Jennifer Aniston Talks Experiencing Ageism at 50: 'We Need to Establish Some Etiquette'
By Jackie Willis
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Jennifer Aniston does not appreciate being told, "You look amazing for your age."
The actress covers the October issue of InStyle and admits that her milestone 50th birthday affected her more than others. "Fifty was the first time I thought, 'Well, that number,'" Aniston -- who is featured on several stunning InStyle covers -- tells the magazine. “I don't know what it is because I don't feel any different. Things aren't shutting down in any way. I feel physically incredible."
While the A-list star is loving life, she has experienced some ageism in the industry. "So it's weird that it's all of a sudden getting telegraphed in a way that's like, 'You look amazing for your age,'" Aniston notes. "I think we need to establish some etiquette around that dialogue and verbiage."
That being said, there's one beauty habit that Aniston won't quit! "I’m not gonna lie -- I don't want gray hair," she quips.
Aniston takes on the issue of ageism in her Apple TV+ series, The Morning Show, in which she plays veteran TV anchor Alex Levy, who is pitted against a younger reporter, Bradley Jackson, played by Reese Witherspoon. "Alex's sell-by date expired long ago, and she's trying to stay relevant," she says of the role.
The show's plot seems to be ripped-from-the-headlines, with Alex's partner and co-anchor, Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), being terminated after being involved in a scandal. This also happened to former newsmen Charlie Rose from CBS This Morning and Matt Lauer from the Today show.
"The show was always about the abuse of power, and women and sexism. We sold it in the summer, and then Harvey [Weinstein] happened in the fall," Aniston reveals, with Instyle noting the allegations against Rose and Lauer came next. "Reese and I were like...'The show is writing itself.' It was as if the universe were begging for this patriarchal society to be exposed. It's crazy."
As for who Aniston emulated her character after, she says it was Diane Sawyer who inspired her. "I’ve known Diane for years, and I had the joy of getting to pick her brain when I was doing research for the show," she tells the magazine. "Diane’s always been so elegant and classy."
"It was very interesting to do it and I actually learned about everything that actually goes on behind the scenes," she said of starring in the series. "... It was really fun and it's gonna be hopefully really enjoyed by many people."
The Morning Show is set to premiere this fall on Apple TV+. Check out the trailer: