Aniston: 10 films later

Aniston of the week began ten films ago with Tiffanie DeBartolo’s 1996 comedy Dream for An Insomniac. So, what have we learned?

According to the Aniston Role Matrix (which I just mocked up today), we’ve seen performances over three decades: five of Aniston’s nineties and early noughties Friends era movies, two in the late noughties and three from this decade. Aniston has played two health care professionals, and two creative characters. Most frequently I’ve used the word ‘kind’ to describe her characters, but also ‘low self-esteem’ and ‘assertive.’

The kind roles tend towards the Rachel times, whilst recently, Aniston has played more prickly or unethical characters. In interviews, particularly for Horrible Bosses, Aniston has spoken about how she is rarely considered for such roles, so having the opportunity is both a challenge and a great deal of fun.

We’ve seen Aniston in only two films directed by women. Five of her roles have been in romantic comedies, six have paired her with a male lead, two have been ensemble comedies and in one, she’s the supporting player. It’s perhaps too early to make a full assessment, but a good time to get an insight into Aniston’s attitude and approach to acting. Here’s her appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, in which she mainly gives short answers and uses comedy to deflect any deeper probing. Rather than an evasion tactic, it perhaps shows her as she describes herself, ‘silly’ and ‘goofy’ and ‘not taking myself too seriously.’

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