No TV actress ever made more money. The total gross of her movies will pass the billion-dollar mark very soon. She's a sexpot you could bring home to mother, and why not? She's the girl next door. Roger Ebert says when he sees her in a movie, his first response is, "Hey, a friend of mine has somehow gotten into the same movie with all of those stars." She had an incredibly long run as the most beloved star in America -- not just a hot celeb but a genuine object of our affection. So how come we feel so sorry for Jennifer Aniston?
Because few have ever fallen so far. She's typecast for life. It's hard to see how she could squeeze her big fame back onto the small screen, and her big-screen career can't seem to get off the ground despite two hundred-million pictures and a quarter-million-dollar one nobody can remember her in (Bruce Almighty). And her picks in men make her movie choices look good. She's an ideal case study for a Film.com Fever Chart, which documents the lifetime highs and lows of our favorite celebrities. If you think we've left out any highs (or lows), sound off loud in the comments section below.
In third grade, Jen gets her charcoal drawing displayed at the Metropolitan Museum. It's the best luck she'll have for a long time. Temperature: 99.6 degrees
At 9, she sees her actor dad, a bad guy on soap operas, dump her mom. A sign of bad guys to come. Temperature: 88.6 degrees
Goes to New York's Fame high school, graduates to hopeful actress/incompetent waitress at Jackson Hole Diner, bike messenger, off-Broadway nobody with promise. Temperature: 98.7 degrees
Finds a wonderful circle of (real-world) friends in LA's Laurel Canyon, and roles in non-wonderful doomed sitcoms like Ferris Bueller and Muddling Through. Temperature: 98.8 degrees
Gets her first film, 1992's Leprechaun, but gets upstaged by a wee Irish killer on a pogo stick. At the end of her rainbow of movie dreams, it's a pot of poop. Her agent tells her she'll never make it in movies. He reminds her of a father sapping her self-confidence. Temperature: 88.6 degrees
Gets ordered to lose 30 pounds from her 140-pound body -- she's nowhere near obese, medically speaking, but by Hollywood standards, she's the Venus of Willendorf. Nearly decides to quit muddling through, and quit acting. Temperature: 78.6 degrees
Instructed to try out for the Monica part in Friends, she goes for Rachel instead. Genius writing and ensemble help make her a millionaire a hundred times over. Also the most incredibly flattering hairdo ever, minimizing her problem chin and schnoz. Not since Farrah has a hairdo made such a star -- and Rachel doesn't even have to flash her nipple to win fame. Supercuts votes her Hollywood's "Best Tressed Woman." Temperature: 186 degrees
Jen feels the downside of being hot: Autograph hounds ambush her in a sauna. "What did they think I was going to write on?" Temperature: 186.5 degrees
Jumps into more movies, as do her friends. First taste of post-fame failure. Screen tests for nuclear thriller Broken Arrow get thumbs down for being "whiny" and "too pretty." "We thought after the success of Friends that everyone was on our side. Then we started making movies and ... ouch!" Temperature: 165 degrees
Cuts off ties to her blabbermouth mom for siding with the invasive press and spilling family secrets. Gets upstaged by Cameron Diaz in She's the One. Hey, it beats a 600-year-old leprechaun. Temperature: 166 degrees
Does the distinctly imperfect Picture Perfect. One critic writes, "Friends don't let friends see Picture Perfect." Critic Ruthe Stein writes, "She does all the tricks -- wrinkling her nose adorably, hooking her voluminous hair behind her ear, delivering a line and then looking away ... But Aniston comes across like an imitation of a movie star instead of the real thing." Temperature: 159 degrees
Hires an acting coach to make the leap from Rachel to movie roles. Tells Entertainment Weekly she literally had to sit on her gesticulating hands and suppress her "animation and more perky qualities." Wins indie cred in the little 1999 art film Office Space. Temperature: 166 degrees
Brad Pitt suggests marriage. Jen replies, "Oh, OK. That makes sense." Jen's mom gets no wedding invitation. On Valentine's Day, Brad fills her TV dressing room with roses spelling out "I love my wife." (Only the wife's name changes from time to time.) Temperature: 266 degrees
Nabs her best reviews ever as a straying wife in 2002's The Good Girl. She's such a good girl in real life that when she shot her first big sex scene with Jake Gyllenhaal, she insisted on wearing a protective groin pad so enormous the shot was unconvincing -- not even Johnny Wadd could've bridged the gap. She switched to a smaller pad because "it looked like he was doing my knees." Wins her first Emmy.
Temperature: 277 degrees
Makes first big movie hit, Bruce Almighty (but she's so small in it!) Beats Dr. Dre, Eminem, Tiger Woods, Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez, Paul McCartney, Ben Affleck, Oprah, Tom Hanks, and Will Smith on Forbes 2003 list of Most Powerful People, with $35 million earned and more magazine covers than anyone. Temperature: 281 degrees
Brad's ex Gwyneth Paltrow has a baby. He dumps Jen for serial homewrecker costar Angelina Jolie, who suddenly metamorphoses into the Supermom of the World. Angelina stars in the Marianne Pearl movie Jen originally developed with Brad. Angelina has what one major magazine editor excitedly calls "the baby Jennifer wouldn't give Brad." Temperature: 111 degrees
Does back-to-back stink bombs, Derailed and Rumor Has It; top critics on Rotten Tomatoes give them odoriferous 15 percent and 13 percent ratings. 2006's Friends With Money gets better reviews but fewer viewers, and there's an odd sense of desperation in Jen's role -- she's broke, does housework in a skimpy French maid's outfit to rouse a guy. Temperature: 102 degrees
Art imitates life: Jen does The Break-Up with new squeeze Vince Vaughn. "I kind of found it ... something like a sign or something that, you know, to do it because it was sort of like in a way, umm, a cathartic thing." Calls him her "defibrillator" who "brought me back to life." But it's death to her reputation. From alpha-male beauty Brad to beta-male balding Vince? Says New York Times scribe Caryn James, "The audience sees that she has not turned a frog into a prince; she has joined him down on the lily pad." Temperature: 99 degrees
Vince hops off Jen's lily pad. Jen gets humiliated by John Mayer, singer of the creepy but catchy "Your Body is a Wonderland." Gossips claim he'd rather text-message from toilets than explore Jen's wonderland. Mayer makes Vince look like a catch. Temperature: 98.5 degrees
Strikes back at Brad and Angelina in national magazines, only makes herself look worse. Wins back some reputation through wit while accepting an award at the 2009 Women in Film bash. Promises to be more careful about the movies titles she selects: "There seemed to be this strange parallel to the movies I was doing and my life off screen. It started with, well, The Good Girl. Then that evolved into Rumor Has It, followed by Derailed, and then there was The Break-Up. So if any of you have a project titled Everlasting Love with an Adult, Stable Male, I'm at table six."
Temperature: 150 degrees
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