Friends actress Jennifer Aniston spoke candidly about her struggles with in vitro fertilization (IVF), saying the years of tabloid speculation while she was trying to get pregnant were "really hard" on her emotionally.
In an interview with Allure, the actress—who currently stars on Apple TV's Emmy Award-winning The Morning Show—said she feels "the best in who I am today, better than I ever did in my 20s or 30s even, or my mid-40s."
Aniston, 53, added that she went "through really hard s**t" during her 30s and 40s "and if it wasn’t for going through that, I would’ve never become who I was meant to be." She nonetheless noted that she feels gratitude despite the rocky experiences.
Even better: She's more comfortable in her skin.
"Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck being this person that was so fearful, so nervous, so unsure of who they were. And now, I don’t f***ing care."
Although she did not provide a timetable, Aniston revealed that she was trying to get pregnant at one point and that the process was "challenging."
"All the years and years and years of speculation … It was really hard. I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it."
"I was throwing everything at it. I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, 'Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.'"
"You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed."
On the plus side, Aniston says said she has "zero regrets" and feels "a little relief now" that she can no longer get pregnant. But she noted that tabloid speculation really impacted her life due to a "narrative that I was just selfish" that persisted during her first marriage to actor Brad Pitt and her second marriage to actor Justin Theroux.
"And God forbid a woman is successful and doesn’t have a child."
"And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn’t give him a kid."
"It was absolute lies. I don’t have anything to hide at this point."
Aniston said the constant speculation and invasion of her privacy left her feeling very "frustrated" and that she "spent so many years protecting my story about IVF":
"I’m so protective of these parts because I feel like there’s so little that I get to keep to myself. The [world] creates narratives that aren’t true, so I might as well tell the truth. I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation. I don’t have anything to hide." ...
"I have had to do personal work that was long overdue, parts of me that hadn’t healed from the time I was a little kid. I’m a very independent person. Intimacy has always been a little here... I’ve realized you will always be working on stuff."
"I am a constant work in progress. Thank God. How uninteresting would life be if we all achieved enlightenment and that was it?"
She also revealed that she's ready to have a relationship with the right partner, though that would not have been possible had she not taken the time to work on herself.
And while she's not necessarily "interested" in marriage, she would "love a relationship":
"Who knows? There are moments I want to just crawl up in a ball and say, ‘I need support.’ It would be wonderful to come home and fall into somebody’s arms and say, ‘That was a tough day.’”
Many have praised Aniston for speaking so candidly and criticized societal expectations that violated her privacy.
Aniston will next appear in The Morning Show's third season, which is slated to drop sometime this fall.
A sequel to her 2020 hit Murder Mystery—in which she co-starred with actor Adam Sandler—is currently in post-production and will hit movie theaters in February 2023.