Interview with Jann Carl - August 1999

Popular "friend" JENNIFER ANISTON is appealing to a new audience in 'The Iron Giant.' We talked with her about working on an animated film, and she gave us the scoop on the upcoming season of "Friends!" 

Entertainment Tonight: Fun, adorable movie -- and I'm pretty picky! I know you must get so many offers to do different things. What was it about this? 

Jennifer Aniston: This was an opportunity that came by and I loved it. I thought it was a very sweet story. I wanted to do an animated film and see what that was like. I'll tell you, it ain't easy. It was fun. It's really hard and fun at the same time. 

ET: What part wasn't easy? 

Jennifer: It's weird to not act with anybody. That's the hardest part. And the director had a very clear idea of her voice, so there's not a lot of movement to play around. You almost feel like you're doing line readings. It's just not as free as you would have imagined it to be. But they do animate it to you -- to your
voice. It was hard, though. It was tedious. 

ET: Did your voice come before the character was created? 

Jennifer: No, they had her. 

ET: Was she completely done, or did they tweak her? 

Jennifer: They did tweak her a little bit. She was always in skirts and I think they put her in pedal pushers. 

ET: I saw that. Did you see any of yourself in her when you watched the movie? 

Jennifer: No, nothing. Not even a little bit. It was actually very weird to hear the voice. It's sort of like, "Oh, God! You're acting with nobody!" Because I could tell. I was in the room and it didn't sound like I was reacting to any of the other people. It was weird. It was definitely weird. It took awhile, but then I really got swept into the movie. 

ET: If I hadn't known and I had just closed my eyes, I wouldn't have known it was you. When I saw the Draco in 'Dragonheart,' I knew it was Sean Connery! 

Jennifer: Well, that's a tough one! 

ET: I guess for you it was harder just being a voice than when you get to be a voice and a body and everything else. 

Jennifer: I kind of loved it. It was cool. 

ET: No make-up! 

Jennifer: I could roll right in there and roll right out. 

ET: You didn't even have to shower! 

Jennifer: You don't. And there were days that I didn't.

ET: I've got to tell, being a mom, you didn't even ground him when he was out of his bedroom in the middle of the night! You were pretty soft... 

Jennifer: Yeah, well I didn't write it. But he learned his lesson! 

ET: I know you've talked about it before -- you've said you want to be a mom one day. After playing the mom in this, did you say, "Yeah, this will be fun one day?" 

Jennifer: Well, sure. I love the idea of doing an animated movie and knowing how much I watched them as a kid. I was so mesmerized and taken into the fantasy. Eventually when there are kids, that will be one for them to sort of get lost in as well. To be a part of it, that's pretty cool. 

ET: I think it's really cool. Did you have a favorite animated movie growing up? 

Jennifer: 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' and 'Cinderella.' Those were the two main ones. 

ET: The difference is now they can watch them over and over and over... until you can do the words with them. Then you know you've seen the movie too many times. 

Jennifer: That's true. This is also neat, because it kind of is a throw-back. You don't know that's the approach they're taking until
you see the movie. I felt like I was watching an old animated movie. There weren't a lot of stunts and special effects. It was all just sort of classic. BRAD [BIRD, the director] did a really wonderful job on all of those levels. 

ET: I liked that, too. Because it was set in the '50s, I think they tried to stay true to that. So would you do animation again? 

Jennifer: Possibly. I might. 

ET: Although, I think the female characters have got to have a bigger waist! 

Jennifer: Don't you think? I mean, how realistic is that? We're already plastering unrealistic images all over the world. Why make it worse? 

ET: I know. And the waitress thing. Did it send you back to those days? 

Jennifer: No, not really. 

ET: Did you ever do it in real life? 

Jennifer: Oh, yeah! That was one of my favorite jobs in the world, being a waitress. 

ET: You got great tips, didn't you? 

Jennifer: I got good tips, I liked meeting the people. It was just fun! And I worked at a fun place, too. It was a very casual burger joint. 

ET: That makes the difference. I've got to ask you about "Friends." Have you started yet? 

Jennifer: We start back in a week. 

ET: Back to work! Everybody's talking about how you guys have signed up for a sixth season. And everybody's talking about are they going to sign up for season seven. What I want to know is, when did you normally sign? Is it not a big deal that you haven't signed up for season seven yet? 

Jennifer: I truthfully don't know how it's supposed to go. I don't know how all of the other shows do it.You certainly don't talk about it to other people, because it's their own business. 

ET: In the past, did you guys usually sign up a year ahead of time, a year and a half ahead of time, or six months ahead of time? 

Jennifer: I don't know. I've never been on a show that's lasted more than thirteen episodes, so this is all a first for me. 

ET: Originally, how many years had you signed up for? 

Jennifer: Five originally and then we renegotiated. And everybody gave us a lot of bad time then when we renegotiated for a sixth year. That's where it's stayed, at six. That's where we are right now. We're done after six and we'll see what happens. 

ET: So now it's all about whether there will be
a seventh. Well, of course there will be! It's not just your fans, but the critics went nuts over the show last season. 

Jennifer: You can sit and drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what that's all about. I mean, the show never fell off and became awful. It's always tried to maintain this level of commitment to what the show is about, which is good writing and committing to what the shows were. We just continued to do that year after year, and I think there was that weird backlash period where they gave us all a hard time. They
thought, aren't we bratty little spoiled actors to go in and do whatever it is that we did? We wanted to be paid the same because we thought that was fair because we were putting in the same amount of work. It was kind of something we believed in, not something harmful at all. Who knows why that all shifts now? I mean, we're glad. We're thankful. It means that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. 

ET: Right. So basically it's renegotiation time, but nothing has been done yet. Your fans are just going to have to keep their fingers crossed. Personally, would you love to do it some more? 

Jennifer: Well, yeah. It's a great job! It's absolutely the fun and the people are the dreamiest people that you could ever imagine getting to work with every day. 


Thanks to Entertainment Tonight!