Justin Theroux took the advice of a good friend when he began dating Jennifer Aniston. In a clip from the 49-year-old actor's upcoming interview on Sunday TODAY With Willie Geist, Theroux reveals that Jason Bateman offered up some words of wisdom at the start of his relationship with 52-year-old Aniston.
Theroux and Aniston were first linked in 2011. They got engaged in 2012, before secretly tying the knot in 2015. Theroux notes that he was surprised by the attention his and Aniston's relationship received.
"I think part of me was like, 'I'm essentially sort of a character actor and a writer, there's not much there,'" he says, before sharing Bateman's advice to him at the time.
"Jason Bateman actually once gave me one of the most sage pieces of advice ever when all that was kind of going on," Theroux says. "He said, 'Look, in that side of the entertainment industry, a character is about to be born. That character is you, but it's not you. That character is angry, that character has got a problem, that character is sweet. It's just this little soap opera that gets written in the margins... And so my advice is, don't follow that guy's storyline.'"
"It was a good piece of advice because I stuck to it," Theroux recalls. "That's the only way you can sort of keep sane and all that."
The pair announced their split in 2018, but have remained friends. When ET spoke to Theroux in March, he said that he and Aniston "check in" with each other, and even expressed an openness to appearing on her TV show, The Morning Show.
In an April interview with Esquire, the Mosquito Coast actor further opened up about his current relationship with his ex-wife.
"I would say we've remained friends. We don't talk every day, but we call each other. We FaceTime. We text," he told the outlet. "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," Theroux added. "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."