The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 event by Lifetime was held on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, and actress Jennifer Aniston was honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award.
Jennifer Aniston’s friend and co-star Steve Carrell introduced the actress by stating, "Sherry Lansing has personified integrity, fearlessness, and conviction of purpose as a leader in the entertainment industry and as a humanitarian. And I can think of no one who better exemplifies those traits than Jen. Jennifer Aniston is getting this award because she deserves it. She’s a terrific person. She cares deeply for others. She leads by example. And she makes a difference. "
The actress on receiving the honor said, "If I went back in time to my 19-year-old self, waitressing tables in New York and auditioning for every off, off, off, off, not-even-close-to-Broadway show and someone came up to me and said, ‘One day, you’ll be receiving The Sherry Lansing Leadership Award,’ I would’ve looked at them like they were crazy and said, ‘Who’s Sherry Lansing?' Sherry Lansing, people like to throw around the word ‘trailblazer,’ but in your case, you have blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. The first woman to run a studio, with strings and strings of box office hits and Academy Award-winning films to your name. You truly paved the way for us women to have the voices and the platforms that we have today. And somehow, you remained one of the kindest and most generous people." Jennifer shared that Sherry Lansing asked her, "What do you imagine for your future? And added, "I’ve thought about Sherry’s question through the years as my ‘future’ unfolded — and I’ve got to tell you, I never could have predicted half of what happened, or what reportedly has happened, according to the tabloids. But this question about ‘my future’ and what I imagined for it, has been like a riddle I’ve been trying to solve through the years. Maybe I haven’t done my best work yet, as an artist or as a human being. Potentially, I am just beginning. So, I started to embrace this idea of being a ‘late bloomer’ … of, just beginning."
In a cover story for The Hollywood Reporter celebrating the Women In Entertainment Power 100 list, Jennifer Aniston talked about her career, starting with how emotional and hard the FRIENDS reunion was for the entire case. Jen said, "I think we were just so naive walking into it, thinking, How fun is this going to be? They’re putting the sets back together exactly as they were. Then you get there, and it’s like, "Oh right, I hadn’t thought about what was going on the last time I was actually here." And it just took me by surprise because it was like, "Hi, past, remember me? Remember how that sucked? You thought everything was in front of you and life was going to be just gorgeous, and then you went through possibly the hardest time in your life. It was all very jarring and, of course, you’ve got cameras everywhere, and I’m already a little emotionally accessible, I guess you could say, so I had to walk out at certain points. I don’t know how they cut around it. "
Talking about her post-Friends career, Jen shared that she had no clue what was coming in the future for her, but she says that she is blessed and grateful that things have worked out just fine. She was asked about how she kept herself centered even though being in the public’s eye, to which she mentioned that it was all a godsend of support, positive people, and also the fact that she saw her mother in victimhood, and she never liked it. She added, "I knew that this person was giving me an example of what I’d never want to be, and I will never ever be that. I think it’s toxic, and it erodes your insides and your soul. And listen, is it a sliver of an annoyance to have to publicly go through dark shit in front of the world? Yes, it’s an inconvenience, but it’s all relative."
The Friends alum shared that when she started working, she was put under the category of "girl next door" and the roles that were offered to her were related to the same genre, which Jennifer shared made her a little self-conscious back then. Talking about today’s scenario, she feels so self-generated at the moment because the industry is not secure enough to say "yes, let’s try it." She quoted, "They go for the actors they know can play the fancy dramatic roles. But there are still certain directors I’d love to work with, ones who have their pick of whom they like, and sometimes I want to say, "I’d love to be part of that club." She expresses her desire to work with Wes Anderson.
In her interview, Jennifer Aniston, who is known as one of the iconic actresses, shared that the industry right now is very different from how it used to be and mentioned that it’s not that glamorous anymore but is slowly moving towards being about TikTok and Instagram followers. She added, "It’s like, we’re hiring now based on followers, not talent. Oh, dear. And I’m losing touch. I’m not great at going, I’m going to stay relevant and join TikTok." She also addressed the fact that when she crashed the Instagram site, she didn’t know what to do after that. Asked about how she feels about the public’s attention towards her personal life and how has that affected her professional life, Jennifer answered that, "Well, people certainly project onto you and all that, but my job is to go, Listen, I’ll show you what I’m capable of, and you decide if you want to subscribe. So, you disappear as much as you can, you have fun, you take on these weird roles, you don’t give a shit, you enjoy yourself, you remember that you have a gorgeous group of friends and your life is blessed, and you do the best that you can."
Jennifer Aniston, in the interview, mentioned that she is looking forward to not being free for two years and working, but would plan it accordingly to have breaks as she says that it’s important to take a step back, recharge oneself, and then start over. The actress who recently received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award shared that she has been offered a lot of dark material, but she will be choosing the projects carefully.
The actress’ father is still working at the age of 88, and when asked about that, she said she had just started and added that she just needed to cross those hurdles of her self-doubt and own who she is and where she is. In 2007, Jennifer Aniston won the GLAAD Vanguard Award for her extraordinary support of the LGBTQ community. She's also volunteered her time and money to groups like Americares, Doctors Without Borders, Feeding America, Project ALS, Best Friends Animal Society, and the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, to name a few.
Information Source: The Hollywood Reporter