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Add narrator to Jennifer Aniston’s lengthy list of credits.
The actress has lent her voice to a digital short produced by skin-care brand Aveeno launching today on YouTube. The short is one of a series of four videos called “The Beauty of Nature, Active Naturals Oat for Your Skin” that spotlights the skin-care ingredient, oat.
This story first appeared in the March 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The mini movie is basically just informing the audience on what is behind Aveeno products and how they are made and where they come from and the detail that they pay [attention to in terms of] what goes into the products,” said Aniston, who was unveiled last year as a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson-owned Aveeno. “What I learned about is how they make the products, the farm that they go to in Canada, the climate and the importance of the soil and how they get that oat from being an oat in the field to being in a bottle.”
For the laid-back Aniston, voice acting was a good fit. “It was an easy day. No makeup, no hair. I rolled up and learned some stuff about oats,” she said, continuing, “But it is interesting how you have to hit certain inflections and hit certain words. It is very specific. There is also a time issue where you have to speed up.” Overall, Aniston finds working with brands — in addition to her affiliation with Aveeno, she is a co-owner of hair care brand Living Proof and the face of SmartWater — a relatively stress-free addendum to her day job. “The demand with time isn’t that great. You just do it when you have those few months off here and there, and it is nice because it is balances out the other stuff,” she said. “It’s nice to be a part of skin-care companies and hair care and all that. It’s just a different business to dip your toes into.”
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Of course, Aniston is still fully enmeshed in her day job. She has several movies in the hopper. Two that she mentioned are “Life of Crime,” a film based on Elmore Leonard’s novel “The Switch,” that comes out in August and “Horrible Bosses 2,” which is scheduled for a November release. Aniston said reprising the role of “Horrible Bosses” dirty dentist Julia Harris was “fantastic.”
“It is one of my favorite jobs to date. It was just so fun and wicked and silly, and full of great people. Working with the boys is always a dream,” said Aniston, referring to her costars, including Chris Pine, Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, Christoph Waltz and Jason Sudeikis. Discussing “Life of Crime,” she expounded, “It is a thriller, caper, comedy. It takes place in the Seventies and is about kidnapping. There are great clothes and great makeup.”
A third movie that Aniston is involved with is “Cake,” which she said starts shooting in two weeks and will provide her the opportunity to sink her teeth into a meaty character in an independent film. “It is about a woman dealing with the loss of her child and some serious pain management,” said Aniston. “It is just rare when you find the ones [roles] that really speak to you, that you love. It’s nice to be able to go deep and challenge yourself. I did the ‘Good Girl’ over 10 years ago and ‘Friends With Money,’ and it is just not often that those things come my way, so I’m excited to go into a different area of my well of life.”
Screenplays with complex female characters might not come across her desk that often, but Aniston has continued to nab plum film roles in notoriously youth-obsessed Hollywood even as she ages. Part of the reason may be that she’s comfortable in her 45-year-old skin. Aniston professed no fear of birthdays. However, she said she does get annoyed that the phrase “for your age” pops up more frequently with every passing year.
“Your age always has to be mentioned and men don’t really get that for some reason. It’s not like you see Joe Schmo, 37,” said Aniston. “Women and men today in their 40s are so much healthier than they were 30 years ago in their 40s. It was a different time. We know how to take care ourselves. We know what to put in our bodies to fuel us that’s healthy and organic and not processed, and the importance of drinking water and cutting out sugars and bad fats. Before, we just didn’t know that, and we didn’t have the technology with skin care that we have today.”