerness for it. As for wanting to continue the family line, there are plenty of Therouxs in the world who can do that for me. They’re doing a great job popping out kids. It would be kind of great if I got a knock on the door and someone said, ‘Hey, I’m your sixteen-year-old kid.’ I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, it’s amazing.’ ”

His mother’s second husband died last year, during the pandemic: “It was an added level of grief that was heartbreaking for me to witness. To have her house be vacant, and to not have the rituals and the support systems that normally would sweep through it, with love, and food, and company—it was just terrible.”

[From Esquire]

He spoke at length – and quite emotionally – about checking in with his widowed mom every day and how difficult it was to see her grieve so profoundly for her husband. He’s a mama’s boy, which I never realized, but he’s not creepy about it. He genuinely came across as a middle-aged guy trying to navigate caring for an elderly parent, specifically for a widowed mother’s mental health. He also sounds like he’s trying to figure out his romantic life post-Aniston and post-Heidi Bivens, and he says at one point “The only relationship where I think codependency should be totally encouraged is with a dog.” As for all of the Aniston stuff… I get the feeling that there really isn’t some big drama between them, that despite his “oversimplification” claims, their fake marriage was mostly just convenience and a professional move for him, and they got fake-divorced because he really did want to live in New York and she didn’t.

Cover and IG courtesy of Esquire.

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64 Responses to “Justin Theroux on Jennifer Aniston: ‘I would say we’ve remained friends’”

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  1. Case says:

    He seems like an okay guy in this interview, but that cover is just…wow. He looks like such a d-bag lol.

    • Noki says:

      Helooks like white leather,i have never seen such a botoxed man.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        botox? me confused…

        you can see his forehead wrinkles and the Iconic Theroux Eyebrow Raise. if he’s getting botox, he’s not overdoing it.

        and OMG THAT PUPPER! *heart googly eyes*

  2. Esmom says:

    Cheesy cover and I don’t know about the white coat and boots, either. I never knew much about him other than the gossip here but then I watched The Leftovers and have tons of respect for him as an actor. He was amazing, amid a super strong cast.

    • Merricat says:

      He is super good in The Leftovers, and you’re right, the whole cast was amazing, especially Carrie Coons. We laughed, though, at how just about every episode included a shot of his naked torso, at minimum, and the Full Monty more than once.

      • Esmom says:

        Oh yeah, that clip of him on the bathroom floor immediately comes to mind. And don’t forget him jogging in Season 1 in those gray sweats, lol.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      That was perhaps my favorite series…aside from Olive Kitteridge. He pulls a lot of d-baggy photos& PR outside projects… still, he is attractive and that pupper is gorgeous, so it’s simple visual candy for me.🤷🏼‍♀️😂😂

      • JEM says:

        The Leftovers is in my top 5 series. He was amazing in it – the whole cast was. Just an incredibly moving and mind-expanding show. As douchey as he comes off sometimes, I’ll always respect him for what he gave to that role. (And he’s funny)

      • Esmom says:

        The Leftovers is one of my all-time favorites, too. I remember liking the book but funnily I liked the seasons that departed from the book even more. I think because it gave me the same mind-expanding sense that Lost did, having shared a creator, I guess.

      • Darla says:

        I never watched it, I am going to put it on my watchlist right now. I keep forgetting about it.

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        @Darla, watch them both, if you haven’t/can.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, the white leather boots are UGGO.

    • Becks1 says:

      He’s also super pro rescuing animals, I’m going to get the details wrong but for the live action Lady and the Tramp (he’s the voice of Tramp) he had the production use all dogs from a local shelter and they were all adopted by the end of filming. Something like that. That makes him a lot more likeable in my book.

  3. Noki says:

    It just shows you how the powerful hollywood elite can get certain information scrubbed off the internet. Other than CB i have never heard anywhere else the rumouts of him and Jen were not really married.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I forgot what news agency it was but they did a FOIA & reported that they never were married. Never obtained a marriage license & never had one filed anywhere. That would make it easy for them to stay friends when the relationship ended since there was never any property or financial issues to untangle. They had a backyard wedding at her home & I think Jimmy Kimmel “officiated” I remember Howard Stern talking about it (he & Beth were guests) on his show when it happened

      • Greenteaplz says:

        Sounds like a great way to marry. Some people aren’t into the legal and/or religious elements of modern marriage. Commitment ceremonies are so much better. Less messy if it goes south.

  4. Myra says:

    From my view, if Justin and Jennifer consider the exchange of vows as them getting married, even if they never legalised it, then they got married. They’ve just now consciously uncoupled (hope I got it right, Gwyneth) and are happier that way. He sounds like he wants a child without the responsibility of raising one. Just show up at 16, ready to bond guy-to-guy.

