20 years on, Friends' Jennifer Aniston loves being 'a bad***'
After playing sweetheart Rachel Green in the television comedy Friends for 10 years, Jennifer Aniston has spent the last decade looking for roles where she can "kick some ass."
In Life of Crime, out in U.S. theaters last Friday (Aug 29), Aniston plays 1970s Detroit trophy wife and socialite, Mickey Dawson. She finds herself held against her will while cheating husband Frank debates whether to pay.
Aniston, 45, talked to Reuters about playing strong female characters and the Friends phenomenon 10 years after it concluded its run.
Here's an extract.
Q: What resonated with you about the character of Mickey?
A: It was such fun, as any Elmore Leonard-adapted screenplay you would imagine would be. Her character's arc was so awesome.
It's so rare that you get to find women especially in an ensemble piece that actually have so much to do and have such a great beginning and an ending, so I was just right up for it from the get-go.
Q: How did you connect with her initial passiveness at her crumbling marriage?
A: I was a kid in the seventies, and women were stuck in unhappy situations that they didn't know how to get out of, not like today where if something smells even a little bit bad, it's like 'I'm high-tailing it out of here.'
So I really loved how her character was written and she was actually a badass.
Cast members Jennifer Aniston and Will Forte are interviewed at the premiere of Life of Crime in Los Angeles, California, August 27, 2014.
Q: You've taken on roles that span the spectrum of comedy, from outrageous laughs to dark "dramedy" like this film. What do you enjoy about the grittier topics?
A: This one, there was so much drama, there was so much happening, high excitement - from the scenes with the horrible husband and the kidnapping, and basically all the horrible things take place when that's happening, and then the escape - it was like a caper. They don't make movies like that anymore.
Q: What type of women have you found yourself drawn to after playing Rachel on "Friends" for 10 years?
A: Women usually who have a really positive arc and become stronger at the end of it, coming out from underneath circumstances that just seem unsurvivable, and the fact that you actually get through it and survive and get stronger and kick some ass. I like that.
Photos: NBC, AFP, Reuters
Q: The 20th anniversary of Friends' premiere is coming up.
A: Didn't that already happen?
Q: September 2014 is 20 years after ...
A: The first time it aired? I thought it was last year. Oh good, I'm a year younger! I just saved a year, so great.
Q: How do you still reflect on the show and its fans?
A: I love how it sort of keeps on, it's like the little Energizer bunny, it just keeps on ticking, it's amazing. It transcends, I don't know what it is about it, but it makes me very happy. I love it even when it comes on.
Q: Do you miss Rachel?
A: I get her everyday in my house. I don't have to miss her, she's everywhere! (laughs) - Reuters