Jennifer Aniston: A Star is Reborn
Jennifer Aniston pays homage to the legendary Barbra Streisand — and proves that everyone loves a funny girl. Click to see more of her most influential beauty moments, and her red-carpet looks througout the years.
Jennifer Aniston is sitting at home in Los Angeles, musing about singing Barbra Streisand songs in the shower. “Someone said to me, ‘If I had Barbra’s voice for just one day,’ and I said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to be greedy. If I had her voice for just one shower — just a shower’s worth — I would be happy.’” If so, perhaps it’s worth forgetting modesty and selling tickets. “Hmm, no,” she laughs. “Well, actually, if it was her voice …”
Jennifer has long idolized Streisand, patron saint of stage and screen (two Academy Awards, eight Grammys) and the exemplar of times-they-are-a-changing feminism, who is, of course, more than a muse. She’s an icon.
Jennifer first met Streisand, 68, at a New Year’s party a few years ago. “I’ve loved her since I was a kid, and all of a sudden there she is, and she’s just like someone you’ve always known,” Jennifer says. “You know when you meet people you idolize and then you walk away from the conversation thinking, ‘Well, that was a disappointment; they were kinder and more fabulous in my mind’? Well, she was wonderful, and you could talk to her about anything.” She starts to laugh. “So, I happened to be talking to her and Jim [Streisand's husband, James Brolin] when it struck midnight. They said, ‘Excuse us,’ kissed each other, and then, very politely, kissed me.”
It was Jennifer’s hairstylist and friend of almost 20 years, Chris McMillan, who inspired her to write her own love letter to Streisand’s style. “He is, of course, hair obsessed,” Jennifer explains, “and I’m a Barbie doll for him. So, whenever we’d see great pictures of Barbra or a movie, he’d be like, ‘You have to do an homage to Barbra.’”
o she did. In an old Los Angeles theater, surrounded by iconic images from everything from Funny Girl to What’s Up, Doc? (and with “People” on rotation), Jennifer’s Streisand-ification began: “First, putting on the dramatic eye makeup and the wig. Then hearing Barbra’s voice booming,” she remembers. A Streisand homage is incomplete, however, without one thing: perfectly manicured, thoroughly immodest fingernails. “The nails were like, There she is!”
The concept was also a jump for Jennifer, 41, who sells magazines and movie tickets with her caramelly, you-could-hang-with-me accessibility and who somehow makes us think that Smartwater might not just make us smarter, it might get us her body too. Of her Bazaar shoot, she says, “I have no idea what people are going to think about it. Everybody has an opinion; it’s just what people love to have. But that’s okay. Art is so subjective, and people can react however they want.”
Jennifer is effusive in her admiration of Streisand. “Barbra inspires me because there isn’t anything she hasn’t done that she wanted to do, especially as a female in the time when her generation was prime. She’s a true renaissance woman.” Her favorite Streisand films: “The Way We Were and A Star Is Born. Both pretty great.”
The two funny girls have more than a few things in common. “I had a long conversation with Barbra about directing because I directed a short a couple years ago, and if I don’t do it again soon, I’m going to burst out of my skin. And we also love interior design. Also, we are people who have been put in the spotlight, for better or for worse, and you just keep riding, and you keep overcoming, and you just stay true to what you love to do.”
If Jennifer and Barbra were to do a style swap, “I’d put her in jeans and a great wedge and a beautiful blouse and a blazer. She’s got legs, man. She’s got a cute butt. She wears little black tights, she’s beautiful.” Out of Streisand’s legendary wardrobe, Jennifer would love to wear the silky cream fringed dress from the 1976 Classical Barbra album cover. Maybe one day an album called Classical Jen? “Yeah! That would be full of Friends bloopers. Classic Jen fuckups.”
Ask Jennifer how she’s a funny girl and she responds with Friends-ian timing: “People laugh at me. Sometimes I know why, and sometimes I don’t. But I can pretty much find humor in anything. That is a necessary part of life. I don’t want to say laughter is healing, because it sounds corny, but it’s a release.”
Lately, Jennifer has been surrounding herself with funny people, reporting to the set of Horrible Bosses, a movie about just that. (See pictures on the Web of Colin Farrell with a comb-over to get the idea.) Jennifer plays a horrible … dentist. Horrible but hot. “She’d better be!” she says, laughing. “We’re working on it.”
Jennifer’s new movie, The Switch, is a sperm-donor comedy opposite Jason Bateman. “He is perhaps the most adorable human being on the planet. I’m so glad he’s having a resurgence,” she says. Next up is Just Go with It with Adam Sandler and Nicole Kidman. Then she continues her year of the Jasons with Bosses: “I went from [Saturday Night Live's] Jason Sudeikis to Bateman, and now I’m making a movie with both of them.”
Perhaps that’s what a renaissance woman has these days: a glorious career, a good head on her shoulders, and lots of Jasons. Or, as Jennifer has learned from Streisand, “You don’t have to stop at one thing. You can do it all if you want to.” All without chipping a nail.
Photoshoots and Outtakes > Photoshoots 2010 > Set 004 – Harper’s Bazaar (LQ)