    • Becks1 says:

      That’s what I think it was. They probably exchanged vows, maybe in front of friends, maybe not, and so they considered themselves “married” and are now “divorced.” Honestly that’s probably a lot less mess than what some other celebs do.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “From my view, if Justin and Jennifer consider the exchange of vows as them getting married, even if they never legalised it, then they got married.”

      yeah, me too. Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger were considered to be “married” too, even though they did a ceremony in Bali (I think?) and never got a marriage license. gay folks who couldn’t legally marry (in the past) would have ceremonies all the time and consider themselves married. just because you never signed paperwork that you file with the clerk doesn’t mean that the ceremony didn’t mean anything.

      • Myra says:

        There is an unconscious erasure of gay people’s marriages when we try to define what is or isn’t a marriage or getting married. Not to say that it is done on purpose or that it’s being done here. The paperwork is the extra legal step that you take so you and your spouse can get the legal protection and benefits of a marriage. For those still fighting for legal marriage and other equal rights, the spiritual marriage is the only option open for them.

      • Kcat says:

        Yeah, I find this site is so weird on the subject. They had a ceremony, they considered themselves married. That’s that. There’s no big “gotcha” here.

      • Greenteaplz says:

        Agree with you all. The modern formalities, plus the often religious aspects, are a pain in the butt for a lot of people. They might not align with the couple’s personal beliefs. A vow means more than a piece of paper. I agree it’s fine to “pass yourself off” as married even if you didn’t do the legal aspects.

    • Case says:

      I agree. There’s nothing wrong with them saying they were married. The intent was there, even if they didn’t make it legal.

    • Jegede says:


      Same with what Meghan & Harry did with the Archbishop IMO.

    • Amando says:

      I agree, I don’t like how they get ribbed all the time by calling it a “fake” marriage. They considered themselves married and that’s enough for me. And who knows, maybe they were legally married or still are.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      In my home state if you live together more than 6 months (it could have changed) you’re considered married. Vow or no. So maybe that’s what they did, who knows?
      Don’t know much about him (and I’ve never understood the attraction for her) but I am HERE for that good boi doggo!!!!!! Sooooo cute!
      (Reading about his pro animal stance, he’s raised up a good bit in my eyes)

      • Apple Tart says:

        @Merlin Common law marriage is not recognized in NY or CA. Where they primarily lived. It seemed like a good compromise for both a commitment ceremony. So neither had to go through the legal nightmare when things didn’t work out.

  5. nicegirl says:

    I don’t know, he weirds me out for some reason.

  6. DuchessL says:

    I think his “marriage” to Jennifer Aniston was a marriage, just not a legal one. To me they were married, they had a ceremony for it in front of their loved ones, probably said their vows to one another in front of those people, and had a party for it. That’s like Meghan Markle saying that she got married 3 days before the official ceremony. People have their own personal moment they consider when they got married. That’s fine.

  7. B says:

    So photogenic. I would love to hug and kiss…his rescue dog…

  8. Twin falls says:

    I’m pretty sure this confirms my picker is off but I find him incredibly attractive, weird flexing thirst-trapping pose and all.

    He was so good (and so hot) in The Leftovers. I loved Judging Amy back in the day and really liked the two of them together/not together in The Leftovers.

    • Anners says:

      Same!!! But I know I’m broken…I thought Armie Hammer was attractive, too.

      ::hangs head in shame::

      • embo says:

        Its ok, me too. He is attractive. He is just a confirmed psycho now. We can move on and feel ok. There are lots of hot un-psychos for us to drool over! :)

      • Anners says:

        Lol!!! Thanks Embo, that makes me feel better :D

    • Greenteaplz says:

      Justin Theroux is talented though; Armie Hammer is not (sorry, Anners). JT’s vids with Amy Sederis makes me like him more. Also he always does shout-outs for animal and rescue groups on his IG.

  9. Yup, Me says:

    We have a rescue pittie named Kuma. She’s adorable and sweet; she’s also a stubborn little terror. His dog is the best thing about that whole interview (which is probably why she’s on the cover with him).

  10. Tyle says:

    He sounds exhausting. Here for the doggo.

  11. JenniferP says:

    He’s good looking and fit but his dog is absolutely the star and has always been IMO. He knows it and works everything about Kuma and that’s fine by me.

  12. maddie says:

    I don’t know about right now, but he certainly had a much younger (early 20s) girlfriend since the time he officially split from Jen. She was a waitress at a bar one of his friends owned. They were papped last year in NYC. They could still be together.

  13. Blues clues says:

    Pop out a kid quote is so stupid. He and Aniston deserve one another.

