Picking teams between Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie just might never end soon. Even Kristen Stewart weighed in on the issue, saying the Friends star was only famous because of the new Marvel Cinematic Universe actress. Then there’s Wendy Williams referring to Jolie as a “heathen.” For many years now, there seems to be an ongoing feud between the two ex-wives of Brad Pitt.
But in reality, the actresses haven’t really thrown hits at each other. They have indirectly referred to each other in interviews before but respectfully. Aniston even once said that she doesn’t blame Jolie for her expensive divorce from Pitt. Here’s why.
The actresses’ so-called feud can be traced back to that moment Jolie started spilling the details on how she fell in love with Pitt while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith. “Brad was a huge surprise to me,” the Maleficent star told Vogue in 2007. “I think we were both the last two people who were looking for a relationship. I certainly wasn’t.
I was quite content to be a single mom with Mad. And I didn’t know much about exactly where Brad was in his personal life. But it was clear he was with his best friend, someone he loves and respects. And so we were both living, I suppose, very full lives.”
She also said that at some point, she found herself getting excited to go to work and see the then-married actor. “Because of the film we ended up being brought together to do all these crazy things,” Jolie said. “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. Whether it was shooting a scene or arguing about a scene or gun practice or dance class or doing stunts—anything we had to do with each other, we just found a lot of joy in it together and a lot of real teamwork. We just became kind of a pair.”
Jolie added that they didn’t realize they were falling for each other until the end of the project. “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,” she shared. “And both knowing that the reality of that was a big thing, something that was going to take a lot of serious consideration.”
In her own Vogue interview in 2008, Aniston expressed how she felt disrespected by some comments Jolie made in that interview. “There was stuff printed there that was definitely from a time when I was unaware that it was happening,” said the We’re the Millers star. “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.”
This was just three years after she and Pitt broke up. Aniston was notably friendly with Jolie when she first met her. “It was on the lot of Friends—I pulled over and introduced myself,” Aniston recalled of the moment to Vanity Fair in 2006 “I said, ‘Brad is so excited about working with you. I hope you guys have a really good time.‘”
In August 2005, Aniston confessed on Today Show that she knew of Pitt’s attraction to Jolie when they were still married. “It’s just complicated,” she said. “Relationships are complicated. You’re two people continually evolving, and there will be times when those changes clash. There are all these levels of growth — and when you stop growing together, that’s when the problems happen.” She added that with her ex-husband, “there’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing.”
She also opened up about how difficult it was to deal with the heartbreak. “Am I lonely? Yes,” she said. “Am I upset? Yes. Am I confused? Yes. Do I have my days when I’ve thrown a little pity party for myself? Absolutely. But I’m also doing really well.” In 2015, the Cake star also told The Hollywood Reporter that she doesn’t blame anyone for the end of her marriage. “Nobody did anything wrong…it was just like, sometimes things [happen],” she explained.
An insider also revealed that the main reason Aniston and Pitt’s didn’t work out was that they’d just lost their selves in the marriage. “They gradually lost sight of themselves as individuals,” said the source. “And despite their nice lifestyle and having everything they might want, they weren’t happy. They lost a sense of self.”
Basically, the marriage was over even before Pitt started filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Aniston added that her ex-husband “just wasn’t there for me.” He apparently didn’t show up to support her during Friends’ final episode in 2004.