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Justin Theroux Says This Kept Him "Sane" While Dating Jennifer Aniston

Aniston's good friend gave the actor "one of the most sage pieces of advice."

Justin Theroux was already a very successful actor when he got together with Jennifer Aniston in 2011. But, Theroux knew that dating Aniston was going to make him more widely known and more widely covered by the media. That's what happens when you start a relationship with one of the most beloved actors out there—and one whose love life is closely monitored. So, Theroux got some advice from a famous friend that helped him to keep his head on straight as the whirlwind began. Read on to see who helped Theroux cope with the choas, and for more on Aniston's relationship with another ex, find out why Jennifer Aniston Says This Is Her Biggest Regret About Brad Pitt.

Jason Bateman told Theroux a "storyline" would be created about him.

Justin Theroux on "Sunday Today"
Sunday Today/NBC

In a clip from an upcoming interview with Sunday Today, host Willie Geist asked Theroux if it was a "shock to [his] system" when he started dating Aniston. He responded, "I think part of me was like, you know, I'm essentially a character actor and a writer. There's not much there."

But, since dating Aniston meant the spotlight on him was going to intensify, Aniston's long-time friend Jason Bateman offered him some advice that Theroux calls "one of the most sage pieces of advice ever."

"He said, 'Look, in that side of the entertainment industry, a character is about to be born. And that character is you, but it's not you,'" Theroux explained. "'That character is, you know, angry. That character has got a problem. That character is, you know, sweet. It's just this little soap opera that gets written in the margins.' And he said, 'And so, my advice is don't follow that guy's storyline.'"

Read about some stars who don't love being in the public eye in 17 Major Celebrities Who Actually Hate the Spotlight.

Theroux says following that advise was "the only way" to say "sane."

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2015
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock

In the interview, Theroux added, "I stuck to it. And that's the only way you can sort of keep sane in all that."

"All that" is Theroux's relationship with Aniston, which ended up spanning six years. The couple started dating in 2011, got married in 2015, and split in 2017. In 2013, Theroux spoke about the attention he was receiving for the relationship in an interview with GQ. "It's a bit like going to a slightly different altitude, you know?" Theroux said. He felt that paparazzi were a pain, and added, "When I get complimented on the street because I'm having twins—that's weird, too."

Read more about the false reports Aniston has had to face in Jennifer Aniston Just Shut Down This Major Rumor.

Bateman and his wife became friends with Aniston and Theroux.

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston at Bateman's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2017
Featureflash Photo Agency /

Bateman and Aniston go way back. They became friends when they were in their 20s, as she shared when she gave a speech at his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2017. Since then, they've gone on to appear in five movies together: The Breakup, The Switch, Horrible Bosses, Horrible Bosses 2, and Office Christmas Party.

Once they got together, Theroux and Aniston became close with Bateman and his wife, Amanda Anka. The two couples even vacationed in Mexico together. And, after Aniston and Theroux split up, he still attended his ex-wife's Friendsgiving party the night before Thanksgiving. Theroux was photographed in a group picture with Bateman, Jimmy Kimmel, Will Arnett, and Courteney Cox, among others.

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Theroux and Aniston are still friends now.

Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of "The Leftovers" season 3 in 2017
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

Theroux and Aniston have been broken up for a couple of years now, but they're still good friends. He shares Instagram posts for her on her birthday, and in a recent interview with Esquire, Theroux said that he and Aniston "don't talk every day," but "we call each other. We FaceTime. We text."

He said that he particularly appreciates Aniston for her humor and how hard she can make him laugh. "Like it or not, we didn't have that dramatic split, and we love each other," he told Esquire. "I'm sincere when I say that I cherish our friendship. We can not be together and still bring each other joy and friendship."

To see what else Theroux had to say about their status now, check out Justin Theroux Made a Rare Comment About His Relationship With Jennifer Aniston.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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