    • Lyds says:

      Totally. Like someone commented above, he wants his family line to continue but not at the expense of raising a child. The most Peter Pan crap I’ve heard in a long time. Never liked him and always got pretentious “artist”-in-skinny-jeans vibes. Literally what my most insecure “small liberal arts college” cohorts will end up as, emotionally.

      The only co-dependence should happen with a dog?? Says the man who was in a 14-year relationship. I really hate the idea that co-dependence is a bad thing; there is nothing wrong with people leaning and relying on each other and providing accountability. Quite literally, it’s the idea on which a family or healthy relationships are based. His mother’s profound grief at losing her husband should illustrate that, and this attachment is entirely healthy for us as social beings.

      Re: his comments about having Jennifer in his life, I get it: she’s an amazing person and you love how you make each other feel. I’m glad Jennifer seems to be in agreement. However, even if it’s amicable, people are not entitled to preserve the good parts; sometimes those “good parts” are only reserved for the special people in that person’s life and by ending a relationship, you’re cut off from that intimate rapport. Glad Jen might be getting something out of it too, but Justin largely sounds like a failed philosopher/textbook commitment-phobe who only wants things on his terms.

    • Greenteaplz says:

      We actually need more of these “stupid” people. Overpopulation is an untouchable topic but seriously, we’re done environmentally. I’m not anti-natalist but at the current numbers, only about one in 10 people, I’m estimating, should be allowed to have kids. So that raising children is so honourable thing is kind of BS. Unconditionally loving another being and devoting your time to them can come in the form of helping animals or spending time with aged care residents, for example.

  14. Magret says:

    He paddles like crazy, there in the shallows. Hardest working poser in show biz.

    • Greenteaplz says:

      But I have to admit he’s talented. Haven’t seen the Leftovers; all the rave comments have got me interested.

  15. K says:

    And I would say you have remained a total d bag.

  16. Jaded says:

    Interesting that he’s doing a re-do of The Mosquito Coast – his uncle Paul Theroux (who’s one of my favourite authors) wrote the book, and the 1986 movie starred Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren and River Phoenix. It was pretty good, but very dark.

  17. Hmn says:

    I always thought he was too good for Aniston and Hollywood. He’s got it made living in the city he adores and being able to work on good shows.

  18. CV says:

    Yeah I am not here for the constant harping that they never legalized their marriage. Who gives a sh*t?

    As for why or how he is still friends w Aniston, I suspect it has something to do w the fact he is BFFs w a lot of her BFFs, like Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Kimmel, etc

    They didn’t want to make the group choose sides, which almost always is a terrible collateral damage of any divorce. I commend them for being grown ups and moving on peaceably. Imagine if Angie and Brad had never made it official? Maybe they could have done the same.

    • Michelle says:

      Pitt would still of made Jolie’s life hell because custody of the children & his drug/alcohol issues. He’s a douchebag that both Angie & Jen know all too well.

    • Darla says:

      That’s a good point about their mutual close buddies. That is a nightmare scenario. You’re right, they did it really well. As for the marriage, they had a wedding. I think it wasn’t official because they couldn’t come to an agreement on the prenup. So they figured well we’ll go thru with the party and take our unofficial vows, and file it and all that when we get the prenup done. But they never did get it done, and at some point, IMO it was Aniston who said, nah forget it. I think Theroux had demands she wouldn’t meet.

  19. Midge says:

    He can continue walking Kuma in Washington square park and picking up NYU undergrads.

  20. TeeMajor says:

    They were never married??? wowwwwww!!!

    These people are crazy, WHY even depict something, WHY was that soo important??
    Aniston has some serious issues, it was a whole lie.

  21. Sarcasm101 says:

    Puke. *eyeroll followed by yawn.

  22. candy says:

    This guy’s ego just takes over and everything he does ends up looking like a spoof. I mean, Blue Steel, on steroids. Cute dog though, I love Pit Bulls.

  23. Jojo says:

    He was in a 14 year relationship with Heidi when he got together with Aniston.

  24. Jules says:

    He’s so try-hard.

  25. Cakes says:

    I follow him on Instagram because of Kuma and let me tell you, it is AMAZING. Totally one of the reasons I made it through quarantine. He cooks (or carries-out), and if he’s eating steak, baked potato, green beans and bread he gives her a little plate full of STEAK, BAKED POTATO, GREEN BEANS AND BREAD. It is the cutest thing EVER. And she just eats it so politely. Seriously go follow.

  26. susan says:

    The plural of Theroux is Theroux, btw.

  27. terrah says:

    If he can readily visualise a scenario whereby a knock on the door could herald his sixteen year old child introducing themselves..that would suggest he was stepping out on Heidi long before Jen hoved into view. Or he has been a sperm donor. He was ace in Leftovers though. I’d do him. At a push.