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Jennifer Aniston Discusses the Romantic Movie 'Love Happens'

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Jennifer Aniston in Love Happens

Jennifer Aniston in 'Love Happens.'

© Universal Pictures
Jennifer Aniston was drawn to the romantic drama Love Happens because she felt it wasn't the typical romantic fare. Aniston plays a florist who is attracted to a self-help guru (Aaron Eckhart) in this relationship drama that also deals with loss and the process of moving on. Written and directed by Brandon Camp, the Love Happens script had an edge to it that made it too enticing for Aniston to pass up.

"More to offer, yes," said Aniston when asked if that edge, and the fact it deals with a serious topic, is what compelled her to take a starring role. "I think that people want to see that, and I think it's interesting for us to play that. There are only so many interesting ways to tell a romantic story. There are, I think, a lot of unexplored situations that actually happen in life that people don't take advantage of. They come up with these crazy, high concept, formulaic ideas for a romantic comedy about how to keep them apart as long as possible until the end when they can finally stop pretending to be my boyfriend and you actually will be my boyfriend and we've fooled everybody. I think I did that one 10 years ago."

Aaron Eckhart's character, Dr. Burke Ryan, is a widowed therapist and author who holds seminars instructing people on how to handle their grief. There's obviously an audience for the type of advice Dr. Ryan dispenses as self-help books continuously top the bestseller lists. Aniston wouldn't say whether she's ever turned to a self-help book for help, but she does believe they could possibly do some good for those who are open to that form of counseling.

"I think there are so many out there, God knows, but there are always one or two where you're like, 'That's really interesting.' I think it's a good thing," admitted Aniston. "I think it's over-saturated because they're now feeding on the fact that people are in need of this and there are certain people that become big. I mean, you can't ask a question without it being analyzed to the ground, and I think that's good for certain things. But read a little bit - let life happen to you."

Analyzing Her Character in Love Happens

We don't really know for sure what's happened to Aniston's character in past relationships that's left her feeling guarded when it comes to the opposite sex. But whatever it was, there's something about this self-help guru that makes her change her attitude. "She's kind of walled off [and] I think she sees his vulnerability after the date when he basically confesses to how long it's been since he's done this, the loss of his wife even though we don't [know] at that point, and yeah, just that he was vulnerable," explained Aniston about the attraction to Dr. Burke Ryan. "That's always sort of a nice – what do they call it – jumping off point, springboard."

Teaming Up with Aaron Eckhart

Aniston revealed one of the main reasons she agreed to Love Happens was to be able to work with Aaron Eckhart. "I'm such a fan of his,' admitted Aniston. "He has the driest sense of humor. He's so entertaining. He's so into philosophy and psychology, which I love. We can talk for hours. He's a great photographer. He's just interesting. And he's, really, I mean I think he's so absolutely beautiful in this movie. He's just beautiful and funny. He's just a really entertaining and enjoyable person to spend time with."

But unlike every other male she works opposite, there were never any rumors of her dating Eckhart. So, how did she and Eckhart manage to escape the rumormongers? "I know. It's so funny. Someone reminded us that when we were first meeting for lunch, meeting with the director, they took a picture of us in the restaurant and said, 'What's happening, something must be happening? They're having lunch, my God…' But then, yeah, they figured out that we were doing a movie together," recalled Aniston. "I don't know what that is."

On the subject of being tabloid media fodder, Aniston said, "It doesn't bug me, if people don't believe it. That's all. I would just hate it if people actually believed any of it. That's what I would be disappointed with because I don't want crap like that to distract from what I do, my work."

Looking Into the Future

Aniston just completed work on The Baster, a romantic comedy about a woman who uses a turkey baster to get pregnant. "That's another one that's sort of a different topic about best friends and she decides that she doesn't wait to for a relationship and wants to have a baby," explained Aniston. "But he's absolutely offended that she does not choose him to be the donor, and she's telling him how she's going to [pick] the donor and he's got to be this and she wants to meet the person and he's got to be [this]. He's just offended then that she's known him for so long and knows all of his quirks idiosyncrasies and his neurosis and that she's like, 'But the DNA is very important in this situation and I basically don't want to birth you.' But then he gets drunk at a party and things happen..."

Aniston will also soon be seen in the romantic action comedy The Bounty opposite Gerard Butler. The Bounty's offering Aniston a chance to show off some skills she hasn't had the opportunity to show off before. "Oh, it's so fun. So much like action and I mean, I was in car chases and firing guns, thrown in trunks, drove the carts – whatever they call those things – into lakes, hung from buildings. It was just a ball," said Aniston.

Also in the works is The Goree Girls, a musical about a group of women who form a Country and Western singing group while in jail. Aniston's currently learning to play the guitar and working on her singing skills in order to get ready to take on a starring role in the musical drama.

Asked if she's a good singer, Aniston replied, "I can carry a tune. I don't know yet. Here's the good news. The band – this takes place in 1929 – they weren't musicians. They basically created a band in prison in order to get paroled. So you're dealing with new singing voices and new instrument-playing. and somehow they find a way and become a huge phenomena. It's a true story."

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