Jennifer Aniston spoke about this only after their divorce was finalized.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on June 16, 2020. It has since been updated.
The Jennifer Aniston-Brad Pitt-and Angelina Jolie saga is one of the most heavily documented love triangles in the history of Hollywood and given their star power, it was indeed an object of public curiosity for years. In fact, the inner dynamics of their relationship is still a matter of public speculation and keen interest. But one of these aspects of the relationship between Pitt and Aniston is especially painful and had hurt her for the longest of times.
Speaking with the Guardian, way back in 2004 (they were still married at this time), she had spoken about taking the next step in their relationship. She had said, "It's time. It's time. You know, I think you can work with a baby, I think you can work pregnant, I think you can do all of it. So I'm just truly looking forward to slowing down."
The F.R.I.E.N.D.S star was highly hopeful about their relationship during that time and she added, "I'll have finished Friends by end of January, he'll be finishing [Mr. and Mrs. Smith, opposite Angelina Jolie] at the end of February. Then he starts Ocean's Twelve. So I, thankfully, will be able to go and travel with him while he's doing that." She had never expected what was about to happen next as she planned her future with him.
It was on the sets of Mr. & Mrs. Smith that Pitt and Jolie grew closer to each other and their closeness caught the media's attention. Speculations and gossip were rife and the tabloids had quite a time covering every bit of information or misinformation that came their way. Aniston, however, did not let these speculations affect her initially and stood with Pitt even as the rumors started gaining momentum. They would eventually turn out to be true.
A year later, the couple ended their relationship. They said in a joint statement, according to Marie Claire, "We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate. For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration. We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another. We ask in advance for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months."
Later, Jolie spoke about her relationship with Pitt and how it grew. According to Marie Claire, she said, "Because of the film we ended up being brought together to do all these crazy things, and I think we found this strange friendship and partnership that kind of just suddenly happened. I think a few months in I realized, 'God, I can’t wait to get to work.'"
Jolie added, "We just found a lot of joy in it together and a lot of real teamwork. We just became kind of a pair. And it took until, really, the end of the shoot for us, I think, to realize that it might mean something more than we’d earlier allowed ourselves to believe. And both knowing that the reality of that was a big thing, something that was going to take a lot of serious consideration."
After some time, Aniston finally decided to speak her mind as well. Speaking with Vanity Fair, she said, "Brad is not mean-spirited; he would never intentionally try to rub something in my face. In hindsight, I can see him going, 'Oh—I can see that that was inconsiderate.' But I know Brad. Brad would say, 'That’s art!' There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing."
She spoke with Vogue and told them that it was hurtful to learn that he had fallen for Jolie during the time they were still married. She said, "There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening. I felt those details were a little inappropriate to discuss. That stuff about how she couldn't wait to get to work every day? That was really uncool."
Pitt and Aniston later managed to get their friendship back after he apologized. They are on good terms now and are believed to be good friends too. Pitt and Jolie went on to get married and later, divorced.